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Articles Posted in Asbestos Containing Materials

Unfortunately, despite asbestos awareness advocates doing their best to educate people on asbestos and asbestos-related illnesses, such as mesothelioma, many people still do not understand the dangers of asbestos exposure. People are still mishandling asbestos and using asbestos-contaminated products. For example, people continue to use asbestos-contaminated cosmetic products. It is our hope that now that the dangers of using asbestos-contaminated cosmetic products have been revealed through HBO Max’s documentary, “Not So Pretty,”  things will change.

HBO Max’s Multi-part Documentary Airs Out the Link Between Mesothelioma and Cosmetic Products

The documentary “Not So Pretty” is a four-part investigative expose of the beauty industry. The documentary, produced by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, exposes the secrets of the cosmetics and personal care industries. Unfortunately, these two industries are loosely regulated, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration having little power to enforce changes.

The NJ appeals court recently upheld a sanction against Ford in a mesothelioma case involving second-hand asbestos exposure. When Mrs. A.C (a name used for purposes of this article) was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, her family filed a lawsuit against Ford Motor Company, her husband’s former employer. According to the family, Mrs. A.C developed mesothelioma after inhaling asbestos fibers from her husband’s clothing during the 30 years that he worked as a service manager for the motor dealerships. During the trial, Ford Motor Company withheld evidence in violation of discovery rules, which led to the court imposing a significant sanction. Ford appealed the decision and the sanction, but the NJ state appeals court refused to set the sanctions aside.

For many years, Mrs. A.C’s family had tried to obtain the training manuals for Ford so that they could prove to the court that the company had not warned its workers about the dangers of asbestos in brake dust. Unfortunately, the family was not able to obtain those materials. Instead of producing the information, a corporate representative testified that he could not locate it. He said that none of the manuals were found.

In response, Mrs. A.C’s attorney confronted the representative with a copy of the manual. After the confrontation, the representative confessed that he had seen the manual before and even answered questions about it in previous asbestos cases. After learning that the representative had withheld evidence, the court imposed the sanction that went beyond the jury’s $800,000 verdict.

Personal protective equipment is quite crucial when it comes to protecting oneself from asbestos exposure. If, for example, you work in an asbestos removal company, it is not enough that you use proper removal proceedings. It is important that you use personal protective equipment. Personal protective equipment can protect you from developing asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma and asbestosis. In this article, we will talk about, among other things, the types of personal protective equipment that can protect workers from asbestos exposure.

What is Personal Protective Equipment?

Personal protective equipment or PPE is any clothing or covering that provides protection to the wearer from a potential hazard. According to the EPA, personal protective equipment is necessary to protect against the harmful effects of asbestos exposure.

Usually, asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma take years to appear. For this reason, mesothelioma is not common in children. Mesothelioma is much more common in older people with a history of asbestos exposure. However, since mesothelioma takes years before developing, children exposed to asbestos at a young age risk developing mesothelioma in their adult years.

So, how do children get exposed to asbestos? There are many ways in which a child can be exposed to asbestos. Below is a look at some of the most common ways children can be exposed to asbestos.

Secondhand Asbestos Exposure

People have been filing mesothelioma and asbestos-related claims for more than three decades now. Over the years, asbestos companies that recklessly exposed people to asbestos have been forced to pay plaintiffs huge amounts of money. Because of the huge payouts, some companies started filing for bankruptcy. Generally, companies began filing for bankruptcy to avoid liability. Most of the companies that chose to file for bankruptcy were not able to avoid liability. This is mainly because, as part of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy, companies were required to establish trusts that would fund victims of asbestos exposure. This is where asbestos and mesothelioma trust funds originated from.

What are Asbestos and Mesothelioma Trust Funds?

Asbestos trust funds, asbestos bankruptcy trust funds, or mesothelioma trust funds are trust funds created on behalf of bankrupt asbestos companies with a possibility of having an asbestos suit filed against them. Many companies set up trust funds years ago after going bankrupt. They created the trust funds to pay out compensation to victims who had already filed their claims and any individuals who filed claims in the future. Generally, the purpose of asbestos and mesothelioma trust funds is to put aside money for current and future asbestos claims.

Across separate settlements, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) commits to accelerate and strengthen asbestos risk reevaluation under the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA). On October 13, 2021, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), an organization dedicated to preventing asbestos exposure, said that the organization and its allies had reached settlements with EPA regarding the toxic mineral that causes mesothelioma. These settlements come after a heated legal battle over a contentious risk assessment. ADAO and its allies have been pushing for a comprehensive second risk evaluation for asbestos for some time now and are glad they struck these settlements with the EPA. According to the president and co-founder of ADAO, Linda Reinstein, a more robust and comprehensive evaluation will better document the massive harm asbestos continues to cause in America.

As per the deal, the Environmental Protection Agency will finish the second risk assessment by December 1, 2024. The second risk evaluation is expected to address the deficiencies in the first risk evaluation. In an agreement, the EPA agreed to, among other things;

  • Expand its second risk evaluation to include all six asbestos fiber types instead of only chrysotile asbestos.

According to NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio, repair and re-occupation of buildings damaged by Hurricane Ida is essential to the public health, economic well-being, and safety of New York City. In an attempt to help NYC repair damage caused by Hurricane Ida, Mayor Bill De Blasio, in early September, declared free asbestos removal services in New York. Emergency Executive Order No. 235, signed on September 7, 2021, retroactively dated the fee waivers back to September 1, 2021. On top of waiving fees for asbestos removal, Mayor Bill De Blasio waived the 7-day advance notice requirement for asbestos projects. For an applicant to be deemed eligible for suspension of the fees, they only needed to submit a certification that such work was due to storm damage. Normally, NYC requires submission of asbestos abatement permits and workplace safety plans one week before work starts. Emergency Executive Order No. 235 took effect on September 7 and remained in effect for five days.

The waiver of asbestos fees was meant to relieve an additional burden for property owners who were already dealing with storm damage. NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio recognized that property owners would require permits, inspections, document filings, and applications associated with repair work as part of the recovery after Hurricane Ida. So, in an attempt to help property owners, the mayor allowed the Department of Environmental Protection to waive fees related to asbestos removal. On the other hand, the Department of Buildings was given the power to waive fees associated with construction document filing fees, electrical permits, special fees, and permit filing fees.

More Tools and Recommendations for Communities Cleaning up After Hurricane Ida

Whenever a hurricane season approaches, people within hurricane-prone regions of the United States of America prepare by stocking up on food supplies, gasoline resources, water, and materials to strengthen and protect homes. While stocking up on all of these is important, preparing to deal with the risk of asbestos exposure once a storm has passed is equally important. Unfortunately, many people do not know about the threat of asbestos exposure after a hurricane.

Why is Asbestos a Threat After a Natural Disaster?

Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that is heat-, electricity-, and corrosion-resistant, was used throughout most of the 20th century in countless construction materials. These materials are considered safe as long as they remain in good condition and undisturbed. When asbestos-contaminated materials degrade over time, they may become damaged due to a number of forces such as renovation and unexpected natural disasters like hurricanes. Natural disasters such as hurricanes can damage asbestos-containing materials in buildings in ways that lead to asbestos exposure among homeowners, first responders, and cleanup crews.

Asbestos is a mineral composed of flexible and soft fibers that are resistant to corrosion, heat, and electricity. Although these qualities make asbestos a useful mineral, asbestos exposure is highly toxic. For a long time, asbestos was used in construction, fireproofing, and insulation.

Unfortunately, many individuals assume that asbestos exposure is a thing of the past while it remains a deadly public health concern. Even though scientists have long recognized the dangers of asbestos exposure and made these dangers known, asbestos-related illnesses and deaths remain a big concern. According to recent data, more than 40,000 asbestos-related deaths occurred in 2019 alone. Some of the common fatal asbestos-related diseases include asbestosis and mesothelioma.

There are many things users do not know about asbestos, yet it is important to be knowledgeable about this toxic substance. By being knowledgeable, you can take the necessary precautions against asbestos.

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.

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