Asbestos, one of the most recognized toxic chemicals used in the U.S. and abroad, kills an estimated 13,500-16,000 Americans each year*. Although Asbestos is known to cause an array of health issues, including lung cancer, asbestosis, asbestos pleural disease, and mesothelioma, but surprisingly the number of imported goods containing asbestos has actually increased in recent years.
Recently, new legislation has been introduced that has the potential to reduce the number of asbestos-related illnesses and deaths.
The Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2017, introduced Nov. 2, would:
- Amend TSCA to require the Environmental Protection Agency to identify and assess known uses of – and exposures to – all forms of asbestos.
- Require EPA to impose restrictions on the use of asbestos within 18 months of enactment.
- Within 12 months, ban the manufacturing, processing, use or distribution of commerce asbestos other than described in EPA’s rule. (Although bans remain in place for some asbestos uses and products, many uses and products still are legal.)
-Safety and Health Magazine
While legislators work to update the laws surrounding dangerous chemicals, such as asbestos, you may be able to prevent illness by knowing where and when you’re at a heightened risk for asbestos exposure:
- According to the asbestosnetwork.com, certain workers have a higher risk of becoming ill due to asbestos exposure. The following are considered high-risk occupations: auto mechanics, construction workers, drywall installers, electricians, firefighters, insulators, longshoremen and shipbuilders, miners, plumbers and pipefitters, railroad workers, sheet metal workers, boiler and furnace makers, teachers, and union workers. For more information about asbestos in the workplace click here.
At home and at school
- Schools, homes, and apartment buildings that have fallen into disrepair are known causes of asbestos exposure. Deteriorated pipes, ceiling tiles, insulation, and other building materials could contain harmful amounts of asbestos.
- If your baby powder, cosmetics, or feminine hygiene products contain talc, there is a good chance the products also contain asbestos.
- Many gardening products (fertilizers, pesticides, potting mixes) may contain vermiculite, a chemical linked to asbestos.
- Years ago many small appliances were made with asbestos. Click here to read more about how to spot products containing asbestos in your home.
- According to Asbestos.com, some brands of oven mitts, dish towels, pot holders and place mats have been created using a high-percentage asbestos filler.
It’s time for manufacturers and distributors to put health and safety first. If you or a loved one were injured or killed due to a toxic chemical/harmful product contact us today.
*Source, Safety and Health Magazine