According to a United States Geological Survey (“USGS”) conducted in 2012, the United States imported 1,060 metric tons, over 2.3 million pounds, of asbestos last year. All of the deadly mineral came from Brazil.
Despite the fact that 50 countries have banned the toxic mineral used in building materials, insulation, automobile brakes and various other products, the United States still allows asbestos to come into the country.
Many public health experts and concerned citizens are outraged. Linda Reinstein, president of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization based in California, said that safer alternatives to asbestos exist, and that it is absolutely outrageous that the United States continues to import the material. Reinstein, who lost her husband to mesothelioma, said that roughly 30 people die every day in the United States from asbestos-related diseases, the majority of which are completely preventable.
According to World Health Organization estimates, 107,000 people worldwide die every year from asbestos-related diseases.
Though domestic consumption of the material has drastically decreased in the last few decades, attempts to ban the importation of asbestos have been unsuccessful. Former assistant United States Surgeon General and adjunct professor at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, Richard Lemen, said that until the United States bans asbestos, Americans will be at risk of developing the highly preventable diseases linked to asbestos exposure.
The USGS suggested that domestic asbestos consumption is likely to remain near the 1,000-ton level based on current trends and demand for the product in the chlor-alkali field, a chemical industry that produces chlorine and sodium hydroxide. This industry accounted for 57% of US asbestos consumption in 2012. The product is also in high demand in the roofing industry, which accounted for 41%.
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury or if a close relative has sustained a wrongful death due to asbestos exposure, please do not hesitate to call our Boston, MA asbestos injury lawyers, Boston personal injury lawyers or Massachusetts wrongful death lawyers today at 617-787-3700.
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