For decades, asbestos was used in a wide range of industrial products and even consumer goods. Manufacturers added asbestos to products like brake pads on vehicles and the insulation used in homes. However, over time, it became obvious that asbestos was unsafe for those who had to mine it, and work with it in a professional capacity.
It wasn't just those who work in factories that developed asbestos products who became sick, but also those with regular professional exposure to abestos, like mechanics or those who work in construction. Now, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken a firmer stance on asbestos, which could be a good thing for those dealing with medical complications related to asbestos exposure, like mesothelioma.
New EPA rule makes it harder for employers to deny culpability
On Wednesday, April 17, 2019, the EPA announced new rules that placed significant limits on the industrial use, manufacturing and importation of asbestos. Although the EPA had previously instituted a partial ban, demand for asbestos led to companies still selling it in the United States and using it for various products. This new rule still allows for some use, but it is positive progress.
Activists point out that allowing any asbestos use causes unnecessary risk for workers. Still, it address the pitfalls in previous asbestos rules that made it all too easy for companies to continue importing and using this dangerous mineral product. Because companies could legally use it, they could also try to claim it was safe with proper procedures or equipment in place.
Some businesses would then point to the popularity of asbestos and their safety measures as an indicator that it was not as dangerous as those with conditions like melanoma want others to believe it is. With these new, stricter rules, it is obvious that the EPA recognizes the danger that asbestos poses both to those who work with it in a factory setting and to those who help remove the mineral product from the Earth.
Acknowledgment that asbestos is dangerous helps those injured by asbestos
When government agencies recognize the risks that asbestos poses, they make it easier for those seeking compensation to establish causation and risk related to asbestos exposure. In other words, this EPA rule helps reinforce why those with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases have every right to seek compensation for their injuries.
Compensation from lawsuits or special funds is often important to people with mesothelioma. They typically can't work as the disease progresses, and insurance may not cover the treatments they need. For those diagnosed with mesothelioma, talking to a Louisville attorney who has experience with asbestos-related cases could be an important first step toward the compensation they need.