Why hasn’t the U.S banned asbestos?

 

Chemicals that are obviously hazardous and toxic to our health, are usually banned from use for the public. Anything that is harmful if you inhale, ingest or handle it wrong, should be a controlled substance. It is hard to believe then, that asbestos, which has been scientifically proven to cause horrible cancers and lung diseases, is still legal in the USA even after most nations across the world have banned its use as a raw material and in asbestos products that cause mesothelioma.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a raw material, made up of natural fibers. It has extremely high fire resistance and electricity protecting abilities, which is the reason that for years, it was seen as a wonder material.

In the middle of the 20th century. We discovered that prolonged exposure to the fibers released when asbestos is cut or broken, cause serious damage to our bodies. The hook-shaped fibers get inhaled, before hooking into our lung walls, leading to nasty cancers like mesothelioma.

The Environmental Protection Agency has clearly stated in its reports, that there is no safe exposure level when it comes to asbestos. This means unless you have protective equipment, one second of exposure is too much. More than 50 countries across the world, including India, Australia, England and 28 other countries of the European Nations, have banned asbestos entirely.

The only step the U.S has currently taken against asbestos is to put in place regulations that restrict its usage. This is despite the extensive evidence that asbestos is extremely hazardous to your health.

There are several ways in which the U.S is moving towards a change in its laws when it comes to using asbestos. These moves are only towards heavier restrictions, however, and not towards banning the material, like so many countries have around the world.

If the U.S wants to make the big changes necessary to keep its citizens safe from asbestos, they need to rework the laws and place a complete ban on the use of asbestos. Currently, it is still used in homes and existing products. More worrying still, it is still used in schools.

If that isn’t scary enough, here are some other asbestos-related stats:


  • Every year 41,000 Americans die due to asbestos-related diseases
  • Around 36,000 of them are due to horrific lung cancer
  • 4000 of the 36,000 die from the particularly nasty mesothelioma
  • 800 of the deaths were from ovarian cancer
  • 500 of the deaths were from larynx cancer
  • 700 of the deaths were from chronic asbestosis

 

The numbers don’t lie. The decision to ignore what scientists around the world have found out and to not follow the other 50 countries who have banned asbestos is a mind-boggling one. The only reasoning that makes sense has serious connotations. Is it big money at play? Do the big wigs in the asbestos mining and production industry have too much power and money to be stopped by weak politicians?

One thing is certain, the decision to allow asbestos to keep destroying lives is one of the most ridiculous decisions this country has ever made.

 

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