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The last asbestos mine in the United States may have shut down in 2002, but as of today, asbestos has never been fully banned for import into our country. Now, despite decades of effort from consumer protection groups and public health advocates, the United States is on track to double its total asbestos imports this year.
This is largely due to the actions of the EPA, which in June proposed a Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) that opened the doorway for new asbestos uses to become approved. At The Ferraro Law Firm, our Florida mesothelioma attorneys have dedicated our careers to protecting the victims of asbestos exposure, and helping them fight for the compensation they and their families deserve. In this post, we’ll discuss why the recent increase in asbestos imports poses such a risk to citizens.
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The Risks of Increased Asbestos Imports
More than 60 countries in the world ban asbestos outright. This toxic mineral, once heavily used as a flame retardant and insulator for buildings, was discovered in the 1970’s to be the only known cause of mesothelioma, which is an incurable form of cancer. It’s estimated that more than 40,000 Americans are killed as a result of asbestos exposure each year, with hundreds of thousands more dying worldwide.
Because so many buildings and commercial applications included asbestos until the passing of the Toxic Substances Control Act, or TSCA, asbestos exposure is still a common occurrence in modern-day America. However, the instances of asbestos exposure have been steadily declining over the last few decades, as production has halted for virtually all new asbestos products, and old asbestos-insulated buildings are continually torn down or replaced with more modern buildings.
Then, in June 2018, the EPA announced that it would be proposing a Significant New Use Rule, which essentially allows asbestos usage to continue, provided that the EPA approves the new use first. Although the EPA claimed this was a groundbreaking regulatory measure, many critics had concerns the SNUR would lead to new asbestos uses becoming approved for the first time in years.
As of now, it looks as though critics’ fears were well-founded. In August alone, the U.S. imported more than 270 metric tons of asbestos – and when compared with the 341 metric tons imported during the entire year of 2017, it’s safe to say that this constitutes a new risk of asbestos exposure for millions of Americans.
Fighting for Consumers Affected by Asbestos
At The Ferraro Law Firm, we’ve seen firsthand the damage asbestos exposure has had on American workers over the years. Too many companies actively hid information about asbestos exposure, harming thousands of people with a disease that has no known cure. That’s why we’ve been fighting for families since 1985, and aggressively handling cases involving mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Now that new uses may be approved for this harmful substance, we will continue to keep fighting on behalf of our clients, and attempting to mitigate the damage caused by negligent companies.
Frequently Asked Questions: Mesothelioma & Asbestos
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a carcinogenic, naturally occurring fibrous mineral. Known for its heat resistance and durability, asbestos has historically been used in insulation, construction materials, automotive parts, and shipbuilding materials.
Why is asbestos dangerous?
Asbestos is made up of small shard-like fibers that can easily become airborne when disturbed. If inhaled or ingested, these fibers can embed within the lining of the lungs, heart, stomach, or testes where they can cause cancer to form years or decades later.
What are asbestos-related diseases?
Asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.
What causes mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately, symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until decades after exposure.
What are the different types of mesothelioma?
Three of the most common types of mesothelioma are pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, and pericardial mesothelioma.
What are common mesothelioma symptoms?
Common symptoms of mesothelioma include difficulty breathing and chest pains. Peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the stomach, may cause abdominal swelling, loss of appetite, constipation, abdominal pain, and nausea.
Do I qualify for compensation if I have mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a preventable form of cancer most commonly caused by asbestos exposure. If you were exposed to asbestos while serving in the U.S. military or while working in construction, mechanics, or a similar field, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact The Ferraro Law Firm for a free legal consultation.
What is the life expectancy for someone with mesothelioma?
There is no cure for mesothelioma. However, patients can receive treatments for mesothelioma that may extend their initial prognosis with proper treatment. Those diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma usually have a life expectancy that is greater than three years, though a large part of this depends on the stage the patient is diagnosed. The earlier the diagnosis, the longer the life expectancy and chance of long-term survival.
Do I qualify for compensation if I have mesothelioma?
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should immediately seek long-term medical treatment. After that, you should contact our firm to examine your legal rights. Since 1985, The Ferraro Law Firm has represented individuals with asbestos-related diseases and pursued fair compensation on their behalf. Our firm is one of the top five law firms in the U.S. handling mesothelioma and asbestos cases.
Contact The Ferraro Law Firm at (888) 554-2030 to explore your legal options with our knowledgeable legal team.
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