For over 80 years now, we’ve been aware that asbestos can cause mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer and other chronic respiratory conditions. It‘s 2017 and yet asbestos is still not banned in the U.S. According to an estimate by the Environmental Working Group, roughly 12,000 people in the United States alone die each year from what should be avoidable asbestos-related illnesses.
So why isn’t asbestos banned?
Well, it isn’t for lack of trying. Because asbestos is used in so many applications, from industry to common household materials, in 1989 the EPA attempted to impose a full ban on the manufacturing, processing and sale of all products containing asbestos.
The EPA has the authority to place restrictions on chemicals like asbestos, as long as the agency uses the “least burdensome” approach to achieving their goals. Asbestos industry supporters challenged the asbestos ban, arguing that the EPA could have opted for specific restrictions rather than a full ban. Unfortunately, the EPA failed to prove the necessity of the ban in terms of costs to the asbestos industry (jobs, economics, etc.) and benefits to the general public (e.g., limiting exposure to asbestos will decrease the amount of asbestos-caused respiratory conditions), so the court overturned the ban in 1991.
The EPA’s attempt at creating a full ban wasn’t all for naught. Few materials remain on the list of banned materials and new uses of asbestos are banned as well.
Though progress was made, numerous asbestos-containing products still remain on the market and can potentially harm consumers. Manufacturing, importing, processing and distributing of asbestos-containing products for various construction/building materials is still legal in the United States today. In other words, the drywall, flooring material, insulation, etc., that you are exposed to daily may contain asbestos.
It’s difficult to tell if a material contains asbestos simply by looking at it, but there’s a good possibility (no matter what year the building was built) that there are asbestos-containing materials in your home, apartment complex, office, etc.
Don’t fret! There’s a solution!
Asbestos-containing materials are generally not problematic if left unmoved. However, when these materials are disturbed, damaged, or removed improperly, harmful fibers may be released.
If you’re planning to remodel, or your home/office has damaged walls, floors, ceilings or insulation, have it inspected for asbestos-containing materials. Asbestos Abatement Inc., the premier Denver asbestos removal contractor, is your “asbestos bet” for a safe renovation.
Asbestos Abatement, Inc
Call 303-794-4450 or contact us today to arrange testing or abatement services right away! AsbestosFree.com