Transnational Dynamics Amid Poor Regulations: Taiwan's Asbestos Ban Actions and Experiences

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 Oct 17;14(10):1240. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14101240.


This article describes the history of the asbestos use regulation process in Taiwan and the associated factors leading to its total ban in 2018. Despite the long history of asbestos mining and manufacturing since the Japanese colonial period, attempts to understand the impact of asbestos on the health of the population and to control its use did not emerge until the early 1980s. We attempted to investigate the driving forces and obstructions involved in asbestos regulations by reviewing available public sources and scientific journal articles and conducting interviews with key propagators of the asbestos regulation and ban. Correlation between asbestos exposure and asbestos-related diseases has already been established; however, authorities have been unable to effectively regulate the extensive application of asbestos in various light industries that support economic growth since the 1960s. More stringent regulations on asbestos use in industries and an eventual ban were caused indirectly by appeals made by visionary scholars and healthcare professionals but also due to the subsidence of asbestos-related industries. With the elucidation of factors that affect asbestos regulation and ban, a thorough long-term healthcare plan for the neglected victims of asbestos-related diseases and upstream measures for policy change must be developed.

Keywords: Taiwan; asbestos; asbestos-related diseases; health policy.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Asbestos* / history
  • Government Regulation
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Manufacturing Industry / history
  • Manufacturing Industry / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Occupational Exposure* / history
  • Occupational Exposure* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Occupational Exposure* / prevention & control
  • Policy
  • Taiwan


  • Asbestos