The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does take time to review when asbestos is or is not needed in the United States. There are changes that happen, particularly when environmental concerns arise. In 2016, there was a bipartisan effort that was signed into law by President Obama: The Frank L. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.
This act gave the EPA the authority to regulate dangerous substances including asbestos. While the EPA did try to ban asbestos as long ago as 1989, the ban was overturned in 1991. Thus, the dangerous toxin is still available in the United States today.
Did you know that close to 70 countries have banned asbestos?
Despite that, just three years after President Obama's signature gave the EPA so much power, asbestos is still being imported into the USA. Around 40,000 people in the United States die from exposure to asbestos and asbestos-related diseases every year. These diseases include cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis.
Asbestos is known to cause death after exposure, even though it may take decades to develop into a fatal disease. Sadly, without the ban in place, asbestos is still found in many consumer products including cosmetics, building materials and automotive products.
If you are exposed to asbestos, it doesn't guarantee that you'll fall ill with a serious illness later in life, but it does increase the likelihood. Reach out to your doctor and attorney if you're exposed. Early treatment and monitoring may help you catch early signs of mesothelioma or other dangerous diseases that are caused by exposure to asbestos.