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Parliamentary questions
26 September 2017
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Laura Agea (EFDD) , David Borrelli (EFDD) , Dario Tamburrano (EFDD) , Fabio Massimo Castaldo (EFDD)

 Subject:  Asbestos in drinking water pipes and higher cancer rates at water supply points contaminated with asbestos fibres

The Italian National Asbestos Observatory has published data which shows drinking water throughout Italy to contain dispersed asbestos fibres, not least following recent earthquakes.

The asbestos-cement mixture that drinking water pipes are made from releases asbestos fibres when subjected to vibration as well as to the flow of water. This has sparked a genuine emergency, particularly in Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria, the Marche, Lazio and Abruzzo.

About 100 000 kilometres of pipes are affected across Italy, and with almost the entire system in Umbria seemingly consisting of asbestos-cement pipes.

Articles 4(2)(e), 11 and 114(4) and (5) et seq. TFEU and Articles 191-193 TEU deal with environmental protection, while Articles 6-168 TFEU deal with the protection of health. This situation therefore constitutes a breach of EU legislation and the Treaties.

Can the Commission state:
1. Whether it is aware of this situation, which endangers millions of citizens;
2. Whether it knows that asbestos, if ingested, is carcinogenic;
3. What concrete steps it will take, with full respect for their respective competences, with the Ministry of Health and Ministry for Regional Affairs, which have been supine, negligent and reckless in response to this risk, to ensure that the public is protected against asbestos-related diseases?


(1) This question is supported by a Member other than the author: Rosa D'Amato (EFDD).

Original language of question: IT 
Last updated: 11 October 2017Legal notice