Asbestos law and family health
Asbestos and Civil Law
Many of us have heard of the dangers of asbestos and the asbestos laws which governs redress to asbestos affected victims as well as the regulation of asbestos use. Some of us may even know of someone or have a loved one who has been affected by exposure to asbestos. Here I will try my best to pass on what I have gained through research in lay man’s terms.
The asbestos laws falls under that aspect of the law which govern particular issues such as administrative laws, property transactions, contracts and torts (the aspect of the law which governs injuries, damages and losses due to accidents and negligence. This is known as the civil law.
The health risk associated with asbestos and asbestos products have lead to the need for asbestos laws and regulations to govern the use, disposal, avoidance of exposure of workers and the use of the substance in new products to be passed by the EPA (Environmental protection Agency). Here we will briefly look at these laws as they relate to asbestos.
TSAC (15 U.S.C § 2601 et seq.)
This section of the law deals with the Control of Toxic Substances – § 2605. Regulation of hazardous chemical substances and mixtures as well as Asbestos Emergency Response.
- Where § refers to section and wording (substances and mixtures) of this article may at times be replaced by the term asbestos though the law governs all hazardous chemicals.
§2605. Regulation of hazardous chemical substances and mixtures: This section of the rule stipulates that if the Administrator finds reasonable doubt that a manufacturer may be guilty of not adhering to the code of ethics governing the use, disposal or mixture of chemical substances and mixtures, then the Administrator shall be liable to in a nut shell carry out the following:
- Prohibit the manufacturer from carrying on with the process or from distributing the chemical or mixture or limiting the amount which should be manufactured, processed or distributed in commerce.
- Prohibit or limit the manufacturer from processing or distributing asbestos products for particular use or products containing more than the recommended amount of asbestos.
- Require that asbestos products be labelled with clear warning and instructions for usage, distribution in commerce or disposal. This label will be prescribed by the Administrator.
- Require manufacturers and processors of asbestos products to retain records of manufacturing processes used and to carry out the necessary tests necessary for compliance under this section of the law (§2605 item 4).
On Thursday May 16, 2002, BBC NEWS highlighted the story of asbestos victims who won a landmark case to gain compensation for health damages suffered as a result of being exposed to asbestos in the workplace. Three persons who fell victim to asbestos cancer were initially denied financial compensation from their employer as the court ruled that they were exposed to the dust by more than one employer. One victim had been directly affected by mesothelioma (asbestos cancer) while the other two were widows whose husbands died of the disease.
A large number of victims who fall ill have worked in heavy industries such as ship building and engineering. The forecast suggest that there will be an increase number of individuals who fall ill up till the year 2020. It is only just and fair that these individuals and their families be adequately compensated for their pain and discomfort. The asbestos law governing its use and regulation are clear and ought to be adhered to in the interest of health.