To all USAR Team Leaders and Representatives,
This message from the INSARAG Secretariat on behalf of NED-01 USAR.NL is to notify you of reported asbestos contamination found on the equipment of the NED-01 team.
NED-01, in their standard post-mission procedures during and after their deployment to Antakaya, Turkiye, have tested and sampled their equipment, clothing, and tents for asbestos contamination. The samples showed moderate decontamination with actinolite. On some samples, slight decontamination with chrysotile was also detected.
NED-01 will decontaminate the equipment involved under professional supervision. They will also notify the current users of their base of operations, which was handed over to Oxfam-Novib for the broader humanitarian relief effort. NED-01 was, due to the lack of raw water, not able to fully fulfil its regular decontamination procedures in the first days of its mission. Hence the contamination was able to spread further than normal.
As it cannot be ruled out that other teams have experienced the same.
The INSARAG Secretariat urges all teams to thoroughly conduct post-mission procedures and consider testing for asbestos contamination if this is not already part of your standard protocol. Decontamination should be carried out under professional supervision.