Anniversary of U.S. Asbestos Ban: Lifted by Courts 2 Years Later

EPA Under Fire During First-Ever Hearing on Full Asbestos Ban

Asbestos is a flameproof but highly dangerous material. It was used for decades in many military and domestic items, from battleships to children's pajamas. It was found nearly everywhere because it made most products stronger and longer lasting, and resisted high heat and even fire.

However, asbestos is also the only cause of mesothelioma, a deadly cancer — but symptoms can take 20-50 years before appearing.

While asbestos was banned in 1989, the ban was short lived. Only 2 years later, the ban was later overturned, due, in large part, to pushback from corporations that profit from asbestos use.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related cancer, Sokolove Law may be able to secure compensation on your behalf that can help pay for treatment.

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1989: EPA Passes Asbestos Ban to Protect Americans' Health and Safety

On July 12, 1989, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned almost every use of asbestos in U.S. products because of the great risk to human health caused by exposure to asbestos.

At that time, millions of Americans had been exposed to asbestos in the home, at school, on the job, and in the military. The EPA said it was time for this to stop. Health advocates cheered, but manufacturers did not.

Since asbestos was used in paint, floor tiles, acoustical ceiling tile, pipe and duct wrap, insulation, boilers, brakes and brake pads, caulk, and cement (to name just a few), this affected many industries.

They could no longer sell their asbestos-containing products to homeowners and other consumers, or to the government or the U.S. military.

Profits Over People: Manufacturers Fight the Ban

After the EPA's ban was announced, asbestos-containing products were no longer allowed to appear on store shelves and in government supply depots. This meant loss of profits.

For decades, manufacturers had knowingly hidden the health risks of asbestos-containing products from the U.S. government and the public, in order to make money selling their products.

After the ban, they did not want to stop making money even though they knew asbestos could cause deadly diseases.

The manufacturers fought back with a lawsuit in federal court. Just 2 years after the ban, the manufacturers won their lawsuit in the 5th Circuit Court in New Orleans. Many of the banned asbestos-containing items were now allowed back on store shelves.

Common Products Sold Today Still Contain Asbestos

Over 3,000 products may contain asbestos. Today, a number of products are still sold in the U.S. that contain asbestos, including common building products such as roofing felt and vinyl floor tiles.

Many of these products do not carry a warning label. Owners might pay to have asbestos floor, ceiling, and roofing materials safely removed from their home, school, or place of worship or business — and then unknowingly have new asbestos-containing products installed as replacements.

Sokolove Law believes it is time for a new ban on asbestos-containing materials being made and sold in the U.S.

Over 50 other countries, including all 27 member nations of the European Union, have already banned asbestos from all consumer products.

Get Help from Sokolove Law

As a national mesothelioma law firm, Sokolove Law has fought on behalf of asbestos exposure victims for over 45 years.

We understand the hardship that families may face after a loved one receives an asbestos-related disease diagnosis. Let us put our decades of experience to work for you, so you can focus on your health and recovery.

Our asbestos attorneys may be able to:

With our help, you may be able to receive compensation that can help pay for medical treatments and provide your with financial security.

To get started, call (800) 995-1212 or fill out our brief contact form. Our team can answer any questions you may about your asbestos-related cancer diagnosis and the legal process.

Sokolove Law Team

Contributing Authors

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of wrongdoing and their families.

Last modified: July 7, 2023