Well Claimants Clogging SystemThe American Bar Association states that a growing number of claimants do not, and may never, suffer from asbestos diseases. Because of the fear of a running statute of limitations, many people that are not presently ill file asbestos claims and have had X-rays that show changes 'consistent with' asbestos disease. This 'now or never filing', often pushed by less than experienced mesothelioma lawyers, is clogging the courts and delaying seriously ill claimants from having their cases heard.
To alleviate this problem, for asbestos law the ABA recommends that:
- A clear standard of impairment be implemented.
- The statute of limitations does not start ticking until a person actually becomes ill.
Asbestos Claims 10,000 a YearAccording to the Environmental Working Group Action Fund, 10,000 people a year die from asbestos-caused diseases the United States, including one out of every 125 American men who die over the age of 50. Despite this, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has no general ban on the use of asbestos. However, asbestos was one of the first hazardous air pollutants regulated under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act of 1970, and many applications have been forbidden by the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
According to the September 2004 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, asbestos is still a hazard for 1.3 million US workers in the construction industry and for workers involved in the maintenance of buildings and equipment.
A Senate Subcommittee of the Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee heard testimony on July 31, 2001, regarding the health effects of asbestos. Members of the public, doctors, and scientists called for the United States to join other countries in tougher asbestos law to ban the product.