Asbestos is a mineral that causes mesothelioma, a rare and deadly type of cancer. In fact, asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma. In an attempt to reduce mesothelioma cases, many countries worldwide have banned asbestos. However, asbestos has not been banned in the United States of America.
Do asbestos bans really help? Does banning asbestos reduce the incidence of mesothelioma? A recent study shows that asbestos bans can reduce mesothelioma cases, although not immediately. The findings of this study might affect asbestos rules in America.
Data From Study Indicates Asbestos Bans Can Reduce Mesothelioma Cases
For this study, researchers examined case data gathered between 1990 and 2017, including data from over 190 countries and regions. During the study period, some nations placed a ban on asbestos. After conducting the research, researchers found that over 85% of people who received a mesothelioma diagnosis were over 50 years of age. They found that the number of those diagnosed with mesothelioma at age 70 or above increased from 37% to 45% from the year 1997 to the year 2017. Additionally, researchers found that mesothelioma rates decreased two decades after the passing of total asbestos bans. In some cases, the decline took up to 30 years to materialize.
The reason asbestos bans do not reduce mesothelioma rates instantaneously may be explained by the lengthy latency period of mesothelioma. After asbestos exposure, it can take up to 50 years or even more for a person to develop mesothelioma. Therefore, people who suffered asbestos exposure before an asbestos ban was put in place can still develop mesothelioma.
According to the researchers, incident cases of mesothelioma and deaths associated with mesothelioma increased globally throughout the study period, but in the long-run banning asbestos was associated with reductions in the increase of mesothelioma incidence and mortality. These results can prove quite useful for governments looking to reduce mesothelioma incidence. Additionally, the study provides a way forward for nations looking to reduce mesothelioma incidence. Researchers suggest that governments should consider enacting stricter asbestos controls immediately and developing targeted management strategies accordingly.
This study could impact the Environmental Protection Agency’s suggested chrysotile asbestos rule. The EPA found that chrysotile asbestos, which is currently the only type of asbestos actively imported into America, posed an unreasonable risk to public health. Because of that, the EPA conducted risk management and proposed that chrysotile asbestos be banned. The proposed rule would ban the processing, manufacturing, distribution, commercial use, and import of this form of asbestos. And even though the rule doesn’t cover all asbestos uses, it could help reduce asbestos exposure if it passes.
Currently, chrysotile asbestos is used in different items, such as;
- Vehicle friction products
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 to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.