The United States government has loosened asbestos-related restrictions, but some states have implemented asbestos regulations to reduce resident exposure to the harmful substance.
New Jersey may join the list — and in a significant way.
The state’s legislature passed a bill that outlaws buying, selling or disseminating products that include asbestos, a fibrous material often used in construction and insulation materials until the 1980s. Asbestos exposure is a primary cause for the development of numerous deadly diseases, including mesothelioma.
Passing the bill would prevent asbestos use in cars, buildings and fertilizer and could reduce mesothelioma rates among New Jersey residents. If the legislation becomes law, it could become an example for other states — and the federal government — looking to improve their residents’ health.
What the Asbestos Law Would Do
Tapinto.net, an online news source for Morristown, New Jersey, reports that state assembly members Lisa Swain, Robert Karabinchak and Britnee Timberlake spearheaded the proposal. The New Jersey Senate unanimously approved the resolution on Feb. 21. The bill awaits executive approval before New Jersey becomes the first state to completely ban all products that include asbestos.
The proposed asbestos law includes a fine of up to $2,500 for violators. The state’s Department of Environmental Protection could also seek additional penalties.
Tapinto.net reports that New Jersey’s potential outlaw of all asbestos products is a response to the federal government’s loosening of restrictions. The Environmental Protection Agency changed regulations in 2018 and now allows the manufacturing of asbestos-included products on a case-by-case basis.
Why Asbestos Is Dangerous
Asbestos exposure is a significant health concern for United States residents. People who worked in construction, mining or on U.S. Navy ships were likely exposed to the substance. Other ways that people have come into contact with asbestos include asbestos-abatement jobs and secondhand asbestos exposure from a friend or family member.
People can inhale or ingest asbestos, which attaches to the tissue that separates a person’s chest cavity and lungs, abdomen and heart. Asbestos buildup on the tissue can result in the development of cancerous cells and a tumor.
Education regarding the dangers of asbestos is essential, especially for people or loved ones of those who have worked in an industry that used or still uses the substance. Asbestos exposure usually occurs without the person’s knowledge, which is why early detection of mesothelioma is difficult. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms related to the rare cancer, seek medical attention immediately.
Additionally, anyone diagnosed with mesothelioma may be eligible to receive compensation due to asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma Guide can help you connect with asbestos legal experts. For more information, contact our patient advocates either by calling 888-385-2024 or complete our free case evaluation form.
- NJ Lawmakers Ban Asbestos. Tap into Morristown. Retrieved from: https://www.tapinto.net/towns/morristown/articles/nj-lawmakers-ban-asbestos-2. Accessed: Feb. 27, 2019.
- U.S. Federal Bans on Asbestos. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved from: https://www.epa.gov/asbestos/us-federal-bans-asbestos. Accessed: Feb. 28, 2019.
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