Exposure to asbestos — the only known cause of mesothelioma — is not a thing of the past. This National Mesothelioma Day, we bring attention to the fact that asbestos is not banned in the United States, and ordinary citizens risk exposure every day. Despite restrictions imposed decades ago, asbestos can still be found in building materials and other products and in imported goods.
Where Asbestos Exposure Can Occur Today
- Talcum Powder: Talc – a naturally occurring mineral — is a common contaminant found in baby powder and many makeup products. The use of talc has been linked to ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. While talc-based baby powder has been removed from the shelves in the United States, it is still sold in many other countries. Talc remains a main ingredient in many makeup products sold on our shelves.
- Building Renovations: Buildings constructed prior to the 1980s almost always contain asbestos, as it was often used in many construction materials during the building process. When asbestos-containing material is disturbed during renovations or other improvement projects, the dangerous material releases into the air.
- Everyday Objects: From crayons and bowling balls to dentist equipment and brake pads — products are still manufactured with imported asbestos. Those who work on and use these products are often unknowingly at risk of exposure.
- Second-Hand Exposure: People who work with asbestos often bring the material home on their clothes and shoes — exposing their loved ones to the deadly material. This has given rise to cases in spouses and children, meaning sometimes a diagnosis of mesothelioma can come quite early in life.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a mineral mined from metamorphic rock. Manufacturing and construction companies commonly used asbestos due to its powerful insulation and fire-retardant characteristics.
Asbestos-related diseases are often not diagnosed until many decades after exposure, and many people exposed to asbestos may not show symptoms until many years later. Regular health check-ups are vital to catching an asbestos-related disease early.
Asbestos use in the U.S. has been regulated and closely watched since the 1980s, and public awareness about the risk of exposure has grown significantly. However, this can make people feel a false sense of security. Asbestos use in the U.S. is not fully banned. While there are more restrictions on products that contain asbestos fibers, asbestos exposure is still a reoccurring issue, as it is typically found in unsuspected and unregulated products, as well as old structures. Last year the EPA proposed a much stricter ban on asbestos, but even this leaves available loopholes for various types of the material to be imported into the United States.
The Dangers of Asbestos
Airborne asbestos fibers cannot be seen or smelled, which makes it very difficult for people to detect if they are in danger from exposure. It is critical that people be vigilant and check their products and surroundings. There is no safe level of asbestos exposure.
Asbestos fibers become airborne when a product containing the mineral is manipulated or tampered with. When these fibers are inhaled, a deadly cancer known as mesothelioma develops. Because it affects the mesothelium tissue, it can also impact the heart, stomach and other vital organs.
How We Help Victims of Asbestos Exposure
Seek justice with the help of our experienced asbestos attorneys. Our asbestos law firm has represented individuals like you affected by asbestos exposure for over 20 years, aggressively fighting the corporate giants responsible for their dangerous products. If you or a loved one were exposed to asbestos or suffer from a disease caused by asbestos like mesothelioma, we can help.