Think asbestos is banned in the United States? Well, you may be surprised to learn that it isn't. In fact, despite the known dangers and deadly medical conditions associated with this hazardous material -- including mesothelioma and lung cancer -- U.S. lawmakers still haven't enacted a comprehensive asbestos ban.
Belgian researchers from Ghent University and Antwerp University say that breath tests could be the next medical advancement in the quest for early mesothelioma detection.
When your child gets on the school bus every morning, the last thing you expect is that he or she is being driven to a classroom contaminated with dangerous asbestos. While this may sound surprising to many, the sad reality is that school administrators aren't necessarily required by law to remove asbestos, even if they know it is there.
While most people are aware that asbestos exposure can be dangerous, many don't truly understand just how deadly it can be. In fact, according to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), asbestos kills more than 190,000 people throughout the world each year. Even worse, various forms of asbestos are still legal in nearly 70 percent of the world today — including the United States.
Even though many types of asbestos-containing materials have been banned in the U.S. since the 1970s, people are still getting sick and suffering from deadly conditions because of this hazardous substance. If fact, while asbestos use has declined sharply over the last four decades, instances of mesothelioma-related deaths has actually increased.
This last weekend, we celebrated the service and sacrifice of our military members. For some the sacrifice continues years later. We want to draw attention to lingering health effects caused by asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and fast-moving cancer most commonly associated with asbestos exposure. When it first emerged in the national consciousness in the late 70s and early 80s, the prognosis was never good. Most mesothelioma victims could expect to live between 12 and 18 months and there was no discussion of long-term survival.
After spending years seeking new ways to hide from responsibility, asbestos manufacturers and their insurance companies have recently gone on the offensive. Not content to have killed hundreds of thousands of people by spreading a deadly substance far and wide, these companies are now looking to make sick people look like the bad guys and make them jump through more hoops to get the compensation they deserve. The companies are looking to drum up support for their pet legislation, the Furthering Asbestos Claims Transparency Act, by highlighting a few bad actors among the throng of people seeking justice. If they succeed, it could become even harder for the real victims of asbestos to get the medical care and compensation they need.
Overall, the insurance industry is likely to lose money based on asbestos liability claims. The industry as a whole was not prepared when the shocking truth about illnesses and deaths caused by asbestos came to light. In classic form, however, new players are finding ways to turn a profit from the loss and pain of others. Most insurance companies have funded for outstanding asbestos liabilities. Those funds have attracted investors who realize that they can make a killing by delaying or avoiding payouts in asbestos cases. These investors have worked to make it harder for people suffering from mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illnesses to get the compensation they deserve. They will use any tactic to keep that money for themselves.
The owners and executives of a New Jersey salvage company are facing heavy fines and potential jail time for their roles in a project involving asbestos. The salvage company agreed to purchase the Liberty Fibers plant. The facility contained salvageable metals, but it also contained asbestos. The site fell under the government's Superfund program because it contained deadly materials. The salvage company improperly disposed of the asbestos on site and knowingly exposed workers to the deadly asbestos fibers.