Many people believed that the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act signed into law in 2016 would improve environmental conditions by shoring up the Toxic Substances Control Act. The TSCA left much to be desired when it came to protecting human health from risks such as asbestos exposure here in Ohio and elsewhere. It was hoped that the 2016 law would do more since it allowed the Environmental Protection Agency to permanently ban certain products such as asbestos from use in the country.
Some sources believe that will not happen now that the EPA’s new administrator, Scott Pruitt, appears to be scaling back bans on asbestos and other chemicals. In fact, Pruitt may not block companies from using asbestos in new ways. The EPA may also no longer pay attention to exposures that occur from uses of the substance that were previously abandoned. All of this may occur even as the agency received more authority to ban these substances and chemicals.
Under this new leadership, it is possible that the EPA could miss vital ways in which certain segments of the population may be exposed to this toxic substance. This could leave certain people, including children, vulnerable to exposure via air, water or other contact. Current estimates indicate that as many as 15,000 people die due to asbestos-related illnesses such as asbestosis or mesothelioma in this country each year.
When considering the overall population of the country, it may not seem like a lot of people, but for those who lost loved ones, the number is far too high. As long as asbestos exposure continues to be a real threat here in Ohio and across the country, people will be forced to live their lives wondering if they are ticking time bombs since it could take decades for symptoms to appear and turn into a full blown illness. They and their families may have numerous questions regarding receiving restitution for the medical expenses, lost wages and other damages that could arise from exposure to a substance known to kill.