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Archive for February, 2015

What You Need to Know About Asbestos

In 1989, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned all new uses of asbestos; however, uses developed before 1989 are still allowed.

What does that mean to you? Traditional uses of asbestos, from flooring, roofing, surfacing materials and insulation are still legal and in use in the United States today. 2.3 million pounds of asbestos was imported legally into the United States, from Brazil alone, in 2012.

According to the EPA, this is a sample of what asbestos can still be used in:

  • Cement corrugated sheet
  • Cement flat sheet
  • Clothing
  • Pipeline wrap
  • Roofing felt
  • Vinyl floor tile
  • Cement shingle
  • Millboard
  • Cement pipe
  • Automatic transmission components
  • Clutch facings
  • Friction materials
  • Disk brake pads
  • Drum brake linings
  • Brake blocks
  • Gaskets
  • Non-roofing coatings
  • Roof coatings

Why is asbestos bad?

Asbestos fibers are invisible to the naked eye and can remain airborne indefinitely. The major routes of exposure are inhalation and ingestion. Exposure to asbestos can cause fatal diseases. Asbestosis, Mesothelioma, and Lung Cancer are all caused by asbestos fibers entering the body, with symptoms taking an average of 30-45 years to appear, and no known cure.

Improper removal, handling and disposal of asbestos containing materials can contaminate a large area, leading to the exposure of many people. Occupations associated with significantly higher mesothelioma deaths include plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters; mechanical engineers; electricians; and elementary school teachers.

What are the other risks?

Failure to follow local, State and Federal regulations regarding asbestos can lead to hefty fines and imprisonment. In addition, courts can impose additional penalties for willful violations, and obligate the offending party to pay all associated cleanup costs, medical expenses and restitution. This also opens up the possibility of lawsuits from affected individuals or businesses, including Class Action lawsuits.

here can I find out what laws and regulations to follow?

Here is a list, with links, to some of the regulating agencies involved with asbestos:

Need help understanding it all? Call us at 623-734-5536 for a No Obligation Consultation.

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