Although still not completely banned in the United States, there are many regulations and federal laws that work to protect Americans from asbestos exposure. While there are now strict regulations dictating how companies can produce, use, and dispose of asbestos, these laws came too late for some members of the public now suffering from mesothelioma.
Federal Laws and Rules to Prevent Asbestos Exposure
Most regulations concerning asbestos are managed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and both agencies have the authority to enforce these regulations and charge companies with violations.
Federal rules enacted to protect the public from asbestos exposure include:
- Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA). The AHERA allowed the EPA to require educational administrations to inspect their school buildings for asbestos and develop plans with an accredited asbestos inspector to remove the hazardous material.
- Asbestos Information Act (AIA). In response to the growing number of construction workers developing asbestos-related diseases, the AIA was passed in 1988. The law requires manufacturers to clearly disclose the presence of asbestos in their construction materials.
- EPA Asbestos Worker Protection Rule. This rule allowed the EPA to expand asbestos protection requirements to state and local government employees, many of whom were not covered under OSHA asbestos regulations.
- Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This act gave the EPA the power to regulate asbestos use and ban new uses of asbestos in the future. However, corporate interests prevented a full ban on asbestos use, and only a handful of products containing asbestos remain banned in the U.S.
- Clean Air Act of 1970. This act identified asbestos as a potential air pollutant, since its fibers can easily break apart and become airborne.
- Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Much like the Clean Air Act, the SDWA creates the standards for levels of hazardous materials in drinking water, including asbestos.
If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault can identify who may be liable for your exposure and who should compensate you for your medical bills and pain and suffering. We represent asbestos injury clients on a contingency fee basis, so there are no upfront costs. Simply contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free consultation. To learn more about options, order our free eBook, Mesothelioma and Your Legal Rights.