Is Asbestos Legal?
Although asbestos remains banned, various legislative proposals that are incremental have been tossed around Congress. One of these proposed legislations, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act added asbestos to EPA’s list of priority chemicals to be evaluated for risk and review.
Property owners are also liable for asbestos-related injuries, as are mining companies. State laws differ however, generally property owners are required to keep their buildings safe and notify workers of any dangers that could be present.
Asbestos can be described as a variety of naturally occurring minerals. It was once used in construction as it was fire-resistant as well as chemical corrosion resistant and insulation. However, asbestos lawyer inhaling asbestos fibres can cause serious health problems, including mesothelioma, cancer of the lung and asbestosis. After exposure, symptoms could appear 15-30 years later. Even in the present, asbestos can be present in more than 3,000 different products. A qualified inspector should inspect your home or work place if you suspect that it might contain asbestos. A professional can advise you on what you should do when asbestos is found in your workplace or at home and can work with a contractor when needed.
It is possible to make an asbestos lawsuit against a manufacturer of asbestos-containing products. It isn’t always easy to prove that a defendant’s negligence is the cause. In some instances, the victims may pursue damages based on a theory of strict liability. This type of claim doesn’t require the four elements of negligence to be proved however, instead it relies on the fact that a product was a risk in itself.
An asbestos lawyer can provide a clear explanation of strict liability, negligence, and the various types of negligence and inform whether this theory applies in your situation. The law also requires employers to provide secure working conditions and safety training for employees. This obligation could be extended to property owners who employ asbestos, if they are aware third-party employees will use those structures.
Many asbestos producers avoided the risk of liability by filing for bankruptcy protection. Companies that do this are required to pay « bankruptcy funds » that pay injured victims pennies on the dollars of their past losses. This system has been criticized due to its lack of transparency and the fact that it doesn’t provide workers with future compensation.
Congress considered but failed to pass legislation that would have established a $140 billion trust fund for asbestos to be used in lieu of litigation. The bill would have made use of the funds of bankruptcy trusts and insurance companies for compensation. However, it did not get the support of victim advocates and corporations.
Is Asbestos Banned in the U.S.?
Many Americans may have thought asbestos was banned since it’s no longer a commonly used building material. The United States is one the few industrialized countries that do not ban asbestos despite its cancer-causing properties. Our lawyers and the rest of the world’s anti-asbestos campaign continue to work daily on this issue.
In 1989, the EPA issued a regulation that prohibits the importation, production, and processing of asbestos-containing products. Chemical industry filed a lawsuit, and the court overturned the majority of the ban. Asbestos is still used in a few manufacturing processes. It is legal for companies to import the material and purchase it from mining operations.
In 2016 Congress updated the Toxic Substances Control Act and gave the EPA more authority to regulate hazardous chemicals. Asbestos has been added the list of substances that require a risk assessment. The EPA made another significant step toward a ban in 2019 when it issued a final rule that strengthens the agency’s capacity to stop asbestos-containing products from resurfacing on the market.
Trade groups are trying to block the EPA from bans on asbestos. They argue that the ban on asbestos will affect the supply of chlorine in the country and argue that there are safer options than asbestos. They have hired experts and consultants to help to make their case and are now turning to lawmakers with ties to the asbestos lawyer industry.
Our firm has been fighting this fight for more than 15 year. We are proud to be alongside our global partners in the International Ban Asbestos Secretariat, and we will continue to do so until the EPA bans this dangerous and deadly chemical in the United States. This is an important step towards ensuring that there is no longer a chance for Americans suffer the same fate as millions of men women and children who were diagnosed with mesothelioma.
How to tell if you Are Suffering from Asbestos
Asbestos is made up of a collection of minerals that occur naturally and are laid out into long, thin fibers. These materials are regarded as being tough, flexible and resistant to fire and chemicals. These qualities made them suitable in a number of industrial items, including insulation.
Asbestos is utilized in many different types of building and household products. Vinyl floor tiles boiler and pipe insulation in commercial and residential construction, and fake fireplace embers are just a few examples. Asbestos is also found in ceiling tiles or shingles, insulation for pipes, furnaces and other common building materials.
When asbestos is disturbed it releases harmful fibers into the air. If inhaled, the microscopic fibers could enter the lungs and cause severe lung diseases like mesothelioma and asbestosis. These diseases have a lengthy period of time before they manifest, and the victims may not notice symptoms until 20 to 50 years after exposure.
Many people worry that they have asbestos in their homes. Most of the time asbestos in good condition will not release fibres unless they are disturbed. Homeowners must inspect the material for tears, abrasions or water damage. If the material is damaged or you are planning to remodel your home which could impact it, you should check with an asbestos abatement specialist to conduct an additional examination.
If asbestos claim is in good shape, there is no need to get rid of it. See your doctor if are concerned about your health. They can perform a variety of tests to see whether you’re suffering from symptoms linked to asbestos exposure.
Private employers are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to protect their employees from asbestos exposure. In addition the state laws oblige public employees to have the same protections. If you work in a public place in which you are exposed to asbestos, your employer should provide details on how to reach an asbestos abatement contractor. You should also call an environmental inspector to examine your home. These professionals can test your home and conduct a thorough visual inspection.
How to Get Asbestos Out
Asbestos removal is safe when you take the proper precautions. Asbestos removal should only be performed by professionals who are certified and trained in the proper handling of the material. If a homeowner decides to remove asbestos from their home, they must adhere to the federal and state regulations for the manner in which they do it. This includes covering and removing all waste from the project. Improper handling and disposal asbestos can put workers and the general public at risk of developing asbestos-related illnesses like mesothelioma cancer or lung disease. This is why strict rules are in place to stop this from occurring.
If asbestos is in good shape and isn’t affected, it will not cause health risks. However, it is highly recommended that you have any ACM that could be affected through demolition or renovations examined by an asbestos professional before beginning any work. This will enable the professional to determine whether the material requires to be removed prior to commencing any work and will also ensure that it is properly handled, packaged and labeled before being transported and disposed of in accordance with government regulations.
It is illegal for anyone to work on asbestos without a valid license and those who break these rules face large fines. If you suspect that asbestos has not been properly removed from your property, call your local or state environmental quality department or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
During the removal of asbestos, the material should be kept moist at all times to reduce the release of airborne fibers. Spraying the asbestos prior to removing it with a water/detergent spray will help achieve this. After the asbestos is removed, it must be placed in thick plastic bags or tarps that are double-wrapped with tape. This material must be clearly labeled as asbestos waste and removed in an enclosed vehicle that is leak-proof.
In addition small areas of asbestos that are in good condition can be covered with commercial products that are designed to make holes or seal the damage. These are available at stores which specialize in asbestos materials and safety products. For more information about how to cover and dispose of asbestos read How to Remove Asbestos.