Hazardous asbestos waste can be generated by a disaster and during search and rescue operations, clean-up operations, demolition and transitional settlement and reconstruction activities. Humanitarian organisations involved in any of the above activities need to recognise the risks associated with the handling of asbestos materials and protect people working with them after a disaster. They also must avoid purchasing new asbestos-containing materials for transitional settlement and reconstruction programmes as this perpetuates the problem. Minimising the risk associated with dealing with existing asbestos products from damaged buildings and avoiding the use of asbestos products for reconstruction will help avoid additional harm being caused to affected populations.
This booklet is a simple and practical guide for transitional settlement and reconstruction practitioners. It aims to provide basic background information on asbestos and its associated health risks. It provides key recommendations for minimising the risksvof dealing with asbestos in post-disaster transitional settlement and reconstruction operations and suggests further reading sources for more in-depth technical information.