In a recent blog post, we wrote about the troubling fact that asbestos and asbestos-containing products are not completely banned in the United States, even though the substance is banned in 60 other countries. That post can be read here.
Efforts to ban the substance have yet to be fully successful. In 2007, hopes were high that a proposed bill banning asbestos would be passed. Unfortunately, the language of the bill was changed before it was passed, changing it from banning asbestos completely to banning only materials that contain more than 1 percent of the fiber. So what’s next for efforts to ban asbestos?
Political changes in the coming year mean that new people will take over roles that previously were occupied by people have been involved in asbestos discussions for years and had reportedly been making some progress.
Those involved in these discussions, as well as numerous victims of asbestos-related illnesses, are very worried that any progress that has been made to ban asbestos will be put on hold indefinitely as a result of the changes in roles.
What this means for people in North Carolina and elsewhere in the U.S. is that there continues to be a risk of exposure to old and new products that contain asbestos.
As disappointing as it is that the product is still permitted in the U.S., those who have been exposed to asbestos should know that they still have rights to hold accountable the parties that violate existing laws and strict removal precautions. This could include product manufacturers, property owners and others who fail to handle asbestos properly or adequately warn consumers about the presence of asbestos.
While proposed measures to completely ban asbestos struggle to gain traction, victims and their families should know that they still have options to seek accountability and compensation by taking legal action.
Source: SFGate, “Asbestos victim wages resolute battle to ban deadly substance,” David McCumber, Jan. 4, 2015