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Could asbestos finally be banned in the U.S.?

Asbestos is an extremely dangerous chemical, responsible for over 107,000 deaths and over 1,523,000 disabilities every year. The U.S. made a big step in the right direction in 2016 to regulate this dangerous chemical. Congress passed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act into law earlier this year. The act empowers the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban the use of asbestos in the U.S.

Why is asbestos still unregulated?

Asbestos was lined up to be banned over twenty years ago by the EPA. They proposed a halt on all manufacture and distribution of the chemical in the nation. This ban was contested by asbestos manufacturers who went to court to overturn it, stating that the chemical could not directly be linked to disease. In return the U.S. Court of Appeals threw out the EPA's rule. Due to the court ruling the EPA was unable to propose another ban on the substance until 2016.

Now advocates are pushing to make asbestos a top priority for the EPA to regulate. Efforts are being put into overdrive as President-elect Donald Trump prepares for office. President-elect Trump has shown intentions to get rid of the EPA all together. With an unclear future, the EPA may not have the power to ban asbestos if they wait too long.

Victims of asbestos know the danger all too well

Victims of asbestos-related illnesses know firsthand the true danger of the carcinogen. The chemical does not produce symptoms of related disease until decades after exposure. Exposure to asbestos can eventually lead to:

  • Mesothelioma: a cancer affecting internal organs
  • Asbestosis: asbestos fibers cause lungs to become inflamed and leads to severe scarring
  • Lung cancer: cancer in the lungs which can also spread to other parts of the body

Exposure could only be for a short time, leading to disease years down the road. The warning signs for each of these illnesses can overlap. Symptoms can include:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Coughing
  • Swelling in the face and neck
  • High blood pressure
  • Shortness of breath

If you worked in a high risk asbestos exposure environment in the past and are exhibiting these symptoms then check with a doctor right away. You might have developed a related illness due to the exposure. Asbestos injury victims can seek compensation with the help of an experienced attorney.

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D'Amico Law Offices, L.L.C.
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Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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