While the general population is aware that asbestos is bad, and may even assume that it was banned long ago in the United States, those whose lives have been affected by malignant mesothelioma know all-too well that it is still in use and in place in America’s industries and its infrastructure. With the passage of a law reforming and strengthening the Toxic Substances Control Act in 2016, health and environmental advocates had hoped that change was finally coming and that the substance’s use in the United States would soon come to an end, but the Trump administration has reversed course. In response, six Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have adopted a new strategy: they have submitted a petition to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, requesting that currently existing exemptions to the way that asbestos is treated be dropped.
Efforts to eliminate and protect against asbestos have a single goal: to stop people from being affected by asbestos-related diseases like malignant mesothelioma. As it has become clear that lobbyists for the chemical industry will do anything they can to continue using the dangerous material, the NGOs are working to eliminate the various roadblocks that have been erected to make investigations of asbestos’ dangers less likely. One of these roadblocks is an exemption that keeps asbestos information from being fully collected and reported because it is a ‘naturally occurring’ substance. The six groups – including the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO); the American Public Health Association (APHA);the Center for Environmental Health (CEH); the Environmental Working Group (EWG); the Environmental Health Strategy Center (EHSC); and Safer Chemicals Healthy Families — want this exemption removed, saying that the current process is “limited, vague and incomplete.” The petition reads in part:”Without adequate information on ongoing importation and use of asbestos and asbestos-containing products, the risk evaluation will fail to provide a meaningful picture of the threat that asbestos poses to public health and citizens will be in the dark about exposure to asbestos in their communities and places of employment.”
Fighting for the rights of those with mesothelioma – and to prevent others from getting the disease – takes many forms. To learn how we can help you, contact us at 1-800-966-2244.