Kozani tackles asbestos

Authorities in Kozani, northern Greece, have launched a campaign to curb pollution from a disused asbestos mine which they believe poses a health risk to the local population. More than -10 million have been earmarked for environmental restoration, including soil treatment, the planting of trees, cementing over large areas of pure asbestos and burying more asbestos in specially designed areas built to safely contain the carcinogenic mineral. «In cooperation with the government, the region can be restored and returned to the local community,» Kozani Prefect Giorgos Dakis told Kathimerini. Dakis said the project would be undertaken by trained staff using all the necessary protective measures. According to local environmental experts, the air blows asbestos particles into local communities. Over the years, these contribute to lung problems and can even cause cancer, experts say. The particles are also polluting the local Aliakmon River, which gets into the water via rainfall and local streams, according to environmentalists.