We Know Mesothelioma

The EPA finally announced a ban on importing chrysotile asbestos

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2024 | Asbestos |

Humans have used various types of asbestos for centuries for numerous industrial purposes. In the last few decades, a growing body of medical literature has established how dangerous the use of asbestos actually is. This naturally-occurring mineral substance can make humans ill even if it has many valuable commercial uses.

While it may be an effective insulator and flame retardant, asbestos is also a known human carcinogen. It has an association with lung cancer, mesothelioma and potentially even reproductive cancers in cases involving contaminated bath and beauty products.

Despite the hazards associated with asbestos exposure, businesses in the United States continue to use asbestos to manufacture an assortment of different products. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced a ban on importing the last form of raw asbestos not included in prior bans.

What the EPA did

There has long been a partial ban on imported asbestos and prohibitions on mining domestically for this dangerous mineral substance. Despite increasing regulations, many businesses could still import chrysotile asbestos. This form of asbestos is the most common type used in certain industrial facilities. The new ban prohibits companies from buying chrysotile asbestos abroad for domestic manufacturing uses.

Manufacturers producing brake pads and other vehicle friction products may use chrysotile asbestos. Once the ban on importing chrysotile asbestos takes effect, companies may need to look into alternate solutions for friction-based brake pads and similar devices. This move finally brings domestic policy in line with standards in other countries. Roughly 50 other nations have already banned chrysotile asbestos and other forms of asbestos.

Unfortunately, the chances are good that many businesses may import more chrysotile asbestos than usual over the next few months before the EPA ban takes effect. There are concerns that those producing water sanitation products, in particular, may have a hard time adjusting to the ban. Eventually, phasing out the use of chrysotile asbestos could protect workers from deadly forms of cancer that have a strong association with asbestos exposure.

Companies that expose workers to asbestos should have proper safety protocols in place and may face asbestos-based lawsuits if workers eventually develop illnesses like cancer or asbestosis. Employees who pursue compensation can potentially reduce some of the kinds of hardship inspired by asbestos exposure at work.