The United States has known that asbestos is related to diseases, cancers, and other health concerns for over 100 years. Yet today, it’s still legal.
Asbestos can be found in thousands of products and materials like attic insulation, floor tiles, heating ducts, brake pads, vinyl wallpaper, and many others. Asbestos is a known carcinogen, which is a substance capable of causing cancer. In 1955 Dr. Richard Doll published a study that linked asbestos to lung cancer. Then, in 1976 the International Agency for Reach on Cancer confirmed that all forms of asbestos cause cancer.
So why hasn’t asbestos been banned? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPS) tried in 1989 with the Asbestos Ban and Phase-Out Rule, but when manufacturers of asbestos challenged the EPA in court it ended with overturning the ban. Though regulated, it’s still legal to import raw asbestos into the United States. In 2015 the US International Trade Commission reported 343 metric tons of asbestos were imported into the US. In 2016 that number was nearly doubled. Asbestos-related deaths in America are estimated to be 15,000 every year, yet, this number doesn’t stop the importation of the hazardous mineral.
You can help by educating and sharing the information about asbestos still being legal. Most Americans think asbestos is a thing of the past, but it's still happening. It’s still being imported.