The History of Asbestos Legislation
In recent decades, numerous sponsored bills have been brought to the floor of the U.S. Congress to completely ban the use of asbestos. However, that number of bills have been outnumbered by the attempts to pass legislation designed to prevent victims for filing lawsuits for compensation when injured by exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately, thousands of individuals are diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis and asbestos-related cancers every year.
Even though hazards of exposure to asbestos have long been recognized, federal policymakers have been slow to develop comprehensive laws to address the serious issue. While many citizens believe asbestos has been universally banned from use in the United States, the toxic material can still be found in many products manufactured today. Sadly, those living in the U.S. are not afforded the same protection provided by more than 50 countries around the world that have banned the use of asbestos.
Minimal Legislation in 1930 to Protect Workers From Asbestos Products
The U.S. Congress passed limited legislation on providing compensation to victims injured by asbestos, beginning back in the 1930s when medical evidence was found that directly linked asbestos exposure to life-threatening disease. Even with proof of the correlation of asbestos exposure and the potential of significant health problems in the future, manufacturers continued to use the fire resistant material.
Back then, asbestos was used to insulate buildings and ships, and as a heat resistor in various products including flooring materials, pipe insulation, paint, braking systems, gaskets, pipe fittings and others.
Decades Long Asbestos Exposure Proving Destructive For Many Workers
In the last years of 1960s and throughout the 1970s, U.S. lawmakers could no longer turn a blind eye to the increasing numbers of victims injured or killed by long-term exposure to asbestos.
Even though the first lawsuits filed against asbestos manufacturers and distributors occurred in 1929, the numbers of claims and suits had reached epic proportions by the 1970s. Victims were seeking compensatory damages to pay medical bills, recoup lost wages and pay for their pain and suffering. Surviving family members filed wrongful death lawsuits to seek recompense for losing a loved one due to decades-long exposure to the toxic material.
Abating the Asbestos Problem Through Legislation
By the end of the 1980s, dealing with the serious problems of asbestos exposure in older buildings, sea vessels and shipyards finally took hold. Much attention over the issue turned to abatement where removal of asbestos in existing buildings and structures was addressed. To ensure public safety, legislators issued strict guidelines on how to limit the exposure of asbestos.
Today, there are numerous regulations and laws implemented through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies. Some of these regulations are written into law through various acts including:
- Clean Air Act
- Safe Drinking Water Act
- Asbestos Information Act
- Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act
- Consumer Product Safety Commission
- Asbestos Worker Protection Rule
Many of the regulations that control the use of asbestos provide exceptions to allow existing materials that contain the harmful fibers to be left untouched if in good condition.
Filing an Asbestos Lawsuit For Ensuing Medical Complications
Victims with an asbestos-related disease or medical condition should consider hiring a mesothelioma attorney immediately. This is because filing a claim for compensation is time sensitive when pursuing a lawsuit against companies and others at fault for injury caused by exposure.
A skilled attorney who specializes in mesothelioma claims will handle every aspect of the case from filing suit, performing discovery, taking depositions, negotiating a settlement and preparing the case for trial if necessary. Fortunately, the vast majority of mesothelioma lawsuits are settled out of court, which avoids a long extensive trial.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC understand the comprehensive tort law involved in an asbestos-related claim for compensation. Our law firm is familiar with manufacturers and installers of asbestos and can assist you in determining which parties are responsible for your injuries and suffering.
Call our law office at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a no obligation free initial consultation to discuss your case. We can provide numerous legal options on the best ways to proceed when seeking compensation for your medical expenses, loss of wages, damages, pain and suffering. Our lawyers accept mesothelioma and other asbestos-related disease cases on contingency. This means the attorneys are only paid if you win an award in a lawsuit or agree to an out-of-court settlement.