Malignant mesothelioma claims 3,000 lives in the United States every year, and tens of thousands worldwide. Other asbestos-related diseases claim an estimated 100,000 lives around the globe each year. Yet despite these frightening statistics, the world’s largest exporters of asbestos continue to put profits over people. At this year’s meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention, Russia and six other countries stood in the way of placing tough trade restrictions on chrysotile asbestos. The world organization is now discussing steps that may change the existing rules in order to remove the countries’ veto powers.
The current rules in place within the convention’s voting system require a unanimous vote in order for a material to be added to the Hazardous Substances list. Those chemicals that have been added can still be sold, but they require that the importing country is informed of the dangers of the material and provide consent of its import. It is well established that asbestos is the single cause of malignant mesothelioma. Most of the world’s industrialized nations have placed a full ban on the use of asbestos: the United States is not one of them. The asbestos industry continues to be extremely powerful in the U.S.. This has resulted in many people having been exposed to the deadly material over the years, and many continue to be exposed through occupational exposure.
Though the world powers have faced challenges in getting asbestos exporters to stop selling and producing asbestos, the legal system in the U.S. has provided a way for victims to get justice from those who have been responsible for exposing them to its dangers. Mesothelioma lawsuits have resulted in companies having to provide compensation to victims and their loved ones, and asbestos bankruptcy trusts have been established to provide much-needed funding for those who have been diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases. If you have been a victim of asbestos exposure and need more information, contact us at 1-800-966-2244.