Many might be surprised to learn asbestos is still a legal substance in the United States. Naturally, in any form, it can pose some danger. Legislators in Washington state appear to be realizing this and have passed senate bill 5458.
This would require building materials that contain asbestos to be clearly labeled as such by manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors. The Senate passed the bill in March; the House passed the bill this week by a vote of 65 to 28, according to a story in The Spokesman-Review. The bills next stop is Gov. Jay Inslee.
Some manufacturers use asbestos in common home-construction products. It might be listed as mineral fibers or chrysotile (white asbestos), or not be listed at all, as the Spokesman-Review notes. Because few regulations exist governing the use and disclosure of asbestos, people can be exposed to the material and not even know it.
As this blog noted, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency came close to implementing a complete ban on the substance in 1989, but its attempt was defeated by an industry court challenge.
Exposure to asbestos leads to serious illnesses, including asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma, an aggressive and incurable cancer. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that in a 6-year period (1999-2005), 18,068 people died from mesothelioma. The World Health Organization estimates that 107,000 people die every year from mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer, and asbestosis.
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos and developed an asbestos cancer, you may be eligible for financial compensation. An asbestos lawsuit can provide you and your family with funds for medical bills and other necessities. Call Sokolove Law today for a free case evaluation.