Basseterre, St. Kitts (October 24, 2022) -- "Asbestos" has been classified as a first-class carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO). Asbestos-related deaths and diseases are preventable. The best solution to eliminate asbestos-related diseases is to implement a national policy for total asbestos ban. Iceland was the first country to enforce a national total asbestos ban policy in 1983. In the following 40 years, and as of 2022, 68 countries have implemented total ban policies.
In a September 25 Environment piece in Globalization and Health, international researchers—including Denrick Jeffers from the Environmental Health Department of St. Kitts and Nevis and China Medical University, Taiwan, Dr. Ro-Ting Lin from China Medical University, Dr. Yu-Chi Liao from Asia University, Taiwan, and Prof. Ken Takahashi from the University of Western Australia—conducted an online survey via WhatsApp messenger and Facebook, with over one thousand participants from St. Kitts and Nevis. Data from the online survey was collected for 80 days, dating from its launch date on April 26, 2021, to its closing date on July 15, 2021. Ten questions were used to assess participants’ asbestos knowledge and awareness level.
This research found that more than 70% of the participants considered that the general public should be concerned about asbestos and that it was the government’s duty to prevent it from exposure to the general public. However, only 54% of the study participants thought that the best option to prevent asbestos exposure was for the government to implement a total ban on the use and importation of asbestos-containing materials.
The findings of this research can be used to develop campaigns to improve asbestos knowledge tailored for sociodemographic groups with lower levels of awareness in St. Kitts and Nevis and the wider Caribbean countries. This research is the largest nationwide survey of asbestos awareness that has ever been conducted in the Caribbean region, to date. This research was published in Globalization and Health on September 24, 2022.
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