legal
29 Jul
2016

Asbestos is a mineral that was long favored in many industries due to its low cost, its extreme durability and it’s wonderful versatility as an insulator, heat protector and fireproofing material. But the many dangers of asbestos have led to a number of regulations and laws that restrict and govern the use of asbestos.

But despite the fact that asbestos exposure causes cancer like mesothelioma, lawmakers still have not banned its use and there are a number of products and industries where asbestos is still utilized even today.

Notably, there is no national asbestos or mesothelioma law in existence. Each individual state has its own regulations and rules concerning asbestos usage (mesowatch.com/mesothelioma-lawsuit-statute-limitations).

A Timeline of Asbestos and Mesothelioma Law

Asbestos usage in the United States was at an all time high around the turn of the century and by the mid­1900s, it was at an all­time high. Since then, more than 50 nations have banned asbestos or banned asbestos use in certain applications and settings.

By the 1930s, many industries and companies were already said to be aware of the dangers of asbestos exposure. Medical evidence had been uncovered by the 1930s, linking asbestos to health problems, but despite this, the public remained largely uninformed about the dangers and many companies are accused of failing to caution or protect its workers and the public. By the time the 1960s arrived, a number of mesothelioma cases and other asbestos diseases had manifested in individuals who had undergone asbestos exposure decades earlier.

There are generally very few symptoms of asbestos exposure at the time the exposure occurs. It typically takes anywhere from 10 to 40 or more years for the effects of asbestos exposure to become apparent. So by the late 1960s, there were many instances of asbestos diseases such as mesothelioma cancer. It was these cases that have been credited with spurring a greater public awareness of the potentially deadly effects of asbestos exposure.

The late 1960s saw the first significant numbers of asbestos claims and mesothelioma lawsuits, filed by individuals who were seeking financial compensation for their losses. A number of these cases led to the discovery that numerous companies had known about the dangers of asbestos, but despite this knowledge, they failed to provide protection or warnings.

By the late 1970s, asbestos usage had started to drop off significantly and by the early 1980s, the dangers of asbestos were common knowledge. And with this greater public awareness came a greater focus on asbestos abatement. This asbestos abatement trend continues through to modern day, as asbestos­tainted building materials are removed and replaced with safer, more modern alternatives.

The late 1970s also saw the first national asbestos exposure guidelines, which spurred additional legislation at a state and local level in the years that would follow.

Today, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) play a very active role in protecting the public and ensuring that workers are not subjected to occupational asbestos exposure.

As of 2016, the United States still lacks a national ban on asbestos. A Washington politician sponsored a bill ­­­ the Ban Asbestos in America Act of 2007 – but the measure was ultimately defeated in Congress.

Another measure, the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act was introduced in 2013, but as of 2016, it still had not been passed into law.

Notably, there exists no national program for providing asbestos compensation. Individuals are left to pursue asbestos and mesothelioma compensation independently, some opting to file an asbestos exposure lawsuit, while others turn to mesothelioma lawyers to seek help filing asbestos claims with trust funds that have been established to compensate victims of specific companies.

Some critics have come down hard on U.S. legislators for failing to establish a system to help asbestos exposure victims and to provide mesothelioma compensation. Similar programs do exist for other victims of occupational exposure, such as American coal miners who are aided by the Black Lung Benefits Act.

Asbestos and Mesothelioma Law Assistance

If you or a loved one has developed mesothelioma or another asbestos disease, you may be eligible to file a mesothelioma claim with an asbestos trust fund. In addition, it may be worthwhile to obtain a case evaluation from an experienced asbestos lawyer or mesothelioma attorney who can determine if you may have sufficient grounds to file a lawsuit.

At MesoWatch.com, we’re committed to providing asbestos exposure victims and mesothelioma patients with the information they need to get the financial compensation, medical care and benefits that they deserve. But you must act immediately if you would like to obtain a confidential case evaluation.

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