Should Asbestos be Banned in the United States?

by | Apr 8, 2015 | Asbestos |

It might come as a surprise to learn that all asbestos use is not yet banned in America. In fact, the United States still imports asbestos fibers for the production of a large range of products, including automobile parts and construction materials.

Asbestos use has never been a secret in America, but the dangers of the substance have been hidden from workers for decades. In the 1970s, the dangers of asbestos exposure were becoming clear to medical professionals, and bans on different products were enacted to keep workers safe. The substance was declared a human carcinogen in 1987 by the National Toxicology Program.

In 1989, the Environmental Protection Agency tried to ban asbestos and most of its major uses, but this effort was overturned in 1991. Prior to this 1989 effort, the EPA worked to ban different uses of the substance four times. While these bans and regulations did not completely stop our country from using the substance, use of asbestos declined as a result.

Asbestos is known to cause an array of different diseases within exposure victims. Mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer are just three illnesses reported in workers and their families to this day. It is widely agreed across the country that no amount of asbestos exposure is safe – so why is asbestos use still legal in America?

Brayton Purcell LLP believes that the banning of asbestos in the United States is the only way to eliminate these diseases that take the lives of thousands of innocent individuals each year. A recent bill introduced to congress makes an effort to ban the substance completely, an effort we completely support.

Do you think asbestos should be banned in America? Please share your thoughts in a comment below.

Sources:1, 2, 3, 4