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Charles Amar Discusses Hazardous Construction Materials in Cambodia

On 27 September 2021, Charles Amar (DFDL Cambodia Head of Real Estate and Construction Practice) participated in EuroCham Cambodia’s Real Estate September final session on “The Impacts of Hazardous Construction Materials” in association with Union Aid Abroad APHEDA. Charles moderated the panel discussion which followed after two insightful presentations. The first presentation was delivered by Phillip Hazelton (Manager, APHEDA’s Eliminating Asbestos Related Diseases Program) on asbestos and why it should be banned in Cambodia (a hazardous building substance that is extremely dangerous, poses serious health risks and which remains widely used in Cambodia) while the second was given by Chhay Phalroth (Deputy Director, CCF Laboratory ). On the CCF Laboratory, this is a public laboratory operating under the Ministry of Commerce, where companies can test materials to identify whether they contain asbestos and/or secure certification that their products are asbestos-free. Charles led the panel discussion which gave valuable insights to the attendees on how to best manage their construction projects to avoid dealing with asbestos contamination and other hazardous materials. Michael Freeman (Vice President Contracting, Comin Asia) also participated in this panel discussion.

Charles has since been quoted in a Khmer Times article: “Impacts of hazardous materials in construction”. In this article, Charles shares his experience and expertise regarding bad quality materials in the French construction industry and lessons to be learned by relevant participants in Cambodia: “Using hazardous materials such as asbestos could have strong impacts for the health of construction workers and even building occupiers after the construction is completed. For example, in France, between 10 and 20 percent of total lung cancer victims are due to asbestos, hence the reason it has been banned in France since 1997 and in Europe since 1999. There are many other hazardous materials depending on the quantity and the way of conservation. Asbestos is the most well-known and deadly but another contender would be lead, which is used in a lot of paint.”

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