New Environmental Protection Agency Regulations Take Aim at Asbestos
As the new Trump administration transitioned into the White House in January, some uncertainty arose over the future of various environmental regulations and the state of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Despite the political climate, the EPA recently selected its first 10 chemicals to go under review in accordance with the recently enacted Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act for the 21st Century (Safety Act). The Safety Act is the first major overhaul to the country’s 1976 toxic materials law since it was first passed.
The Measures Explained
The Safety Act grants the EPA the authority to conduct a review on several chemicals the federal agency chooses to determine whether or not they should be banned. Under the act, asbestos is considered a chemical because it is a naturally occurring mineral that consists of six different types of silica elements. A recent article published by the Environmental Working Group notes that the EPA chose asbestos as one of the 10 chemicals to review because it is considered highly hazardous to humans.
The EPA tried to ban asbestos in the 1980s, but the asbestos industry filed a lawsuit alleging the scheduled phase-out ban was unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court determined that the EPA must look at the least burdensome alternative to protect public health which, according to the court, the agency failed to do. As a result, asbestos is still manufactured and imported with its use ranging from construction materials to auto parts.
Other Asbestos-Related Illnesses
Asbestos is allowed to be used in small quantities, but unlike other toxic materials, there is no maximum safe level when it comes to exposure to asbestos. In other words, the EPA notes that exposure to asbestos in any amount is deadly and should be prohibited. Indeed, as many as 15,000 Americans are predicted to die each year from malignant mesothelioma as well as other asbestos-related medical conditions.
Beyond mesothelioma – or lung cancer resulting from asbestos exposure – another disease caused by this toxin is known as asbestosis. This medical condition occurs when a person inhales asbestos fibers, which are deadly, and the result is scarred lung tissue. The pain and suffering, as well as severe difficulty breathing, cause a victim to deteriorate medically. Patients diagnosed with asbestosis may have to use an oxygen tank to breathe as symptoms mimic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
We are Here for You
Mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and other medical conditions related to toxins can be deadly when not treated properly. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with one of these diseases, he or she may be entitled to compensation. Because the detailed, scientific nature of these claims can be complex, contact a knowledgeable mesothelioma and lung cancer attorney. The New York lawyers at Napoli Shkolnik PLLC have years of aggressively representing victims like you or your loved one. Call (212) 397-1000 today to schedule your initial consultation.