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News From The Washington Post: On Asbestos Around the World… And What That Means for Us at Home
Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) say that asbestos should be banned.
Some countries, including every member of the European Union, Japan, Argentina, South Korea and even Saudi Arabia have gone ahead and banned the carcinogen. Asbestos is proven to cause the deadly mesothelioma cancer after all, and there are materials that can be used as inexpensive substitutes.
And yet the United States has yet to ban asbestos. We have made some efforts, of course. We have placed strict limitations on the use and importation of asbestos, for one. But many of us at Baron and Budd think that more should be done, both for the countless individuals who have developed mesothelioma because of exposure to asbestos within the United States, and for the countless individuals who may develop mesothelioma because of exposure to asbestos, in the United States, in the future. That’s right. This problem is not going away in America, and we think that is because, despite the gruesome cancer, despite the heartbreak it brings to families, despite the countless suffering, the industry still makes money, both in the United States and beyond, making it that much harder for our country to secure a successful ban on asbestos. What’s more, in this global world we live in, asbestos use anywhere is a threat to all of us.
It is estimated that over 100,000 people die every year from exposure to asbestos in the workplace. And experts say that thousands more die from exposure outside of the workplace, both from exposure through residential and commercial buildings, though products or even automotive parts.
According to a recent article in The Washington Post, the global asbestos industry has found new ways of making money despite being banned in several countries. That new money-making venture would be India, a place where a severe lack of housing equals a real demand for cheap building materials. With India, the asbestos industry has found a secure $2 billion industry-footing and double-digit growth annually.
The interesting thing is, Indians themselves have started to speak up, holding petitions and protests decrying “Asbestos causes cancer”! One protest in particular included more than 6,000 people and blocked traffic for 11 hours. (— Good job!)
The fear of asbestos is worldwide. The deaths and injuries from cancer are worldwide. And yet, some countries, ours included, have not stepped up to the plate in the way that the real risk demands.
You can thank profit for that — profit from selling asbestos to Americans and profit from bringing asbestos into developing countries. Make no mistake that the asbestos lobby in the United States is the same one responsible for finding new areas of development — i.e., more innocent people across the world — in poor countries. And when the asbestos industry racks in more dough in developing countries, you can bet that affects all of us back here, too.
Because the more money the asbestos industry makes, the harder it becomes for our everyday American citizens and activists to push our government to do the responsible thing: To ban asbestos once and for all.
If you are tired of hearing about innocent people dying needless deaths from asbestos, we encourage you to share this article.
Our lawyers are invested in fighting the asbestos industry by representing those who have been injured by asbestos most — the people who have developed mesothelioma and their families, people who can tell you first hand that this is a material that is just not worth it as a building material, ever.