According to the World Health Organization, approximately 100,000 people die each year, around the globe, of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Twelve to fifteen thousand of those deaths occur in the United States, and as a result, significant economic consequences have been brought to bear on asbestos companies and the use of the material in the United States has been severely curtailed. Despite this, asbestos production in Russia has continued, and in light of President Donald Trump’s stated doubts about whether asbestos is actually as dangerous as scientists and physicians have indicated, company executives of a Russian producer of asbestos are expressing optimism that the substance will see more American use in the future.
The use of asbestos in the United States has changed dramatically since the mid 1970s, when the link between asbestos and mesothelioma was made clear. Since that time the U.S. stopped all asbestos mining activities, and other countries have done the same. That leaves Russia’s Uralasbest, located in the town of Asbest as one of the leading sources of the carcinogenic material. The company’s chairman, Vladimir V. Kochelayev, has been quoted as saying, “Trump is on our side,” and celebrated the reported loosing of American oversight of asbestos by photographing pallets of asbestos stamped with President Trump’s photo and marked “Approved by Donald Trump, 45th president of the United States.” The mayor of Asbest, who chairs a global asbestos lobbying group, is hoping that Trump acts on the industry’s behalf despite evidence that his own town has higher mortality rates for asbestos-related cancers than is true of the rest of the region.
Allowing more asbestos to be imported into the United States with reduced controls could lead to much greater risk of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses for America’s citizens. Advocates acting on behalf of asbestos victims can take many different paths to protect the people, ranging from opposing any loosening of controls over the material to providing legal counsel to those who have been affected by the material. For information on how we can help you, contact us at 1-800-966-2244.