A Recent Report Shows That Asbestos Imports to the United States Nearly Doubled From 2019 to 2020

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.

According to the report, the use of asbestos has also significantly reduced over the past several decades. The report states that approximately 450 tons of Chrysotile were domestically used up in 2020. But, as much as this number is still worrying, it is nowhere near the 803,000 tons that were used up in 1973. Nevertheless, it is crucial to note that there is no safe or controlled use of asbestos.

Also, it is important to keep in mind that apart from importing raw Chrysotile asbestos, the United States of America imports other unknown asbestos-contaminated products like vehicle parts and gaskets.

EPA’S Risk Evaluation for Asbestos

As part of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s mission to protect human health and the environment, the Agency completed a final risk evaluation for asbestos, part 1; Chrysotile asbestos, in December 2020. The Environmental Protection Agency found unreasonable risks to human health for uses of Chrysotile asbestos. The EPA found unreasonable threats to consumers, bystanders, workers, and occupational non-users. Dangers to these groups of people can arise when an individual inhales Chrysotile asbestos.  Occupational non-users are those workers nearby but who are not in direct contact with Chrysotile asbestos.

Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyers

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment.


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