Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a rule to finally ban asbestos. Chrysotile asbestos is the last type of asbestos in use in the United States.
The proposed rule would ban the manufacturing, processing, distribution, commercial use, and import of chrysotile asbestos. The most significant use of this form of asbestos is in the manufacturing of chlorine and caustic soda, which relies heavily on raw asbestos imports.
Asbestos is also currently used in many other products, such as:
- Automotive brakes and linings
- Asbestos diaphragms for use in the chlor-alkali industry
- Brake blocks
- Sheet gaskets.
While you may not have any direct contact with the products mentioned above, many factory workers do. And the risk of exposure to asbestos doesn’t end when they come home to their families.
What could this proposal mean for current and future exposure to asbestos? Let’s find out.
What This Proposal Means for Asbestos Exposure in the Future
For many years, Louisiana has been one of the leading asbestos producers in the United States.
Despite the risks associated with asbestos exposure, there are still factories in Louisiana that produce this dangerous substance.
The Olin Chlor Alkali Plants in Plaquemine and Baton Rouge are two of the largest factories in Louisiana that produce chrysotile asbestos. They are also two of the ten factories in the United States that produce chrysotile asbestos.
Banning chrysotile asbestos will help prevent further asbestos exposure and significantly impact workers in the automotive and chlorine industries, especially in Louisiana.
What It Means for Current Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos is a well-known carcinogen that can have devastating effects on people who are exposed to it. While this ban will certainly benefit workers in the long-term, it provides little help to those who are currently suffering from asbestos-related illnesses and those currently exposed to chrysotile asbestos in their daily lives.
The symptoms of asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma and asbestosis might not be easy to notice. Even mesothelioma can take a long time for its symptoms to develop – as long as 20 years or more.
The early symptoms of mesothelioma can be mistaken for many other things, including aging or being out-of-shape. Even when symptoms worsen, it can be difficult for patients and healthcare providers to connect the signs now and the asbestos exposure in your past.
As with any disease, early detection of mesothelioma offers the best chance of successful treatment. Because mesothelioma is a rare disease and the symptoms can be challenging to identify, it is important to consult with a doctor who specializes in mesothelioma cases.
How This Affects Family Exposure
Asbestos exposure is a serious risk for anyone who works with this toxic material, but it can also have a profound impact on the lives of family members and other loved ones.
This family exposure, or “secondary exposure,” occurs when tiny asbestos fibers cling to clothes or workwear of those workers and are brought home through normal everyday activities.
For more information on family exposure, download our free guide and see how we can help you.
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