The state of New Jersey is teaming up with 11 other states in a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The attorneys general of each participating state filed a lawsuit to shed light on the inadequate regulation of asbestos. Asbestos is a known carcinogen that leads to fatal illnesses. This carcinogen kills tens of thousands of people each year and is considered one of the most toxic chemicals in the world. New Jersey is joining California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia in the suit. Many hope the suit will force the EPA to finally ban the use of asbestos nationwide.
The EPA’s current regulations permit the use of asbestos. Back in April, the agency released a new rule that planned to restrict the use of asbestos. However, experts believe that this rule is not efficient enough. Many believe that the EPA’s current regulations may lead to the manufacturing of new asbestos products. The EPA’s recent rule is the agency’s first asbestos regulation update in 30 years.
Previously, the attorneys general petitioned the EPA to create a new rule that would require the collection of data regarding the importation, processing, and use of asbestos. However, the agency denied the petitioning of this rule. Since the agency refused to implement the rule, individuals are unable to identify potential exposure pathways to asbestos.
The plaintiffs argue that the EPA is refusing to acknowledge the evidence of health risks associated with asbestos. However, the agency is already practicing its defense. According to an EPA representative, the agency may ban asbestos if there is proof that it poses an unreasonable risk. However, critics suspect that agency scientists were ignored after recommending a ban on the carcinogen.
Asbestos has been linked to several deadly illnesses, including mesothelioma. The inadequate regulation of asbestos displays a lack of concern for the health of American citizens. Since asbestos is commonly used in blue-collar industries, the carcinogen is considered the main cause of work-related deaths globally. Similarly, it kills an estimated 90,000 people per year.
New Jersey citizens have experienced the consequences of asbestos exposure. According to the Environmental Working Group Action Fund, New Jersey has the eighth highest amount of people who died from asbestos-related illnesses. While there is a state ban on asbestos in New Jersey, many believe that there should be a nationwide ban on the carcinogen.
If you were recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, please consider contacting a New Jersey asbestos attorney at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler. Our lawyers display compassion and expertise throughout the legal process. If you are interested in speaking to one of our lawyers, contact us online or call us at 215-569-4000 for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.