In light of the Environmental Protection Agency’s lax laws regarding asbestos control, attorneys general from 10 states — and Washington D.C. — have officially taken action against the organization.
According to attorneys general, the organization failed to take action against the prevalence of asbestos. This sparked a nationwide outcry from people who want to completely eliminate the carcinogen from being sold in products or imported in the first place. While this is not a class action lawsuit –which would be handled under FRCP 23 and include certification, notice, and settlement — because the people themselves are not filing the charges, the public dissent will certainly help the attorneys general push their case forward.
This came after the EPA managed to close a loophole regarding the sale of products with asbestos back in April. Once the issue was discovered, the EPA restricted these sales but didn’t ban the sale of asbestos altogether. According to attorneys general, this might enable more companies to get away with selling toxic products to unwitting consumers.
“It is widely acknowledged that asbestos is one of the most harmful and toxic chemicals known to humankind,” notes California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, one of the leaders of the suit. “While it’s troubling that we must once again take the EPA to court to force the agency to do its job, we won’t pull any punches. There’s too much at stake to let the EPA ignore the danger that deadly asbestos poses to our communities.”
And this isn’t the first time that attorneys general have sought action against the EPA’s lack of asbestos regulation. Earlier this year, a petition from state AGs hoped to increase asbestos regulation and importation.
However, the petition was denied by the EPA on the grounds that the organization is doing all it can regarding asbestos mitigation and research.
The recent suit in question highlights the denial of this petition and hopes to put a stop to asbestos use once and for all.
Established in the 1970s, the Environmental Protection Agency has worked hard to establish environmental regulations regarding carcinogens, radiation, and other dangerous substances that could cause us harm. For example, the risk of lung cancer is 16% higher when radon levels increase every 100 Bq/m. No amount of asbestos, on the other hand, is safe.
But countless homes suffer from asbestos control issues since the material was once used as a popular form of home insulation. And home insulation is essential at keeping your home — and your wallet — safe. Insulation and other energy-saving features might make your old home up to eight times more efficient than investing in a new home, but old asbestos needs to be torn out before new features are added.
“Asbestos is a known carcinogen that kills tens of thousands of people every year, yet the Trump Administration is choosing to ignore the very serious health risks it poses for our residents,” explains Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, the other leader of the coalition. “We urge the Court to order EPA to issue this new rule to help protect workers, families, and children from this toxic chemical.”
Something as simple as standing in the same room as asbestos can lead to carcinogenic effects in the lungs. A simple Google search can tell you more about asbestos than you could ever hope to know. Even entering an asbestos control company demands a lengthy education process, including field training and time spent in front of the screen.
In fact, More than 60 countries have completely banned asbestos after it was revealed that the product causes cancer and chronic diseases, like mesothelioma.
In fact, Thailand is currently suffering from the deleterious effects of asbestos use. The country has little regulation in place and imports up to 60,000 to 180,000 metric tons of asbestos each year, according to Asbestos.com. Though a small number will experience chronic issues, it’s estimated that nearly 50% of Thai people have asbestos found in their lungs.
So far, the current suit against the EPA has AGs from California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia.