Asbestos is a slow killer, affecting victims decades after exposure. Asbestos causes 107,000 deaths and more than 1,523,000 disabilities each year around the world. The chemical poses a serious threat to many unsuspecting Americans. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finally gotten a step ahead in its fight to ban the chemical.
Under the new Lautenberg Act, asbestos will be one of the top priority chemicals to be evaluated and regulated. The enactment of the Lautenberg Act came at a crucial time because President-elect Trump intends to scale back the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Furthermore Trump has made statements in support for furthering the use of asbestos rather than a ban.
In a fight against the clock the EPA has set deadlines for asbestos regulation. By including asbestos in the EPA’s top ten list they will be able to take early action, creating a fast track to a three to five year deadline for regulation. The regulations will be enforced by law and not easily changed.
The ban on asbestos has been decades in the making
The battle to ban asbestos has been going on for decades. Over 20 years ago the EPA made moves to halt all manufacturing and distribution of asbestos in the U.S. The proposal was met with strong opposition from manufacturers who overturned the rule in court. The U.S. Court of Appeals denied the EPA’s ban and made a new ban proposal unavailable until 2016.
In the meantime the EPA has spent the last decade researching the need for asbestos regulation. Over the course of 100 studies and reflection from the public, the EPA has made a final determination that the chemical is dangerous at any level of exposure.
The danger of asbestos can be seen in victims
People who have worked in high risk asbestos environments begin exhibiting symptoms of related illnesses over time. Some symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
These warning signs can indicate that victims are developing asbestosis or mesothelioma. The symptoms can easily be disguised as a cold or a different lung-related disease. If you are experiencing these symptoms after working in carpeting, painting, mechanics, pipefitting, engineering or other related fields, then you may be suffering from an asbestos-related illness. The effects are serious and you should speak with both a physician and an attorney right away.