Hidden Carcinogens: Asbestos Still Being Used in Unknown Products

February 1, 2013  |  Mesothelioma

As a national mesothelioma law firm, Baron and Budd deals with the devastating effects of asbestos every day. The firm sponsors several organizations, including the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), and is fully committed to a ban on asbestos in the U.S. Therefore, it’s common knowledge around our office that asbestos is still being used today. But most Americans are still unaware of the fact that asbestos is not banned in the U.S. and that it continues to be prevalently used throughout the country. 

And just as it seems that the asbestos problem couldn’t get any worse, the report shows that there is still a portion of asbestos being used in the U.S that is unaccounted for.

Yesterday, ADAO posted a new report from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) that detailed asbestos consumption in the United States.  Since the U.S. no longer mines asbestos, the country’s consumption is based solely on imports. Previously, asbestos was being imported from Canada. Now, the U.S. imports asbestos from Brazil since Canada recently ceased mining and exporting asbestos. 

According to the report, the U.S consumption of asbestos was estimated to be 1,060 tons, based on the past four years of imports through July 2012. The chloral-kali industry, which produces chlorine and sodium hydroxide, accounted for approximately 57 percent of consumption. The roofing industry accounted for 47 percent. 

That means an estimated two percent of asbestos use is unaccounted for in the U.S. This represents an estimated 21.2 tons of asbestos, enough to cover a football field. All asbestos is harmful, but asbestos that is unaccounted for can put people in danger of being exposed to the carcinogen without even knowing it.

So, where is it? No one knows. But in the past, asbestos has had a track record of showing up in a myriad of products. These products even included children’s toys such as the CSI Fingerprinting Kit that was pulled from shelves in 2007 for containing asbestos.

“It is unacceptable that the United States continues to import asbestos and manufacture contaminated products,” said Linda Reinstein, co-founder and CEO of ADAO. “The scientific facts are clear, asbestos is a carcinogen and there is no safe level of exposure. As USGS reported, safer substitutes exist and the U.S. government should prohibit the use of asbestos. For each life lost due to an asbestos-caused disease, a shattered family is left behind.”

Unfortunately, the USGS report predicts that U.S consumption of asbestos will remain around the 1,000 ton level as it has been for the past four years.

As Reinstein points out, it is a fact that asbestos causes fatal diseases such as mesothelioma. Any level of asbestos exposure has the potential of harming the people who come in contact with it.

Baron and Budd is a platinum sponsor of ADAO and a major supporter of their mission to place a ban on asbestos. ADAO is committed to spreading awareness through education and advocating for a ban of this deadly carcinogen. Sadly, many people are unaware that asbestos is still used in the U.S.  As a result, there is not enough action being taken in congress to stop the use of asbestos. ADAO’s mission is to change that and finally put a stop to the damages asbestos can cause.

For more information on ADAO and to learn how you can take a stand against asbestos, visit here.

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