Earlier this year, attorneys general of 10 states across the country filed a petition to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging them to enforce a reporting rule on companies and their use of asbestos, a dangerous group of minerals closely associated with cancer. The petition urged mandatory regulations in asbestos usage, including data reporting, to ultimately protect the lives of workers and families exposed to it. On April 30, the EPA denied the petition, citing further understanding of the lethal substance, and that the mandatory data collected would not be sufficient to use. On June 28, the attorneys general and their supporters filed a lawsuit against the EPA, alleging that the EPA’s denial is a violation under the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976.
The EPA contended that they issued a significant new use rule in April, which required companies to be reviewed by the EPA if they wished to start using asbestos, or to continue use if in previous production. Similar legislation was refiled by House and Senate members in March, supported by dozens of members of Congress and the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization.
The petition was filed in the U.S. District Court in Northern California by the District of Columbia, California, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, Oregon, Hawaii, Minnesota, and Washington. It is a move to federally regulate asbestos and to hopefully ban the substance altogether.
Asbestos is a known carcinogen that is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths over the past several decades. It had been used in many household items, from plastics and vinyl tiles to adhesives and roof coatings. It is famous for its resistance to fire and heat and does not conduct electricity. People can be exposed to asbestos at work or at home, and even around their community.
If disturbed, the tiny fibers of asbestos can be inhaled, and long-term exposure can lead to various illnesses and fatal cancers, including mesothelioma. Common symptoms of asbestos exposure include shortness of breath, fatigue, weight loss, persistent cough or difficulty swallowing, though these symptoms may not show up for years after exposure. If you suffer from any of these symptoms or believe you were exposed to asbestos, contact your health provider immediately and discuss further treatment and diagnosis.
If you or a loved one was exposed to asbestos, you must seek help immediately. Exposure to asbestos can lead to extremely harmful or lethal diseases and will require major treatment. Our experienced Philadelphia asbestos attorneys at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler will fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 215-569-4000 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.