In Washington, Oregon, throughout the United States and all over the globe, concerns about asbestos and the dangers it presents for illness, disease and death are still sparking calls to action. The subject can be confusing because the risks are known but many industries still rely on the substance.
All those who work with the substance should keep current on how the federal government is handling asbestos and what regulations are in place. In addition, being cognizant of the factors that lead to asbestos-related illness can be essential.
U.S. government may implement new asbestos restrictions
The White House has signaled that it plans to ban one type of asbestos. This would be the first time in more than three decades that such a step was taken by the federal government.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is targeting chrysotile asbestos. This has been connected to people becoming ill after exposure. Importation of asbestos has been reduced to this type of asbestos. Various industries use it for auto parts, cement, textiles and roofing materials. Other forms can still be imported provided the EPA is told beforehand. It has the option of denying the request to import products that have asbestos fibers.
There is ongoing debate about asbestos. Some legislators want to severely limit the use of asbestos while others express greater flexibility for its import and use.
The United States no longer produces asbestos and has not done so for two decades.
Asbestos-related illnesses can be costly in myriad ways
Many people who once worked in industries in which asbestos was widely used were completely unaware of the jeopardy they were in. For example, if a person was in the auto manufacturing industry for an extended period in the 1960s and ‘70s, they could have had a daily dose of asbestos that eventually led to serious health problems. Many people in Washington and Oregon worked in shipyards where they were regularly exposed to asbestos.
For those who were already diagnosed with asbestosis (which is non-malignant) or mesothelioma, the long-term ramifications to their health can vary. If the diagnosis is mesothelioma, there is a three-year statute of limitations to filing a claim against those responsible for the asbestos exposure.
Blue collar workers who simply went to their job, did their duties and went home could have been getting ill without even knowing it. As they get older and face health challenges because of it, it is vital to be aware of the options. They or their concerned family members should contact experienced professionals to know if asbestos was at the root of the health issues they are experiencing and what steps they can take in the aftermath.