Mesothelioma Attorneys

Questions about Asbestos

Asbestos Cancer Attorney

Has asbestos use been banned in the U.S.?
No. Asbestos use is regulated, but it has not been banned as many believe. Regulations were passed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1989, to ban and phase out asbestos use. Unfortunately they were overturned two years later.

Asbestos is still used in many industries and can still be found in new household products.

What makes asbestos useful?
Asbestos has several properties which make it useful in many types of applications:

  • Fire resistant
  • Heat resistant
  • Flexible, but strong
  • Poor conductor
  • Good insulator

Why is asbestos dangerous?
Asbestos fibers are tiny and sharp. They cannot be broken down by the body and removed, so when a fiber gets lodged in the body it can stay there for years causing constant irritation. The immune system responds, initially resulting in inflammation. Over time scar tissue is created or cancer develops.

Asbestos products which are completely sealed and intact do not cause health problems. It is when the asbestos fibers are released into the air that they cause asbestos exposure.

Earlier today I was in a building that may have been contaminated with asbestos. Do I need to go to the emergency room?
No. It does not work that way. In most cases it takes somewhere between 20 and 50 years for asbestos-related illnesses to develop.

The amount of asbestos you were exposed to and the frequency and duration of your exposure play a large role in the likelihood of developing mesothelioma, asbestosis, or another asbestos disease. That is why the majority of mesothelioma victims are people who were exposed to asbestos on the job.

In rare cases of exposure to extremely high concentrations of asbestos, people have become ill and died within five years of exposure.

Is there a safe level of asbestos?
No. Some regulatory agencies have set “acceptable” levels of asbestos in the air or water, but the presence of any amount of asbestos poses a health hazard.

I have asbestos in my home. What should I do?
Never try to remove asbestos on your own. You will create an even greater health hazard than already exists. If you damage or tear asbestos-containing materials it will release asbestos fibers into the air. Contact a certified asbestos abatement professional to assess the threat and safely remove the asbestos from your home.