The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it would reduce the size of its review of several dangerous chemicals and substances, possibly excluding asbestos from the federal review which could effectively ban the cancer causing material. The review process, mandated by Congress, began under the previous presidential administration and would have included examining the use of asbestos in millions of tons of materials already in the country.
Under the revised review, the EPA would limit its examination to toxic materials imported into the country, which does also include hundreds of thousands of tons of asbestos. No asbestos has been mined domestically since 2002, but is still used in a variety of products including brake parts and other industrial applications. Since 1999, more than 45,000 individuals were diagnosed with asbestos related cancers, including mesothelioma.
The EPA review will not consider whether or not existing materials containing asbestos need revised handling and disposal rules to prevent new cases of mesothelioma cancer from occurring, particularly those amongst first responders like firemen and police. Currently, only materials containing more than 1% of asbestos are subject to federal regulations, leaving thousands of Americans at risk of exposure for new and old products.
A recent article by The Chicago Tribune on the subject cited a 2015 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health which analyzed 30,000 cancer-related deaths of firefighters in Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco. That report concluded that firefighters developed mesothelioma at a rate twice as high as the national average, possibly from exposure to flame retardant chemicals and materials like asbestos.
Millions Still at Risk of Serious Health Problems from Asbestos Exposure
Without rethinking our handling and disposal of cancer causing materials, millions of Americans will continue to be at risk of developing life-threatening conditions like mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer. Mesothelioma has no cure and can take decades to show symptoms, a reality that severely limits the treatment options for many patients fighting the cruel disease.
Although nothing can undo a mesothelioma diagnosis, victims can hold asbestos manufacturers responsible for putting their deadly product into the stream of commerce knowing full well about the risks to public safety. While federal laws have only targeted asbestos since the mid-1970's, companies using the product were well aware of the health risks to people coming in contact with the mineral.
By filing an asbestos cancer lawsuit, victims can recover vital compensation to pay for medical treatment and lost wages incurred while fighting the disease. Common professions affected by asbestos exposure include first responders, pipefitters, welders, carpenters, and military servicemembers serving aboard Navy ships or shipyards.
Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.