Mandatory car wash after asbestos contamination
Can car owners be forced to go to the carwash? Yes they can. At least so in the Netherlands, where a major local fire caused a cloud of toxic asbestos. Not only were houses and gardens contaminated, also cars had to be thoroughly cleaned.
The fire happened in Zevenbergen, a village in the southwest of the Netherlands. Residents who wanted to leave the town by car first had to go by a makeshift car wash.
All car owners were required to have the car hosed down by a specialized cleaning company at the impromtu car wash at the outskirts of the villlage. This led to long lines. After one had his or her car ‘disinfected’ a green card was given in order to drive out of town.
A major fire had broken out in a number of sheds in Bosselaar Zuid last Thursday evening. This released asbestos from the corrugated iron roofs. The municipality initially urgently advised residents not to go outside.
Later in the weekend, the advice to stay inside was withdrawn. The municipality admitted that the measures were far-reaching, but according to them there was no alternative to prevent the asbestos from spreading further.
The most common diseases associated with chronic asbestos exposure are asbestosis (scarring of the lungs due to asbestos inhalation) and mesothelioma (cancer associated with asbestos). Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer and often leads to a life expectancy of less than 12 months after diagnosis.