Ten U.S. states and the District of Columbia recently sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), demanding stiffer rules governing the use of asbestos to reduce the public health risks.
The lawsuit was filed after the EPA refused to collect more data on asbestos. The states believe this denial was arbitrary and violated the EPA’s obligations under the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). “There’s too much at stake to let the EPA ignore the danger that deadly asbestos poses to our communities, including to workers and children,” noted California’s Attorney General, Xavier Becerra.
The U.S. remains one of the few developed countries not to ban asbestos. In April 2019, senior EPA officials ignored their own
Court documents from the 1970s show that industry officials knew about the dangers of asbestos as early as the 1930s, but hid them from the public.
The Link Between Asbestos and Cancer
Asbestos was once widely used in fireproofing, auto repair, construction, and insulation. Many companies stopped using asbestos in the mid-1970s after it was linked to mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer.
Symptoms from exposure to asbestos typically take decades to surface. When someone inhales or ingests asbestos dust, the mineral fibers can become trapped in their body forever. Over time, these trapped asbestos fibers cause inflammation, scarring, and eventually genetic damage to the body’s cells, leading to mesothelioma, lung diseases, and several forms of cancer.
Recently, asbestos has been in the news once again. More than 14,000 lawsuits have been filed by individuals who charge that talcum powder products manufactured by Johnson & Johnson contain asbestos fibers which are responsible for their cancers. The vast majority of those cases involve women suffering from ovarian cancer.
What You Should Do
If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer or mesothelioma, or have regularly used products like talcum powder that potentially contain asbestos particles, it is important for you to see your doctor immediately. Because asbestos exposure takes so long to surface, early diagnosis can greatly enhance your chances for survival.
You should also contact the attorneys at The Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to determine your legal rights and whether you can hold a former employer or manufacturer like Johnson & Johnson responsible. The Pintas & Mullins attorneys have handled hundreds of asbestos-related