Health Library

Published: September 2023

2023 Asbestos Report

Published By:

Contributors: Linda Reinstein

For far too long, we have asked industry about asbestos importation and use and their impact on human health, but most often received selective information that failed to present critical facts. This report is a culmination of the past 20 years of hearing testimonies and research. It evaluates the current changes in the asbestos industry, the legal and legislative policies related to asbestos regulation,
and the benefits of a future free of asbestos.

Executive Summary

The facts are irrefutable.

  • Asbestos is a human carcinogen.
  • All forms of asbestos can cause disease or cancer.
  • There is no safe level of exposure.

When asbestos fibers become airborne, they can get trapped in the lungs and cause scarring and inflammation. Asbestos exposure can cause suffering and fatal illnesses, including mesothelioma, asbestosis, and cancers of the lung, larynx, and ovaries.

In 1976, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) was the first U.S. federal agency to recommend a ban on asbestos in the workplace. Nearly fifty years later, despite its known toxicity, asbestos remains legal in the United States. The U.S. is the last Westernized nation where asbestos can be imported and used legally. Nearly 70 other countries have already banned the toxin. Individual asbestos fibers cannot be seen by the naked eye.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) attempted to ban asbestos in 1989. However, due to industry opposition, the ban was overturned in court, and since then, profits have continued to prevail over public health. Though most Americans assume that asbestos can no longer be imported and used, it remains an ever-present threat. The chlor-alkali industry is the last industry to import and use raw asbestos,
which it relies on to manufacture chlorine and caustic soda.

Click here to read the full article: 2023 Asbestos Report

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