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You would think that after countless of mesothelioma diagnoses that were the direct result of asbestos exposure, the labeling of asbestos products would be a no brainer. Think again. Even though asbestos is a proven carcinogen, the toxic substance is still a major business in the U.S. today. In state legislatures across the country, asbestos lawsuit reform bills are constantly being introduced to lessen the responsibility of the asbestos companies against the often-fatal harm they cause from shear negligence. That is why a new bill out of the State of Washington that would require asbestos products to be clearly and visibly labeled comes as a breath of fresh air.
The Asbestos Labeling bill was introduced by State Senator Andy Bilig (D-Spokane) and would require construction products that contain any form of asbestos to be properly labeled. While the House turned down a proposed amendment by Rep. Shelly Short (R-Addy) that would have reduced the penalties that would be applied to offending companies from $10,000 to $1,000, but even Rep. Short agrees that the bill should pass and that people deserve to know that they are working with potentially life-threatening substances.
According to Rep. Dave Upthegrove (D-Des Moines) potential offenders of the new bill will most likely get a warning before corrective action is taken. The amount for each violation will be determined by the scope and severity of how much asbestos is being used at the construction site.
The bill will now go to Governor Gay Inslee to sign into law. Though the asbestos labeling bill is far from the ban that asbestos advocates across the country are hoping for, it is definitely a step in the right direction. You would think that minimizing asbestos exposure, if not eliminating the risk all together, would be an idea that spreads across the political spectrum. Unfortunately, the asbestos industry employs powerful lobbyists that muddy the water and distort the reality of asbestos exposure and asbestos disease.
The mesothelioma law firm of Baron and Budd applauds the Washington State Legislature for taking this important step in the fight against asbestos disease. Although the firm ultimately wants to see a complete ban on asbestos in the United States, new laws such as this one are important in protecting people from asbestos exposure. Baron and Budd is a sponsor of asbestos advocacy groups such as the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) and will continue to fight for asbestos patients until the threat of asbestos disease has been eliminated for good.
If you have been exposed to asbestos or diagnosed with an asbestos disease, click here to contact Baron & Budd.