California is leading the way in its fight to help protect the public from asbestos. One way the Golden State is fighting back is by calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to do a better job at monitoring asbestos. California Attorney General Rob Bonta recently announced that it won a fight with the EPA and the agency has now agreed to start collecting data and getting better reporting for asbestos use.
Attorney General Bonta called out the EPA, stating the agency’s failure to regulate asbestos in the country was an “environmental injustice and public health tragedy.” Tragedy indeed, as the Attorney General notes asbestos-related deaths from mesothelioma, fibrosis and other lung disorders and diseases cause by asbestos take at least 15,000 lives every single year.
California is not alone in this fight. Although it is leading the way, other states are joining. Representatives from Massachusetts, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington joined the California Attorney General in this push for greater accountability.
Why is this so important?
Even a small amount of asbestos exposure can lead to serious medical issues. Once exposed, this small toxic substance remains within the lungs or other organs and increases the risk of the person developing asbestos-related illnesses like mesothelioma and other cancers.
This new rule will help to better ensure the government keeps track of asbestos products within the country and will hopefully lead to an overall reduction in the risk of exposure to the product.
What if I was exposed to asbestos?
Those who become ill due to exposure to asbestos may be able to hold the responsible party accountable through a civil lawsuit. This could include the manufacturer or developer of the product, the military or other employers. This can result in compensation to help cover the expenses that result from exposure, such as medical costs and lost wages.