Asbestos is a white, flaky mineral used for its heat resistant properties in various industries including construction, pipe fitting, shipbuilding, and as an insulation. While its physical properties and low cost make it ideal for use in many industrial applications, the mineral is extremely toxic and has a causal link to developing mesothelioma.
Asbestos companies and manufacturers using the material knew about the dangers associates with it but continued using it for years. As a result, hundreds of thousands of victims developed mesothelioma, an extremely rare and deadly form of cancer commonly affecting tissue linings around the lungs and abdomen.
Despite all this, asbestos can still be used in certain products today, like vinyl flooring and cement shingles, though it is heavily regulated. That may soon change as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced adding asbestos to a list of 10 toxic chemicals the agency looks to ban in 2017.
Chemical Regulations Overhauled in 2016
Thanks to changes in the nation’s chemical regulations in 2016, the EPA can now nominate up to 10 toxic chemicals per year for review that can be banned should the agency find they pose a great enough threat to the public good. This first year of reviews is expected to take up to three years to complete, after which the EPA may formally recommend completely eliminating asbestos from use in any commercial products.
“Under the new law, we now have the power to require safety reviews of all chemicals in the marketplace,” said Jim Jones, assistant administrator of the of Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “We can ensure the public that we will deliver on the promise to better protect public health and the environment.”
The move is an important step toward eliminating any future exposure to asbestos and hopefully reducing cases of mesothelioma. Even today, innocent people face exposure during renovations of office buildings, apartment complexes, and even our schools.
Often times, negligent businesses do not follow state and federal asbestos laws by hiring unlicensed contractors or disposing of the material in an unsafe way. When this happens, victims can hold wrongdoers accountable by filing mesothelioma cancer lawsuits to recover for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Furthermore, surviving family members can file their own claims on behalf of deceased loved ones that once provided the financial and emotional services needed to survive and live with dignity. Due to strict time limits for filing mesothelioma cancer lawsuits, claimants are urged to contact an experienced nationwide mesothelioma lawyer about their situation and begin the claims processes before statutes of limitations run out.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.
Do Companies Still Use Asbestos?