While asbestos is not as common as it once was in American life, it is not completely banned. The substance is still used in some industries, where workers are exposed to it.
For much of the twentieth century, asbestos was used in a wide variety of products. Made from a naturally-occurring material, asbestos can be used to make things tough and resistant to fire and electricity. Unfortunately, it is also extremely dangerous for human health. Tiny fibers of asbestos can enter the lungs, where they can cause deadly forms of cancer.
Starting in the 1970s, state and federal regulators started to put limits on the use of asbestos. In 1989, Congress attempted to enact a complete ban on its use. However, the ban was partially lifted just a couple years later. Since then, the government has gone through several rounds of alternating between tightening and loosening restrictions on the use of the material.
Some industries still work with asbestos regularly. These include shipbuilding, auto parts manufacturing and more. And many Louisiana residents are exposed to asbestos every day because it is present in old buildings, including homes, office buildings and industrial structures.
Further complicating things is the fact that asbestosis, mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses can take years to develop. In some cases, people develop one of these diseases as much as 20 years after they were last exposed to asbestos.
These complications can make it more difficult to hold any party accountable in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, but they don’t make it impossible. Those injured by asbestos, and their families, can speak to a skilled attorney about their options for finding out who was responsible for their exposure to asbestos so that they can hold them accountable, and so that they can recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.