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New Asbestos Law and Changes Ahead

Toward the end of the Obama administration, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) added asbestos to a list of dangerous or hazardous chemicals.  The significance of this new law was the EPA would be able to allocate more money toward the prevention of asbestos-related illnesses, such as malignant mesothelioma.

asbestosWhile asbestos is not used anywhere as near is much as it once was, it still poses a significant danger, and the number of asbestos cases are actually going up each year, according to recent statistics.  As it stands now, there are thousands of deaths from mesothelioma each year in the U.S. alone.While this is still considered a rare disease as compared to something like lung cancer, even a single asbestos-related death is one to many.   And, as you can discuss with your experienced Boston asbestos attorney, virtually every case of asbestos in the U.S. is caused by exposure to the deadly asbestos fibers.  This means that every one of those deaths could have been prevented if these asbestos companies were not more concerned with making money than they were about the health and safety of their workers.

Instead, these companies chose to make money and actually took steps to hide the dangers of asbestos from their workers and the general pubic.  The reason they were able to get away with it for so long was because it typically takes between 20 and 50 years for a person to become aware they have the symptoms of malignant mesothelioma. These symptoms include shortness of breath, heavy coughing, and severe abdominal pain.  Once a victim develops these symptoms and goes to a doctor to learn what is wrong, they are often told they have less than years to live, because the cancer is typically asymptomatic until it is at a very advanced stage.  The patient could have radical treatment, but that will typically only extend a patient’s life an extra year or two.

As for the law, according to a recent news article from the Billings Gazette, the EPA had allegedly failed to warn millions of people about the dangers of asbestos as the law was getting sorted out, and now the Trump administration has imposed what is known as gag order that prevents them from warning people who are at high risk for mesothelioma.

The fear is not that people do not know asbestos is harmful, it is that they may not know how common it is and where it could be in their homes and buildings they frequent.  The reason this issue is often discussed in a Montana publication is that while asbestos is everywhere, including Boston, that region had one of the largest vermiculite mines in the U.S. Vermiculite is not asbestos, but it is often contaminated with asbestos, as they are formed together.  The company marketed it as a safe alternative to asbestos when they were completely aware their product contained large amounts of toxic asbestos.  This particular mine sold tainted minerals that were used in an unaltered state as wall insulation in millions of homes and buildings across the U.S.

If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Despite new law, EPA fails to tell millions of Montana asbestos danger, January 29, 2017, By Andrew Schneider, Lee Newspapers

More Blog Entries:

Rondon v. Hennessy Industries, Inc. – “Inevitable Use” Standard in Asbestos Litigation, July 2, 2016, Boston Mesothelioma Attorney Blog