Asbestos is the perfect model of a substance mined, industrially exploited and widely marketed as a miracle material without proper research into its long-term effects on health. Indeed, it went on being promoted long after it was recognised as dangerous. 

The  European Union finally outlawed the use of asbestos in January 2005, decades after the European Commission (EC) first recognised its link with cancer in 1962. The delay can be attributed entirely to lobbying from major asbestos cement companies, including the Belgian and Swiss Eternit groups , and to governmental inertia. Several European countries are currently taking legal action against company directors who gave their workers little or no information about the risks of exposure. In recent court cases leading industrialists continued to claim that they were unaware of the dangers. 

Marleen Teugels

Marleen mainly publishes investigative stories in the Flemish weekly news magazine Knack. She does a lot of research on health and well-being. She was the first journalist in Belgium that used the freedom of information act, and she went with the Flemish Association of Journalists (VVJ) to the Council of State in a case dealing with the financing of tobacco prevention campaigns by the tobacco industry. As a result of FOI files she together with colleagues succeeded to dig up the European agricultural subsidies on a federal and Flemish level.

Nico Krols

Nico Krols (°1971) is since 2000 editor of 'Weliswaar' (Flemish magazine).

€ 3.500 allocated on 01/03/2006.


'A licence to kill' - Le Monde diplomatique - January 18, 2007 (Translated by Donald Hounam)
Read the article on Mesothelioma Empowerment.
Asbest, de seriemoordenaar - Knack, 14/06/2006. (in Dutch)