NEWS FLASH: Asbestos Found In Your Neighborhood!
… Yes, The Potentially-Deadly Stuff Is STILL LEGAL
Not long ago, deadly cancer-causing asbestos was discovered in a house, right here in America!
How can this happen? Well, here’s how.
You know, back in The Good Old Days (like, the 1920s and 1930s), asbestos was all the rage.
Asbestos was added to every imaginable product, because – as a rock, basically – it was “flame retardant” and “fire resistant.”
There was even a comic-book hero named after asbestos!
Then came the bad news: It was discovered, possibly by scientists, that asbestos can break into tiny microscopic shards which you can’t see, smell, or feel… but which can stick into your lungs and cause deadly no-cure-for-it mesothelioma.
Yes, that’s a type of lung cancer that you can’t come back from.
So the venerated United States Environmental Protection Agency, congenially known as the EPA, enacted a ban of asbestos in 1989. Problem solved, eh?
Not so eh.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, congenially known as the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, overturned the EPA’s asbestos ban after a few fun-filled weeks of legal action, possibly on behalf of asbestos producers.
That was back in The Good Old Days of the late 1980s, roughly a hot minute after the ban was declared.
So you might’ve read about the ban, and missed the articles about its overturning, and you therefore might believe that asbestos is illegal in the United States, and that a calamity such as finding asbestos in somebody’s house just isn’t possible.
But while you still can’t produce asbestos or make stuff with it in the U.S., it’s still perfectly legal to import asbestos-laden products, and tons of the ugly stuff are imported into the country every year.
There are only a handful of products that are not allowed to contain asbestos in our country, such as flooring felt, spray-on insulation, and commercial paper. So if it’s not older than the 1980s, and you want, you can grind up flooring felt and commercial paper and sniff it to your heart’s content.
I’m not saying there isn’t something else in those products that makes sniffing them a bad idea, but it wouldn’t be asbestos.
Meanwhile, there are more than a handful of asbestos-containing products which are legally allowed to enter the country.
Most are building materials, such as flooring, pipe insulation, ceiling tiles, wall board, and so forth. So if your house includes things like floors, ceilings, and walls, you’re probably surrounded by asbestos, even though you might’ve thought it was illegal.
But here’s some slightly more comforting news: Asbestos, as it exists in products which contain it, isn’t dangerous.
It’s only when the asbestos-laden products are disturbed, such as by a house fire (even a small one), a plumbing leak, or a bad DIY project, that the aforementioned microscopic shards are released.
If that happens, watch out!
Better yet, have your property professionally tested, and if you have airborne asbestos, call the friendly and disarmingly-attractive experts at Asbestos Abatement, Inc. to help you solve the problem. We’ll keep at it until your property is 100% free of asbestos contamination. And I don’t know what you think that will cost, but it will probably be less than that. Certainly less than the cost in pain and suffering (and money) caused by deadly mesothelioma. Cheers!