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 industries.
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 asbestos exposure.
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 projects.
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 renovation projects.
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 exposure.
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.