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There was a time when Asbestos, a known carcinogen, was banned for use in the United States. During that time, products were made without asbestos, workers carried on without the risk of being exposed to asbestos in their jobs and the number of victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases were expected to decrease, maybe even to zero.

Then the ban was lifted. How did it happen?

Our friends at the International Ban Asbestos Secretariat tell us:

“A judicial decision handed down on October 18, 1991 by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) 1989 order phasing-out the use of asbestos from 1994. The contentious EPA regulation, which was issued under section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act, would have prohibited the future manufacture, importation, processing, and distribution of asbestos in almost all products. As a direct consequence of the appellate decision, a further 250,000+ tonnes of asbestos were used in the U.S., the vast majority of which was imported from Canada.”

Interest groups which got involved in the case included the governments of both Canada and Quebec, asbestos industry groups, asbestos mining companies and the scrap recycling industry. I guess special interests has a lot of power then, as they do now.

Meanwhile, US asbestos use increased 13% in 2011 alone. Looks like our asbestos abatement services will be necessary for years to come.

Remember, asbestos removal is NOT a DIY project! Even one exposure event can cause potentially terminal illness years or even decades down the road. If you want to remove asbestos materials or need to clean up asbestos that has become exposed by a man-made or natural disaster, please call a professional asbestos abatement company like Alliance Environmental Group. Our team is trained to avoid exposure while safely removing all dangerous material from your environment.

Someday asbestos will once again be banned for use in the US. Until then, be careful!