10 U.S. states and the District of Columbia recently filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to force the agency to tighten rules regarding the oversight of asbestos and reduce the possible harm to the public posed by the mineral’s use. The suit is being led by the states attorneys general of California and Massachusetts, Xavier Becerra and Maura Healey, with Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia joining.
“Asbestos is a known carcinogen that kills tens of thousands of people every year, yet the administration is choosing to ignore the very serious health risks it poses,” Healey said in a statement to the press. While federal laws have regulated asbestos to the point where the substance is effectively banned from use, changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) passed by Congress in 2016 would create a pathway for lessening regulations.
The lawsuit comes after the plaintiffs request for the EPA to collect more data on asbestos was denied by the agency in which it determined that the EPA was already aware of all current uses of asbestos, and had the essential information needed to assess the risks. To that point, the EPA points to an April 2019 rule giving it the power to review the asbestos products that were no longer on the market before they could be sold again in the United States.
Asbestos was once widely used in a variety of military, industrial, and construction applications for its heat resistant properties and ability to be molded to fit almost any application. Unfortunately for the men and women who were exposed to asbestos, the mineral is a deadly carcinogen responsible for a whole host of serious health conditions, including developing mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of cancer brought on by exposure to asbestos fibers. The disease typically affects the thin lining of tissue surrounding vital organs like the heart, lungs, and abdomen. One of the most challenging aspects of dealing with a mesothelioma cancer diagnosis is the latency period between exposure and a diagnosis, usually anywhere from 20 to 50 years, which leaves patients with diminished treatment options.
Despite knowing for decades about the risks posed by asbestos exposure, many companies continued to use the mineral and profit from its manufacture. While nothing can undo the harm caused by a mesothelioma cancer diagnosis, the law does give victims and their families the right to file asbestos cancer lawsuits and recover damages for lost wages, medical bills, and the pain and suffering of living with the disease, for which there is no cure.
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If you or a loved one was diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona 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 to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.