The most common health problem from exposure to asbestos is malignant mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer. Symptoms of mesothelioma often do not surface 20 to 40 years or more after first exposure. Patients have a 1 year survival period once diagnosed with the disease.
Washington state senator Patty Murray has tried to introduce a bill that would ban the use of asbestos in the United States multiple times, but the bills have failed to pass. More needs to be done to protects workers and consumers from exposure to asbestos. The public is largely unaware of the products conDespite the many documented health risks to workers and consumers, the use of asbestos has still not been banned in the United States. Found in products around the home and on construction sites, people are often unaware of their exposure and risk to their health. A bill to ban the use of asbestos in our country has been introduced multiple times but has failed to pass into law.
Asbestos is a commercial name given to a variety of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals. Its use dates back over 4,000 years ago with large scale mining beginning in the 19th century. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, asbestos fibers may be released into the air by the disturbance of asbestos-containing material during product use, demolition work, building or home maintenance, repair, and remodeling. In general, exposure may occur only when the asbestos-containing material is disturbed or damaged in some way to release particles and fibers into the air.
Asbestos has been used in a variety of building construction materials because of its fiber strength and heat resistance. It may be found in products used for such things as attic and wall insulation, vinyl floors, roofing and siding shingles, textured paint, walls and floors around wood-burning stoves protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets, water or steam pipes, oil and coal furnaces, heat resistant fabrics, automobile brakes and clutches, Many people working in professions that use such materials are unaware of the dangers to their health from use and exposure to these products.
taining asbestos and what that could mean to their health several years down the road. Education on asbestos and its dangers is needed and local and federal politicians need to work on passing laws banning its use. Lawsuits against companies using asbestos knowing the dangers to its workers have been successful but will not bring family members back. Banning the use of asbestos in the United States is necessary to prevent the deaths of the workers and consumers being exposed to this deadly fiber.