The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed the Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) to address harmful materials and their use in the United States. The new guidelines require notice to be given to the EPA before harmful substances, like asbestos, are used, but does not prevent them from being used.
Due to a loophole in SNUR, products containing asbestos will be allowed to be used without much interference from any government agency. The EPA will also no longer include the effects or presence of the harmful material in the air, ground, or water in their risk assessment.
As a result of this loophole that ignores the dangers of using asbestos, the United States is seeing is seeing an uptick in asbestos imports. The US imported 272 metric tons of asbestos in August alone. Imports for 2018 have already reached more than 550 tons, which is almost twice the amount imported in 2017.
Why Asbestos in Dangerous
Asbestos is a fibrous mineral used due to its strength heat resistance. It has been often used in textile products, automotive parts, home and commercial buildings, naval ships. Asbestos can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, among other cancers if inhaled or ingested.
Anyone can be exposed to asbestos. People who live or work near sites containing asbestos may be exposed to airborne particles. Asbestos was also used in many consumer products such as hairdryers. Family members may be exposed to asbestos fibers on the clothes of workers who work with or around asbestos products.
What You Can Do
· Contact your congressperson-Ask for them to pass legislation to ban asbestos now. You can find out how to contact your congressperson here.
· Sign a global petition-You can find a list of open petitions from the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization here.
· Contact one of our lawyers-If asbestos exposure has affected you and you are suffering from mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease, contact our team of lawyers at 800-598-0314 to get the answers you need. While we have offices based in Northern California, Southern California and Oregon, our legal practice spans the entire nation.