Despite the fact that asbestos is a known toxic substance, the U.S. continues to import it from other countries for various purposes. Because of this, those who live and work in specific areas continue to be at risk of exposure.
While concerned citizens and lawmakers continue to push for a ban on the use and import of asbestos, there are plenty of parties fighting against it.
Fighting against bans
Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plans to ban chrysotile or white asbestos. Many companies use this type of asbestos to do things like disinfect drinking water with chlorine. These companies are among those who oppose a ban.
According to these companies, banning asbestos is unnecessary, as they claim to follow safety protocols to protect workers and others from exposure. Further, some argue that the EPA’s proposed timeline to ban asbestos is too short for them to make the necessary changes to get in compliance, and the alternatives are incredibly burdensome.
These arguments and the extensive legal and political moves by asbestos industries to stop these types of bans have hindered attempts to bar the dangerous chemical.
Could this be changing?
Opponents have so far prevailed in preventing – or at least delaying – efforts to completely ban the use of asbestos in the U.S. However, that does not mean they have also prevented progress.
Today, there are much stricter rules regarding the use and disposal of asbestos, and state and federal agencies have more rigid regulations to protect workers on the job from asbestos than ever. These measures are not insignificant.
Unfortunately, because asbestos is not banned and because people don’t always comply with the laws that are in place, people can still suffer illnesses due to toxic exposure.
What do you think: Should the EPAs proposed ban move forward? Could the move effectively protect people from suffering illnesses like mesothelioma?