Thirty Years in the Making: EPA Fully Bans Asbestos

Posted on Monday, March 18th, 2024 at 1:44 pm    

On Monday March 18th, 2024, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a ban on chrysotile asbestos, known as “white asbestos,” which was the only known form of asbestos still being imported and used in the United States. This comes more than thirty years after the initial attempts to ban the toxic substance. A known carcinogen, the use of asbestos has declined since the 1990s in manufacturing and construction, but still remains a major health threat.

Today, asbestos is still used in chlor-alkali (chlorine) plants, brake lock manufacturing, and gaskets manufacturing. The enforcement timeline for these companies to switch to alternatives varies, with the chlorine plants having five years, the brake lock manufacturers having six months, and the gaskets manufacturers having two years. However imports of new asbestos materials will be prohibited immediately once the ban takes effect, which would be sixty days after it appears in the Federal Register.

While this is an incredible step forward, the dangers of asbestos exposure still persist. Construction workers, firefighters, and others are still at risk of exposure as older buildings are demolished or disturbed. Asbestos fibers, once disturbed, can lodge in peoples hair and clothing, or settle on the skin. This ultimately results in the mineral fibers being directly inhaled, which can result in a lengthy list of illnesses including asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma, and more. Common symptoms include shortness of breath and frequent coughs for many asbestos-related illnesses. Digestive cancers such as stomach cancer, colon cancer, and laryngeal cancer can also result from asbestos exposure.

If you or a loved one were exposed to asbestos, please give our office a call for a complimentary consultation. Compensation may be available.

A link to the complete EPA release can be found here: EPA Ban on Asbestos

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