Asbestos: Still Deadly in the U.S.

Although numerous proven studies have indicated that asbestos is a lethal mineral that’s extremely dangerous to human health, the United States still hasn’t completely banned it. A recent study indicates that people are still being exposed and still dying from the deadly mineral.

The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Action Fund researchers obtained a recent report that indicates at least 1,500 people in the U.S. die from asbestos-related diseases each year. The leading states for the most asbestos-related deaths include:

  • Texas
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • California
  • Florida

Even though asbestos-related deaths remain high, EWG indicates that the numbers in the above states, as well as other states, do not reflect the actual amount of deaths caused by asbestos. For example, there are numerous cases of lung cancer deaths and other types of fatalities in which asbestos is not listed as the source of death, even though the victims were exposed to it.

Other states have a 50%-100% higher than national average asbestos-related deaths record. These states include:

  • Maine
  • Montana
  • Pennsylvania
  • Washington
  • West Virginia

Every state in the nation, however, is at risk, until asbestos is banned permanently. In addition, a 2004 report published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine indicates that around 1.3 million American workers involved in the construction or maintenance industries are still at risk of developing asbestos-related illnesses.

Asbestos is Still Legal in the United States

Although numerous other countries have already banned the dangerous mineral completely, asbestos still remains legal in the United States. Fortunately, however, EWG states that there is a bill in place that can provide people a way to see all products that contain asbestos.

Known as the Reducing Exposure to Asbestos Database Act (READ Act), the bill aims to provide an online database that contains every product in the nation that’s created with asbestos. Under the READ Act, all companies that use asbestos in their products will be required to report it to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This also includes all asbestos manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers.

In turn, if people understand what products contain asbestos, purchases may decrease, which can help promote a total ban on it for good. Should the READ Act pass, citizens can browse all products that contain asbestos directly on the EPA website.

Why is Asbestos Still Legal?

Although the EPA and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have fought hard to ban asbestos in the United States, the organizations are met with resistance from manufacturing companies that claim they will lose business and people will lose jobs if a total ban of the mineral occurs.

In addition, supporters of the manufacturing industry and other industries that still use asbestos filed a lawsuit which challenged the laws set forth in the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA). The lawsuit claimed that banning asbestos completely would be too costly and that any asbestos alternative would pose the same risk to people.

For now, asbestos is legal as long as products contain only a small amount. Yet, numerous experts and organizations, such as OSHA and the American Cancer Society (ACS), have stated that there is no safe amount of asbestos, regardless of how small. Although people have a higher risk of developing a disease if they are exposed to higher amounts of asbestos, smaller amounts causing illnesses cannot be ruled out.

Asbestos fibers, when airborne, can easily be ingested/inhaled. Given that the fibers are tiny, colorless, and odorless, it’s impossible to know when they’ve been ingested/inhaled. Once inside the body, these tiny fibers are almost impossible to get rid of. Over time, the fibers starting irritating the lining of majors organs in the body, leading to life-threatening diseases such as malignant mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer.

Help and Resources for Asbestos Victims

If you or a loved were diagnosed asbestos-related disease, you may be eligible for a large amount of compensation. Currently, there is over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, set up for those who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness. Fill out our contact form today to get free brochures from the top mesothelioma attorneys in your area. We’ve been helping families connect to the most experienced mesothelioma lawyers for more than 20 years.

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