Mesothelioma Attorneys and Asbestos Cancer Resources By State

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“Ground Zero” in the War on Asbestos may have been Libby, Montana. However, the plight of Libby’s workers and their families brought national attention to what is really a worldwide tragedy.

Asbestos could be found in just about any industry in which heat and fire, caustic chemicals or electrical current posed a hazard. The three industries in which workers are at the greatest risk for asbestos disease are power plant workers, those who worked on oil rigs, and anything to do with ship building, repair, or even just close proximity to ships – including US Navy veterans. These are closely followed by construction workers, building maintenance workers and auto mechanics (brake linings and automotive gaskets frequently contained asbestos).

Other than in maintenance of farm machinery, asbestos is not significantly used in agricultures, so regions of the country where agriculture rather than industry dominates often result in fewer victims of asbestos related diseases. Workers at plants that process food products, however, are subject to the same risks as at many other types of factories.

Asbestos and the Law

In 1973, a newly-established federal agency called the Environmental Protection Agency passed its first regulations. However, it was not at the federal or even the state level at which the first laws regulating asbestos were established. In May of 1970, the New York City Department of Air Resources issued a ban on the use of asbestos sprays in construction of the World Trade Center. When the EPA issued the same ban three years later on the federal level, corporate lobbyists for W.R. Grace & Company – the corporation responsible for the illnesses and deaths in Libby, Montana – lobbied Congress to establish what is still known as the “Grace Rule,” which allowed the marketing of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) as “asbestos-free” as long as the actual asbestos content did not exceed more than one percent. Asbestos Legal Resources

In 1989, the EPA attempted to institute a complete ban on asbestos, but the federal courts, once again overturned the ban in 1991.

Nonetheless, there are many rules and regulations regarding the removal and disposal of asbestos, all of which are governed by the EPA, which has established minimum requirements. All state and community standards must follow the federal guidelines; however, many states, particularly those in the West and Northeast, have even more stringent laws in place. In both cases, violators face stiff fines and even prison sentences.

In addition, each state has its own sets of laws regulating worker compensation and personal injury and mesothelioma lawsuits. In some states, these laws provide an environment supportive of asbestos victims, while others tend to favor corporate defendants.