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Written Answers - Water Services

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 752 No. 2

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 160.  Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  if he is satisfied that public water supply pipelines which are asbestos based are non-health hazardous and that the interior insulating coating is corrosion free. [3250/12]

 189.  Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  his policy on public water pipelines which are asbestos based; and if he is satisfied that the insulation coating is adequate to withstand corrosion and is up to standard regarding posing any health hazards. [3253/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan I propose to take Questions Nos. 160 and 189 together.

Asbestos cement piping formerly used in local authority water mains was required to meet the specifications defined in Irish Standard 188 to include bitumen lining and coating. The main health risk associated with asbestos products relates to inhalation of airborne asbestos particles. The potential exposure to such risk has led to a decline in the use of asbestos materials generally. With the availability of more robust materials, asbestos cement piping is no longer used in Ireland for new public water mains or sewer pipes.

[357]The World Health Organisation’s position on asbestos in drinking water is that there is no consistent evidence that ingested asbestos is hazardous to health and that there is no need to establish a health-based guideline value for asbestos in drinking water.


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