It appears that many environmental regulations enacted in the last decade or so are being rolled back by the current administration. Some sources say that this will increase the amount of harmful pollution that ordinary people, such as residents here in Ohio, could be exposed to as a result. It was hoped that the instances of asbestos exposure were decreasing significantly, but that could change.
The U.S. International Trade Commission reports that in July 13 metric tons of asbestos were imported. That number increased to 272 metric tons in August. The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization says that is a 2,000 percent increase in just one month. The use of this toxic substance had been on a decline since the 1980s due to its carcinogenic properties, but that may be changing.
When the Toxic Substances Control Act was revamped in 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency was given the power to restrict and ban substances deemed dangerous to humans and the environment. Asbestos was at the top of a list of 10 that the EPA was to assess. Some sources do not think that will happen now that certain regulations are being relaxed. This could account for the sudden and substantial increase in the import of this toxic substance.
Research indicates that here in the United States, approximately 15,000 people a year die from diseases caused by asbestos exposure. It is possible that some of those people live here in Ohio. Regardless of whether the exposure occurred due to working conditions or came from some other source, victims and their families may be able to seek financial restitution that could help with the medical and other care needed.