In May 2008, a six-year long battle for many asbestosis mesothelioma victims ended, as a legislative bill was finally introduced to Congress. The legislation, known as H.R. 3339, issued a proposal to ban the use of all asbestos and increase federal funding for research of treatments to fight against asbestos-related illnesses or conditions. The bill was introduced on August 2, 2007 and was part of a six-year process for 54 co-sponsors of the bill, which will go on to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
The purpose of the bill is to add amendments to the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) of the United States, which was passed in 1976. Although the TSCA was amended several times in the last few years to address asbestos as a hazardous material, the amendments did nothing as far as offering federally authorized funding directly for asbestos-related illnesses. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is authorized to conduct asbestos abatement in schools. H.R. 3339 has also been referred to as the "Bruce Vento Ban Asbestos and Prevent Mesothelioma Act 2007.
" Vento was a victim of pleural mesothelioma as well as a state legislator and member of Congress. Mesothelioma Victims Slipping through the Cracks While asbestos is considered a highly carcinogenic contaminant, the United States Geological Survey reported that 2,000 metric tons (approximately 4.4 million pounds) of asbestos was used in 2006 with the Department of Commerce also estimating that approximately $100 million was spent on importing brake parts each year, with these parts allegedly showing traces of asbestos. The following are facts and statistics of the state of the asbestos industry in the United States currently and highlighted in H.R.
3339: * There is no known safe inhalation level of asbestos exposure. * Products imported from foreign areas may have little-to-no asbestos regulations causing asbestos-tainted products to be imported to the United States. * New uses of asbestos were essentially banned with the TSCA, but asbestos continues to be imported and used in consumer and industrial products. * Usually patients of mesothelioma have only one-year to live after receiving their diagnosis of cancer. * Europe had a widespread ban of asbestos in 2005.
Asbestos Bill Breakdown Essentially, with H.R. 3339, supporters are hoping to develop an in-depth study that will: * Evaluate the health effects of non-asbestoiform minerals and elongated mineral particles. * Develop recommendations to identify, distinguish and measure these minerals and particles, which may or may not cause diseases or adverse health effects.
* Provide a description of these minerals and their ability to remain biopersistent in the human body. * Provide a description of mesothelioma, or any other form of cancer or non-cancer form of disease that is caused by these minerals and particles. * Develop improved sampling and analytical methods for non-asbestoform minerals and elongated mineral particles. * The legislation would require that within 18 months of this bill enacted into law, this study, which has been seen as critical by supporters of this bill, be completed. * The sponsors of the bill have also enacted a portion of the bill to address the need for public education and awareness program.
* A campaign to educate the public would need to begin within one year of the bill becoming law. * The program would require the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Secretary of Labor to work together to devise a plan for a public-education campaign. The bill requires the campaign to address the following: * Increase awareness of asbestos-containing materials, products and contaminants in homes and work environments * Increase awareness of asbestos-induced conditions and illnesses * Offer current and informative information on asbestos-related conditions to patients, family members and health care providers * Improve awareness of asbestos exposure dangers and the health effects of exposure * Providing information on symptoms of asbestos exposure * Increase publicity of research, treatments and clinical treatment trials for patients, family members and health-care providers Battling Mesothelioma Patients who are currently suffering from a form of mesothelioma cancer or other asbestos-induced conditions are advised to contact an experienced mesothelioma law firm.
Developing mesothelioma litigation is a potential source for receiving monetary compensation for the lengthy and expensive costs and bills associated with this asbestos-related illness. Because of the severity of the condition as well as the short life expectancy upon diagnosis, it's important for individuals suffering from this condition to act quickly and seek out the money deserved for this preventable disease.
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