EPA Proposes Asbestos Ban

Many people do not realize it, but asbestos is not banned in the United States despite the fact it kills thousands of Americans each year by causing mesothelioma cancer and other forms of lung disease.

That might be about to change. The EPA has announced it intends to ban the known carcinogen using new authority granted to the agency by the 2016 Toxic Substances Control Act. On Tuesday, April 5, 2022, the EPA announced that it will move forward with an asbestos ban.

The EPA last attempted to ban asbestos in 1989, but a federal court shot the effort down, an escapade that highlighted the toothlessness of the original 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act. Similar attempts in Congress also sputtered, most recently in 2020, when the bipartisan measure nearly made it to the House floor before falling apart with competing accusations about who was responsible for the failure.

“EPA’s proposed rule is a strong step forward in eliminating exposure to a substance that is killing 40,000 Americans each year,” Linda Reinstein, president of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, said in a statement.

Under the proposed rule, the agency would ban uses for chrysotile, the one remaining type of asbestos fiber still in use in the United States. One of the major current uses for asbestos in America is the chlorine manufacturing process. In 2021, chemical companies imported 100 tons of chrysotile asbestos from Brazil. In prior years, they also imported from Russia. The 11 active chemical plants that utilize asbestos also used around 220 tons of asbestos they had previously stockpiled. Other chemical plants no longer use asbestos in the chlorine manufacturing process.

Under EPA’s proposed rule, the remaining chlorine plants that still import raw asbestos would have two years to stop using asbestos filters.

Sheet gaskets that contain asbestos would be banned after two years. Most remaining products that contain asbestos — oilfield brake blocks, aftermarket automotive brakes and linings, other “vehicle friction products,” and other types of commercial gaskets — would be banned after 180 days.

The proposed asbestos ban is set to be published in the Federal Register, which kicks off a 60-day public comment period. The Biden administration hopes to have the ban finalized by November.

The ban isn’t the end of the EPA’s review of asbestos, however. The agency says it intends to look at other asbestos fibers as well as examine asbestos present in talcum powder products, which has caused even those who never worked around asbestos to develop mesothelioma. Asbestos and talc often are located near one another in the natural environment, which can cause contamination in products like baby powder and cosmetics. These asbestos victims are often younger than the blue-collar workers exposed through the late 1970s at their job sites.

RPWB lawyers have helped thousands of mesothelioma patients nationwide get financial compensation from asbestos manufacturers since 1976, when we worked on the first successful product liability case against the asbestos companies. We have seen first-hand the devastating health effects caused by asbestos, and applaud all efforts to eliminate asbestos from the United States.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another form of asbestos-caused lung cancer, please give us a call anytime at 1-866-594-8765 or fill out the contact form on this page.

For more information about mesothelioma, please visit our Mesothelioma Info Center.

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    How are Mesothelioma Lawsuits Paid Out?

    By Ken Wilson

    Some of the most frequent questions we get about mesothelioma lawsuits concern how they are ultimately paid out to clients and how long it will all take. To address those questions, let me give you a little bit of context about how mesothelioma lawsuits work.

    When a person is diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos lawyers like myself work with that client and other witnesses such as family members and co-workers to determine all of the places he/she has come into contact with asbestos. In addition to identifying the exposure locations, we also work using a variety of sources to identify all of the asbestos products used at those locations. From there, we can start to build a product liability case against all of the manufacturers of those products. The best mesothelioma lawyers can walk you through this process to make it as easy as possible.

    Most mesothelioma lawsuits involve a number of defendants that share culpability for causing the client’s mesothelioma. If the litigation is successful, the client will typically receive periodic settlement checks as various defendants settle. This includes both businesses in operation today and those that set aside money in bankruptcy trusts. This entire process can take several years from beginning to end, with most clients and their families beginning to receive money shortly after the case is commenced.

    Of course, it is important to note that every case is different and a good asbestos attorney will not rush through building the product liability case against the asbestos manufacturers.  A well developed, researched, and prepared case will increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.  Additionally, if a case goes to trial, the time frame for case resolution may be extended

    Over the past 33 years, I have dedicated my career to helping asbestos victims with mesothelioma lawsuits throughout the United States. To me and to the others in our firm, our clients are not a number; they are people who reach out to us for help at one of the most consequential and difficult times of their lives. My advice to people diagnosed with mesothelioma is to find the best medical and legal care that you can. Ask lots of questions and, if you feel uneasy, seek a second opinion. This will help you to enjoy time spent with family and friends.

    If I can ever be of assistance, feel free to contact me 1-866-594-8765 or send me an email.

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