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The link between mesothelioma, a type of cancer, and asbestos exposure is irrefutable. In fact, asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma. Apart from mesothelioma, asbestos exposure can cause other diseases like asbestosis and lung cancer. In an effort to reduce cases of people developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases or cases of people dying because of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, many countries across the world have banned asbestos. Notable nations that have not banned asbestos include the United States, Brazil, China, India, Russia, and Canada. Therefore, while the United States of America has implemented prohibitions on asbestos manufacturing and has not produced asbestos for many years now, the nation continues to import this toxic substance. Unfortunately, the importation of asbestos into the United States means that Americans will continue suffering from the fatal effects caused by asbestos.

300 Metric Tons Imported in 2020

Based on a recent report, while the U.S. imports of asbestos have significantly reduced since the 1980s, there was a high increase in imports in 2020. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released its annual Mineral Commodity Summaries on January 29, 2021, and the report shows a 74% increase in imports between 2019 and 2020. According to the report, the U.S. imported 172 metric tons of Chrysotile in 2019 and 300 metric tons of Chrysotile asbestos in 2020. Chrysotile is the only type of raw asbestos that is imported into the United States of America. According to the report, imported Chrysotile is used by the Chloralkali industry. The Chloralkali industry uses Chrysotile imported from Brazil to manufacture non-reactive semipermeable diaphragms, which come in handy in the industry.

When it comes to apartments and rental properties, tenants usually care a lot about factors like the apartment or rental unit size, rent price, location of the apartment or rental, and safety features. Although these are important factors for tenants to consider, there are many more things people need to care about when it comes to the apartments or rentals they live in. For instance, tenants should be concerned about their rights in regards to asbestos in rental units and apartments. Even though asbestos is not widely used in construction anymore, this substance is still present in many rental properties built before the 1980s. Drywall, paint, cement, ceilings, floor tiles, roofing materials, insulation materials, plaster, and casing for electrical wires are features in older buildings that can contain asbestos materials.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos, which is the name of a group of six unique minerals, is a naturally occurring fiber that is highly heat, electricity, and corrosion-resistant. Because of its qualities, asbestos was widely used in building materials from the early 1940s until its effects on human health became known in the 1970s. Many buildings built before the 1980s are thought to be asbestos-contaminated. Inhalation of asbestos fibers can lead to illnesses such as mesothelioma and asbestosis.

Because of its resistance to corrosion, heat, and electricity, the naturally occurring mineral asbestos was a popular additive to various products in the 20th century. Unfortunately, even though asbestos boasts of such qualities, this substance poses a threat to people’s lives. When inhaled, asbestos fibers can get stuck in a person’s body. Over time, trapped asbestos fibers can cause scarring, inflammation, and eventually asbestos-related illnesses like mesothelioma, a rare, aggressive, and fatal cancer. Usually, after asbestos exposure, it can take up to 60 years for someone to realize they have mesothelioma. Unfortunately, because of mesothelioma’s long latency period, sometimes people realize they are sick when it is too late. Nevertheless, it is vital to note that not everyone who falls victim to asbestos exposure develops mesothelioma.

As much as not every individual who falls victim to asbestos exposure develops mesothelioma, it is vital to take caution. Being cautious is especially important, considering the life expectancy of a mesothelioma patient ranges from 12 to slightly over 20 months. Even though asbestos is no longer commonly used, it still lingers in workplaces and homes. In the 20th century, the cancer-causing substance was used in thousands of products, and many asbestos-contaminated materials can still be found in offices, homes, and factories across America. Therefore, to avoid asbestos exposure, people must educate themselves about the possible hiding places of asbestos. At work, workers may encounter asbestos in settings such as;

  • power plants

When it comes to asbestos production and use, once an individual or company fails to abide by the set rules, they can either face criminal or civil charges. Different states enforce different rules, but both OSHA and the EPA have the right to enforce the law at the federal level. When it comes to the EPA, the agency takes the enforcement of environmental laws seriously. To the EPA, enforcing these laws ensures that human health and the environment remain protected. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency works hard to ensure people and companies comply with environmental requirements. Whenever warranted, the agency will take either civil or criminal action against people or companies that violate environmental laws.

There is a huge difference between civil and criminal asbestos cases, and the Environmental Protection Agency addresses these differences on its website. According to the website, the two mainly differ in:

  • Legal standard
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