It’s no secret that asbestos exposure is extremely dangerous to human health. Yet, the toxic mineral, even though shown to be unsafe at any level, is still being used legally in certain products. Even worse, manufacturers are not obligated to label asbestos-containing products. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) thinks that no products that contain any amount of asbestos at all should be on the market, much less unlabeled.
According to a recent report by EWG, the federal Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) has still not allowed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban asbestos completely. An attempt in was made to completely ban asbestos in 1991, yet it was rejected under federal appeals.
United States Congress is now discussing and arguing two bill proposals, the Industry Bill and the Boxer-Markey Bill, that would help correct the current TSCA laws. However, EWG points out that one of these bills may not give the EPA the correct tools needed to do its job properly in regulating asbestos.
The Industry Bill
The Industry Bill is a proposal to strike down any attempts by the EPA to label any products that contain asbestos, unless it’s proven that the ingredients in a product would do substantial damage to those who use them. Although asbestos is unsafe at any level, there is a much less likely chance of someone becoming ill from the “legally acceptable” amounts of the mineral in current products.
In other words, the EPA would need to go through every single product that currently contains asbestos or other harmful products and evaluate each one individually. This is an extremely long and arduous process and the EWG indicates that it may do more harm than good to public health.
The Boxer-Markey Bill
The Boxer-Markey Bill, on the other hand, would not require that products show a significant chance of danger before the EPA is allowed to regulate and label them. In addition, the bill would allow the federal government to regulate dangerous materials by any means they see fit, which could include making manufacturers label all products that contain asbestos, regardless of how small the amount.
No Safe Level of Asbestos
It’s important to reiterate that there is no safe level of asbestos. Even though there are currently legally acceptable levels of asbestos, this does not mean that people are safe around small amounts of the toxic mineral. It simply means that people are much less likely to develop a life-threatening illness from small amounts of asbestos exposure when compared to large amounts of asbestos exposure.
Both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) have stated on numerous occasions that no amount of asbestos, regardless of how small, can be ruled as safe. In addition, the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (IJOEM) states that asbestos exposure that leads to life-threatening illness can come not only from work, but from “leisure” exposure and from other types of unidentified exposure.
Additional Information and Resources
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other illness due to asbestos exposure, you may be entitled to significant compensation. We invite you to fill out our contact form today to get free brochures from the topmesothelioma lawyers in your area. For more than 20 years, we’ve been helping families successfully connect with the best mesothelioma attorneys. With over $30 billion currently in asbestos trust funds, now is the right time to take the first step in determining what you may qualify for. For additional assistance, contact us 800-694-4856.