In a past blog post, The Ledger Law Firm highlighted recent news that the EPA proposed a Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) that, theoretically, can pave the way forward for new asbestos uses. It remains to be seen what new uses will be allowed or what will eventually transpire, as the battle over asbestos will almost certainly turn political. Interests of environmental advocacy groups, consumer watchdogs, and the inevitable lobbying efforts and will all play out in the coming months.
However, when the politics are set aside for the time being, it is essential to remind that the current scientific evidence and consensus reminds that no safe level of asbestos exposure has ever been established. To the contrary, some research has even suggested that a single exposure to asbestos fibers may be all that is necessary to cause a mesothelioma diagnosis decades after the exposure.
As such, the best available evidence indicates that avoiding asbestos exposure is the best way to prevent a diagnosis of mesothelioma and all the harm such a diagnosis entails.
Asbestos Is Still in Use Today
Given the harms of asbestos, considering new uses of the toxic mineral is, in some key respects, arguably putting the cart before the horse. Consider the fact that asbestos is still used in many products today, including in the United States. The following are all examples of products that continue to rely upon asbestos:
- Roofing materials
- Cement pipes
- Corrugated sheeting
- Brake pads
- And more
All told, Department of Commerce data and reports reveal that the United States imported more than 700 metric tons of asbestos in 2016. In other words, while asbestos has been limited in recent decades, it is far from banned.
Considering that between 12,000 and 15,000 Americans are killed by asbestos each year, based on conservative estimates, it is worth contemplating whether new uses of asbestos are in the best interests of public safety. Politics aside, the harms of asbestos are well-established and the harms suffered by mesothelioma patients and loved ones are immense.
This rare form of cancer is accompanied by survival rates that are extremely low, especially for men. Males who are diagnosed with mesothelioma have a less than six percent survival rate after five years of living with the disease. Female diagnoses are only slightly improved, with a 15 percent five-year survival rate.
Dire statistics like these do not give reason to encourage new uses of asbestos without careful consideration of the serious health threats posed by those potential new uses. At The Ledger Law Firm, we will continue to monitor the EPA’s policy proposals and what new uses may be allowed by the EPA’s new use rule.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma that was caused by exposure to asbestos fibers, a mesothelioma and asbestos lawyer at Ledger Law is ready to discuss your legal claim and right to compensation.
Contact us online today for a free case evaluation with a mesothelioma attorney who will protect your rights and pursue justice that holds responsible parties accountable for a wrongful exposure to the dangers of asbestos.