Asbestos Imports to U.S. Double in 2018
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.
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.
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos, you could be entitled to compensation for your catastrophic injuries. Contact us today at (888) 554-2030 for a free consultation.