On 4 October 2022, the EPA announced a ban on importation of asbestos-containing products, to take effect on 1 May 2023 in order to strengthen domestic controls on such items.
Asbestos fiber is extremely minute and insolvent in water. Acute exposure irritates the eyes and skin and causes coughing, while chronic inhalation results in accumulation of asbestos in pulmonary alveoli from which it cannot be removed. Ultimately, it may lead to asbestosis and cancers such as lung cancer. Therefore, it is a global trend to gradually limit and ban asbestos use.
Use of asbestos has been gradually limited since it was first listed as Class 2 toxic chemical substance on 1 May 1989, and from 1 January 2018, it has been banned except for the purpose of research, tests, and education. Following the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the EPA announced that imports of asbestos-containing products are to be banned from 1 May 2023 so as to further limit such items from coming into the country, as well as tighten overall controls within Taiwan. Violators will be fined from NT$60,000 to $300,000.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, October 2022
- Ministry of Environment