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EPA Proposes Ban on Asbestos; W&L Applauds

May 4, 2022
Home Firm News EPA Proposes Ban on Asbestos; W&L Applauds

This month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a ban on all ongoing uses of asbestos. (1) Weitz & Luxenberg supports this historic proposal 100%.

The proposed EPA ban must go through a 60 day commentary period before it becomes a “final rule.”

“The proposed ban would take effect two years after the effective date of the final rule.” (2)

This rule would prohibit ongoing uses of chrysotile asbestos, the “only form of asbestos known to be currently imported, processed or distributed for use in the U.S.” (3)

The ban would apply to asbestos in products such as “asbestos diaphragms, sheet gaskets, brake blocks, aftermarket automotive brakes/linings, other vehicle friction products, and other gaskets also imported into the U.S.” (4)

Support for EPA Proposed Asbestos Ban

This milestone “marks a major expansion of EPA regulation under a landmark 2016 law that overhauled rules governing tens of thousands of toxic chemicals in everyday products, from household cleaners to clothing and furniture.” The 2016 law is known as the Frank Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act. (5)

For decades, chemicals that were known to cause cancer were mostly unregulated under federal law. The 2016 law was “intended to clear up a hodgepodge of state rules governing chemicals and update the Toxic Substances Control Act, a 1976 law that had remained unchanged for 40 years.” (6)

“On behalf of millions of U.S. residents, Weitz & Luxenberg is proud our country is finally proposing a ban which, when final, would join the more than 50 countries already banning asbestos,” says W&L Charles M. Ferguson, partner and chair of our Mesothelioma and Asbestos Practice Group. “We applaud the EPA for its proposal. My fellow attorneys and I look forward to the time when we can say mesothelioma and other devastating asbestos related diseases are a thing of the past.”

He insists, “By banning asbestos, we are protecting ourselves, our families and friends — and future generations.”

Asbestos Exposure Leads to Devastating Illnesses

“Even though use of asbestos in the United States has declined in recent decades, hundreds of new mesothelioma cases are diagnosed each year. Even just one case is a case too many,” explains Mr. Ferguson.

Asbestos isn’t just an annoyance, it’s a carcinogen. It’s deadly. The diseases it causes are debilitating. When people breathe in asbestos fibers, those fibers accumulate in the lungs.

Asbestos fibers in the lungs which may migrate to the lining of the lungs, the pleura, are capable of causing different types of cancers, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. Asbestos fibers can also damage other tissues throughout the body.

Asbestos fibers are insidious. They may remain unnoticed for decades. By the time you have symptoms of a disease such as mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer of the lining of the lung, the disease is usually in an advanced stage. Unfortunately, your overall prognosis is grim.

Dedicated to Helping Asbestos Victims

Since its founding in the mid-1980s, Weitz & Luxenberg has dedicated itself to helping victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases. We have gone up against the biggest and most egregious corporate offenders. These are companies putting profit above all else, endangering people’s lives without giving it a second thought.

We are happy to say, we’ve been winning. Every victory on behalf of our clients is a step in the right direction — ending the heartbreaking news of yet another asbestos exposure victim.

Winning Lawsuits for Clients

We’ve won many trial verdicts for clients suffering from asbestos related diseases. For example, the jury awarded $190 million, the largest-ever New York State group case, for our five clients who were hardworking, blue-collar tradesmen.

Another large win was $75 million in the largest-ever New York State single case. Our client was for a woman exposed to asbestos dust her husband brought home on his clothes.

In an additional case, our successful trial resulted in $27.4 million for our client who developed mesothelioma after using the talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder for decades.

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