Importation of harmful asbestos-containing products increased over 2000 percent in July and August of this year compared to last year. According to an analysis by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization and the Environmental Working Group, the U.S. imported 341 metric tons of asbestos-containing products in 2017. That amount is expected to at least double in 2018.
The U.S. is one of only a handful of first-world countries that continues to allow the importation of new asbestos products, with more than 60 other countries having banned them outright or significantly reduced their intake. This is in spite of decades of research conclusively proving that asbestos exposure causes irreparable harm in the form of mesothelioma, asbestosis, asbestos-related lung cancer and other conditions.
Asbestos is well-known for its fire-resistant qualities, which is why it was widely used as an insulating material on ships and in buildings in the U.S. until the 1970s. Asbestos-containing products were not banned, however, and they continue to be imported at a record pace. Newly proposed EPA regulations would likely add to the number of asbestos-containing products in the U.S. market, covering everything from concrete sewer pipes and construction materials (like roofing shingles and fireproof doors) to automobile and railroad brakes and clutches.
Asbestos fibers, when inhaled or ingested, stay in the body for decades, slowly creating the serious conditions mentioned above. If you or someone you love suffered harm because of asbestos exposure, an attorney experienced in handling asbestos and mesothelioma cases can help you seek the compensation you need and deserve.