Kentucky consumers might have been exposed to asbestos when using talc products like baby powder sold by Johnson & Johnson. Multiple lawsuits have accused the consumer care products company of knowingly selling talc products contaminated with asbestos. Over a dozen new trials have been scheduled in 2019 against the company that has already been targeted by 11,700 lawsuits involving unsafe products.
Whereas many countries have banned asbestos outright, the mineral can still be found in many old buildings and in many products here in the U.S. Women are especially at risk for asbestos exposure through the various products that are marketed directly to them. Louisville residents should know that several companies have faced multimillion-dollar lawsuits because of this.
Exposure to toxic substances in Kentucky workplaces or homes sometimes sickens victims and leaves them with serious medical problems like mesothelioma or other cancers. If you are coping with this type of problem, you could have the option of pursuing financial damages through a legal action called a toxic tort. Causation presents the primary challenge when building a case of this type because the opposing party might argue that something else caused the disease. A test that provides a definitive connection between exposure to dangerous substances and health problems does not necessarily exist.
Many old homes, offices and schools in Louisville still contain asbestos, a fibrous mineral that's known to cause lung cancer. Asbestos can be in appliances, paint, floor tiles and heating and plumbing ducts. It begins to cause problems when something disturbs it; for example, during a painting or remodeling project.
According to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, more than 107,000 people around the world die each year from diseases linked to asbestos exposure. Louisville residents should know that while this mineral has long been banned by most developed countries, the U.S. has not taken such a step.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it was investigating Honeywell International's accounting on Oct. 19. In particular, the SEC said that it was investigating the Louisville company's accounting for its liabilities related to asbestos. According to a regulatory filing, Honeywell filed a revised estimate for these liabilities as of the end of 2017. They amounted to $2.61 billion, a jump of $1.09 billion over previous estimates from the firm.
The dangers of asbestos exposure have been understood by people in Kentucky for years, but courts continue to sort out the legal consequences of its use in manufacturing and construction. A case now being heard before the Supreme Court of the United States has pitted two widows against a manufacturer. At issue is the company's potential liability for the toxic exposure that resulted when its equipment was used with asbestos insulation.
Despite the danger that asbestos can pose to students, teachers and other workers in Louisville and across the country, a national program to monitor the substance in schools is significantly underfunded. According to a report by the Environmental Protection Agency's inspector general, the school asbestos program is considered to be a low priority. Only one out of the 10 national EPA regions has a strategy to manage the dangers posed by asbestos in schools. Of all inspections conducted between 2011 and 2015, the federal program sponsored only 13 percent while states were responsible for 87 percent of school asbestos inspections.
For many years, it wasn't uncommon for asbestos, a material known for its high heat resistance capabilities, to be used in various residential and commercial structures in Louisville, many other parts of Kentucky and throughout the rest of the United States. Since asbestos fibers have also been linked to serious and potentially fatal respiratory diseases, this material has been severely restricted or widely banned in many countries. However, a new EPA rule could alter some of the existing limitations in place that govern how asbestos can be used.
Recent headlines have downplayed the risks of asbestos exposure and loosening rules could allow more asbestos building products into the country. Yet there is only one known cause of mesothelioma, an aggressive and difficult to treat cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, peritoneum and heart: asbestos exposure.