Asbestos: Once banned but now present in the United States

If you're worried about asbestos still being used in America, you're not alone. Many people were under the impression that asbestos was no longer legal. However, it is, and since that's the case, the best thing you can do for yourself is to find out where asbestos is used and how to avoid it.

Asbestos has long been used in insulation since it has properties that keep structures comfortable. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned some uses of asbestos in 1973, and in 1989, it went on to ban most asbestos products. Around the world, over 55 countries ban asbestos. However, that's no longer the case in America. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the ban of asbestos, officially allowing it to be used in certain products ever since.

Interestingly, asbestos fibers are primarily used in the diaphragms of chlor-alkali plants. The fibers are used during the electrolysis of NaCl, better known as sodium chloride.

Asbestos fibers are typically only dangerous to people when they're inhaled. When that happens, the asbestos fibers can embed themselves and create the potential for cancers of the larynx, ovaries, lungs and other areas of the body. No specific threshold of asbestos exposure is safe, so if you have been exposed, you should make sure to see a medical professional about monitoring your health and the risks you face.

Approximately 107,000 people die around the world each year as a result of exposure to asbestos. No exposure is safe, so it's vital that you report if you've been exposed to get it in your medical records.

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