ASBESTOS FEDERAL LAWS
Federal asbestos laws are designed to protect workers and residents from
asbestos exposure and diseases like mesothelioma
Federal asbestos laws were enacted in response to high asbestos-related
mortality rates from mesothelioma and asbestosis being recorded in certain U.S.
industries, including the construction, automotive, maritime and heating systems
Congress passes federal asbestos laws
July 21, 2010 – Congress passed the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act
(AHERA) in 1986, in conjunction with other federal laws, to protect construction
workers, building maintenance employees and workers in other high-risk asbestos-plagued jobs from occupational
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has two different asbestos
laws it governs by – The Clean Air Act and The Toxic Substances Control Act –
and helps oversee enforcement of AHERA.
According to the EPA’s Web site, the agency only requires removal of asbestos
to prevent significant public exposure during demolition or renovation
For certain public buildings – like school buildings – the EPA asks that they
have an in-place, pro-active asbestos management program to ensure
asbestos-containing construction materials remain in good condition and can not
be physically disturbed, which dislodges toxic fibers into the air.
Federal asbestos laws
Removal of asbestos-containing building products, and renovation work in
older buildings identified as containing asbestos materials, are work activities
regulated by AHERA and enforced by the EPA, especially when the asbestos-based
material is in, what is described as, “friable” condition.
According to the EPA, “friable” means the suspect material can be crumbled,
pulverized or reduced to powder by hand pressure when dry. It can also refer to
non-friable material if those products will become damaged to such an extent
that they may too crumble or be reduced to powder, which easily happens during
Occupational asbestos exposure
occurs when work-site employees accidentally inhale airborne asbestos fibers
that dislodge from friable asbestos-tainted building products.
Before AHERA was enacted, workers in certain high-risk jobs were simply
uninformed about the serious health hazards they faced at work, and often went
about their business without any warnings or protective gear, like respirators.
Such negligence allowed for thousands of cases of occupational asbestos
Weitz & Luxenberg – Asbestos-injury law firm
If you were employed in the construction industry 25 years ago, before AHERA
went into effect, you can still be diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease,
like asbestosis or mesothelioma. If that happens, you have the legal right to
seek financial compensation by filing a mesothelioma cancer claim.
Weitz & Luxenberg has successfully represented thousands of
asbestos-injured workers against employers that failed to provide safety
equipment and product manufacturers who neglected to warn consumers of the
health hazards associated with their products.
For a free case review, please contact Weitz & Luxenberg through the
communication form at left. The firm has long been recognized for obtaining
record-setting verdicts and
settlements in asbestos-injury cases.