A Long Time Coming
The Toronto Star reported that one of the reasons Canada took so long to do what more than 50 countries worldwide had done already is that asbestos has historically been extremely important to the country’s economy. Mining of the deadly material took place for decades, particularly in the province of Quebec, until the last of Canada’s asbestos mines shut down six years ago.
The director of the Canadian Society for Asbestos Victims summed it up nicely when he told the newspaper, “It’s about time.”
Better Late Than Never
Even though it took an extremely long time for the Canadian government to make the move, it is still a welcome development. Asbestos is the sole known cause of mesothelioma, a form of cancer that attacks the lining of the abdomen, lungs and heart. It is also linked to lung cancer as well as asbestosis, another disease that affects the lungs.
According to the article, more than 2,000 people in Canada die from asbestos exposure and approximately 150,000 Canadians are exposed to asbestos through their jobs.
Will it Happen Here?
There has been movement in recent years toward the effort to ban asbestos in the U.S., but progress has been painfully slow. President Obama signed a bill in 2016 that would change the way the government regulates toxic chemicals, and some anti-asbestos advocates viewed this as possibly opening the door to an eventual ban.
But with a new administration, hopes for a ban in the U.S. have taken a substantial hit. Current U.S. law says that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has to find the “least burdensome” method to control asbestos. Many experts believe this is nearly impossible to achieve due to the restrictions under which the agency operates – and those restrictions are only expected to increase.
While hope may be fading for a U.S. asbestos ban anytime soon, victims of this deadly material and their family members can still find justice. Talk to Baron & Budd if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease and we will let you know about your potential legal options. Click here or call 855-280-7664.