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Does the government protect you from known carcinogens?

That asbestos causes mesothelioma is an international concern. Yet, as an American who could suffer from mesothelioma due to the use of asbestos, you might wonder whether government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are acting in your best interests.

Asbestos is known for its lightweight strength and fire-resistant properties. But there are sufficient alternatives to use in its place. Some EPA experts continue advocating for a nationwide ban on the carcinogen. Yet, the agency issued exceptions which allow the use of asbestos under certain conditions.

Numerous countries already ban the use of asbestos

The new restrictions established by the EPA allow manufacturers throughout the United States to move forward with traditional uses of asbestos or determine new ways to use the cost-effective product, especially in construction. But you might agree that there seems to be conflict within the agency. Some of the EPA's internal experts are urging an overall ban on asbestos, similar to that of other industrialized nations.

An official from the American Chemistry Council (ACC) asserts that agencies can manage the risks of asbestos. And those that use the known carcinogen in the U.S. do so under "strict safety regulations."

Still, according to an October 2018 report from the International Ban Asbestos Secretariat, more than 65 countries have national bans on asbestos. These countries include:

  • United Kingdom
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Sweden
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Brazil
  • Iraq

The ACC currently objects to a federal ban on asbestos. However, they continue working on a comprehensive evaluation of the product. Their review of asbestos is due in December and could potentially alter the future of asbestos use in America.

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