Asbestos is one of the commonly used chemical in almost all forms of products. It was an ideal material to use in construction and to some industry. The substance could have been a great source of income for all its manufacturers that offers high quality products. But a certain study has informed the public of the health hazard of long exposure to the chemical. And then later learned all the bad effects of prolonged exposure to the substance might cause to a person. Diseases as malignant as cancer were diagnosed from people who have history of working directly with asbestos. Now some countries have completely banned the use of asbestos in any form, for it poses as a possible health hazard. The European Union and Austria has already made its move, Japan will soon be joining the two countries.
Most victims of the diseases which have been discovered to have been caused by asbestos are miners or contractors. In short, just an employee of a huge company, which sometimes might not have all the proper knowledge of the risk they face with their work. The effects of asbestos to a person’s health wasn’t made known until 1970. But the use of asbestos dated way back in the ancient times. The cases of employees becoming ill were very rampant that Asbestos Litigation was said to be the longest and the most expensive mass tort in the U.S. history ever recorded. Most Asbestos related cases started to increase during 1980 and are still continuing to pile up until today. In the U.S. alone the Asbestos Litigation total cost was presumed to reach $200 billion. Many of the leading asbestos manufacturers have filed for bankruptcy in the early 1990’s because of the cases filed against them. There are still lots of Asbestos related cases going on the U.S. Supreme court and it will just probably increase its number.
There was this recent prosecution related to Asbestos which involves W.R. Grace and Company. Grace was accused for concealing the air monitoring results in Libby, Montana therefore endangering all the residents to probable Asbestos exposure. Although the company has declared bankruptcy in 2001, they still have to pay for the $280 million dollars fine for polluting the town. Along with the clean air act the removal of asbestos is strictly enacted to protect the public from airborne asbestos fibers. A lot of laws have been made in an attempt of protecting the people from the hazards which the substance might cause.
Now, industries have found some alternatives to asbestos or have limited the use of asbestos in their products. There is also a more improved precaution for the workers who handle the substance. This is probably the asbestos manufacturer’s way to lessen the risk of working with asbestos. But hopefully the use of asbestos would totally be banned similar to what the other country have done. The number of cases filed is just one proof that we need to do something to prevent this from happening.