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Think Asbestos is Banned in the U.S.? Think Again.
Asbestos is not one of those substances that no one has ever heard of. Although manufacturers tried to hide the dangers associated with asbestos for decades, many doctors and scientists knew about the cancer-causing attributes of asbestos in the early 1900s.
Today it’s old news – something the media no longer wants to cover. Asbestos kills – yeah, we get it, next story idea please. So what’s up with this apathy? We know asbestos is bad for us and for our environment. Yet what, exactly, has been done to deal with it?
Over 50 other industrialized nations have banned asbestos, from the United Kingdom and Australia to Japan, yet the use of asbestos, a known carcinogen that can cause the terminal cancer mesothelioma, has still not been banned right here at home. Why not?
It isn’t because asbestos is no longer around — instead, millions of Americans are still at risk for exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is in our homes, schools, offices and in a wide range of different products.
It isn’t because the asbestos-caused cancer mesothelioma is still not a big danger — in fact, mesothelioma is a growing epidemic in many parts of the world and is diagnosed in approximately 3,000 Americans each year.
It isn’t because it has not been in the news — while more coverage is necessary and encouraged, coverage like that of the 9/11 heroes who were exposed to asbestos after the collapse of the towers has yet to leave our memory.
So what is it then?
The U.S. still allows asbestos to be imported into our country.
Today asbestos is imported and used in the U.S. for various construction products including roofing materials. In addition, many automotive products that use asbestos are still being sold in the U.S.
Efforts are being made by asbestos awareness organizations like Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), but at this time, there is no ban on the use of asbestos in the United States.
What does that mean?
We desperately need to fight for a complete ban on asbestos in the United States and, eventually, worldwide.
And we need to share communications like this blog to inform people that the dangers of asbestos exposure are still an issue today.