The United States has been a heavy user of asbestos for more than 100 years. This country used to produce a great deal of asbestos, as well as importing it from countries, including Canada, Russia, China and Brazil. Today, domestic production of asbestos is no longer occurring. However, importation of asbestos continues.
A U.S. Geological Survey report published in 2012 indicated that the sources of imported asbestos in this country between 2007 and 2010 were: Canada, 92 percent; Zimbabwe, 6 percent and other, 2 percent.
A similar report published in 2013 indicated that asbestos use and importation to the U.S. had declined by 10 percent in one year. The new percentage breakdown of sources of imported asbestos had shifted somewhat, as follows: Canada, 87 percent; Zimbabwe, 5 percent; and other, 8 percent in one year.
Brazil has become the sole source of high-valued chrysotile asbestos to the United States. This product used to come from Canada, but Canada no longer produces it. Although trends of asbestos production, use and importation to the U.S. change over time, the U.S. Geological Survey predicts that demand will remain steady in the near future.
Since awareness of the link between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma has become widespread, more than 50 countries have banned the use of, and importation of, this hazardous material. The United States is not among them. Asbestos use in this country remains legal.
Many industries that once used asbestos have been replacing it with other, less toxic substitutes. However, asbestos is legal and imports continue. People who work around or with asbestos will continue to be at risk of illness in the future.
Industries that use asbestos may have implemented policies for safe use of it. However, health experts continue to reiterate that no amount of exposure can be considered safe. Anyone who works around asbestos or with products made of or covered with asbestos is at risk of developing mesothelioma, sometimes years later. This is because asbestos fibers, once they are lodged in the lining of the lungs (for example), are generally in there permanently. Pleural plaques and pleural thickening over the years may be precursors to cancer down the road.
If you have developed asbestosis or mesothelioma, talk to a lawyer about your opportunities for compensation. Based in North Carolina, we represent clients nationwide. Call 800-849-5291 or contact Wallace & Graham, P.A.</span online for a free case evaluation. Our skilled and caring mesothelioma attorneys will explain your rights and fight for you.