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The use of asbestos has been limited, controlled and regulated in the United States since 1970. Yet, asbestos still remains a significant risk for many Americans and may cause serious diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Why is Asbestos Harmful Now – More Than Four Decades After Regulations Were Put in Place?
There are a few reasons why asbestos remains harmful despite the increase in regulations over the past few decades. Those reasons include:
- It often takes several decades, or more, for the health effects of asbestos to become apparent. That means that people may have been exposed to the dangerous asbestos fibers before strict regulations were in place and may suffer from asbestos related diseases now or in the years to come.
- Many products that contain asbestos are still in use. Buildings, cars, boats and other structures or goods that contain asbestos may still be used and may pose a threat to public health, especially if the asbestos is disturbed or released into the air.
- Asbestos containing structures may not be safely and properly demolished and asbestos particles may be released into the air.
If you think that you may have been exposed to asbestos recently, or in the distant past, please let your doctor know so that he or she may properly screen you for asbestos related diseases and warn you of symptoms that require prompt medical treatment.