Are you like other people who think that exposure to asbestos doesn't happen to "ordinary" people anymore? Most people only hear about this toxic substance when it's found during demolitions or renovations of older buildings. Moreover, people who end up suffering from diseases such as mesothelioma are older men who worked blue-collar jobs decades ago. Right?
That simply isn't the case anymore. Younger generations, including yours, still run the risk of suffering from asbestos-related illnesses even after widespread use of the substance stopped, but the chances aren't as high as they used to be. That could change if proposed changes to the current policies of the Environmental Protection Agency happen.
What changes are the EPA proposing?
The EPA may allow companies to import, manufacture and process new products containing asbestos. The agency will require companies to evaluate what health dangers could occur from direct exposure to the toxic substance first, but that may not be enough to protect you or anyone else. In the past, workers and those close to them received no warnings about the health risks of exposure, and many of them paid the price later in life.
Workers spent their days around the substance and brought it home to their families on their clothing and their person. Occupational exposure risked more than just the lives of the employees themselves. If manufacturing with asbestos recommences, you and everyone else ought to have a full understanding of the risks and the diseases you could contract from exposure. Employers should also provide the best possible safety equipment and training in an attempt to reduce the possibility of health issues later.
What products could contain asbestos?
The new rule would allow for asbestos in products such as the following:
- Reinforced plastic
- High-grade electrical paper
- Roofing felt
- Sealants and adhesives
- Non-roof and roof coatings
- Pipeline wrap
- Vinyl asbestos floor tiles
Other building materials may also contain the substance such as plasters, insulation, textured paints and mastics. For years, experts have said that products containing asbestos do not cause any harm unless damaged or destroying, which would release dust and fibers into the air that one could ingest and inhale. That may be enough in the short term, but over time, products can degrade and expose new generations who could end up suffering from illnesses related to exposure.