The silent killer in buildings all over Europe

Could asbestos be even more deadly than previously thought? TAKE AWAYS

Asbestos is more lethal than previously known. New figures, recognized by EU-institutions show that 70 000 – 90 000 Europeans die of asbestos related cancer each year. To older working men, a known group of victims, are now added women, teachers, hospital personal, office workers, and all people exposed to asbestos in public building and private homes. The death rate is rising in countries which banned the use of asbestos 30-40 years ago due to demolition and renovation of asbestos that has never been removed.

Team-members in the investigation in asbestos in buildings

Edoardo Anziano (1999) is a freelance journalist and investigative reporter for IrpiMedia and Scomodo, the biggest under-25 Italian newspaper. He graduated in Philosophy at the University of Bologna. He’s now pursuing his MA in Journalism, Media and Globalisation at Aarhus University, Denmark and University of Amsterdam. He is registered as a professional journalist in Italy.  

Lorenzo Bagnoli is investigative reporter at IRPI – Investigative reporting project Italy. He is focused on transnational organized crime.

The human cost on G4S’ watch

What is the cost of security companies such as G4S? One way of calculating the harm is counting the dead and injured. Around the globe, G4S has been in the spotlight regarding its sometimes controversial involvement in conflict zones, its prison operations and its treatment of employees. Photo by Lars Schmidt / Creative CommonsAttribution 3.0

“The protest ended with a couple of people getting shot and many more injured by security guards using a baton. Some were hit in the head, some in the hand.

No knowledge, no data, no EU-coordination

Only 30-40 percent of the farm workers were protection equipment in France. There is no data from other countries. Photo: © Ed Alcock/MYOP for Le Monde. Swedish trade unionists are appalled to learn that Parkinson’s disease has a strong linkage to working with pesticides. But there is no data to shed light on the situation in Sweden.

Team-members in asbestos-investigation

Edoardo Anziano (1999) is a freelance journalist and investigative reporter for IrpiMedia and Scomodo, the biggest under-25 Italian newspaper. He graduated in Philosophy at the University of Bologna. He’s now pursuing his MA in Journalism, Media and Globalisation at Aarhus University, Denmark and University of Amsterdam. He is registered as a professional journalist in Italy.  

Lorenzo Bagnoli is investigative reporter at IRPI – Investigative reporting project Italy. He is focused on transnational organized crime.

Probing for a pesticides link to Parkinson’s disease

Only 30-40 percent of the farm workers were protection equipment in France. There is no data from other countries. Photo: © Ed Alcock/MYOP for Le Monde. Edited and first published by EUobserver on 17th of February 2022. Jean-Baptiste Lefoulon, a French farmer in Normandy, stands in boxer shorts in the middle of his farmyard.

Pesticide victims left to fend for themselves

Originally published by Le Monde 16th of February. Suffering from Parkinson’s disease or cancer, European farm workers experience inadequate recognition and failing compensation schemes. Cropper and cattle breeder Luis Grasa, suffering from Parkinson’s disease most likely due to continuous exposure to agrochemicals, observes his cereal fields in Cerésola (Spain). Photo: Marcos Garcia Rey. Science has shown that pesticides exposure is linked to serious and deadly illnesses for farm workers, including Parkinson’s disease and blood cancers.Victims across Europe are struggling for recognition and compensation, as occupational disease remains a blind spot for authorities. As of now, only France and Italy officially recognize Parkinson’s disease to be linked to farm work.

Poisoned farmers: exposing the myth of pesticide protection

Originally published by Le Monde 16th of February. Farm workers are not protected from pesticides.Their exposure has been linked to serious and deadly illnesses, including Parkinson’s disease and blood cancers.Recommended equipment, expensive, untested and rarely worn as it is, does not provide effective protection.Without this presumed protection, dangerous pesticides would be banned.French whistleblowing scientists have raised the alarm for more than a decade. They remain unheard. 

Scientists preparing Jean-Baptiste Lefoulon before measuring his exposure to pesticides in the field. Photo: © Ed Alcock/MYOP for Le Monde. Jean-Baptiste Lefoulon is standing in boxer shorts in the middle of his farmyard.

Billions of euros, millions of faulty masks, and no answers

Romanian firefighters unload a first batch of 30 ventilators from rescEU – the common European reserve of medical equipment set up earlier this year to help countries affected by the coronavirus pandemic, at the Hospital in Bulovka. EC – Audiovisual Service, photographer  Michal Cizek

If truth is the first casualty in war, transparency was lost first in the fight against Covid-19, closely followed by lack of control and oversight. In the very first contract for protection equipment paid for by the EU budget, the Commission in April signed a contract with the German company Asanus Medizintechnic GmbH worth 29 million euros for 10 million masks. When the first batch arrived in May tests in four member states showed the masks did not comply with the contract. They were non-homogenous, only partially passed the filter test, and fell below the norm for a fit-for-purpose test.

Unclear exit from G4S by two Danish business people

In 2004, two Danish businessmen, Lars Nørby Johansen and Jørgen Philip-Sørensen, were the main forces behind the establishment of the world’s largest security company, G4S. Just a year later, both disappeared from the company in a vague way. G4S still praises itself for its Danish roots, but around the world, the giant is nowadays better known for mismanagement – murder, torture, surveillance and other human rights violations, which are traditionally not associated with Denmark, the Danish business community, or the region Scandinavia. G4S’s shabby human rights record recently led to the divestment of crucial Danish and Norwegian G4S shareholders. G4S is still listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange, which begs the question: how Danish is G4S really?