As someone who has been threatened with asbestos exposure and who now struggles with the risk of mesothelioma within your lifetime, one of the greatest questions you may have is why the United States still uses this dangerous mineral. The United States has not banned asbestos, even though it is highly regulated.
In life, there are many toxins that are naturally dangerous to humans. Asbestos is one of them, particularly when it is in the form of fine particles in the air. These fine particles can enter the body and enter into the lungs, scarring the tissues. That damage, over time, can lead to mesothelioma.
Asbestos has been used in many industries. It was not until the 1950s (or so) that researchers discovered the dangerous nature of asbestos. Today, people are aware that those exposed 20 or 30 years ago are still at risk of developing mesothelioma. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) remarked that there are no safe limits for exposure. Despite that, the United States uses around 30 million pounds of the mineral yearly.
Asbestos laws change how it's used today and helps reduce exposure, but that isn't really enough. Many countries, like Australia and India, have banned the use of asbestos completely. For people struggling with the lasting consequences of asbestos, the hope is that it will be banned in the United States as well. Only then will people be safe from asbestos in the workplace and be able to be certain that they're not at risk of asbestos-related illnesses that could result in terminal diagnoses.