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New rule won’t prevent future need for mass torts claims

It is no secret that asbestos is a dangerous and toxic substance. Exposure to it may cause diseases like mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis, all of which can be fatal. Despite these dangers, asbestos is still used in certain products in the United States. This means that victims in Tennessee and across the rest of the country are still being exposed to asbestos, and some choose to pursue compensation for their injuries through mass torts claims.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there was a loophole in an old law that made it impossible for the agency to restrict sales of specific asbestos products. The EPA decided to pass a new rule to close the loophole, which went through in April 2019. However, critics of the new rule claim that the EPA could have done more to protect Americans, and should have banned the substance altogether.

The attorneys general from two different states petitioned the EPA, urging improved regulatory action and increased data collection on asbestos importation and subsequent usage. The EPA denied that petition shortly before passing the new rule. Now, 10 states are suing the agency in an effort to secure tougher regulations.

Asbestos causes tens of thousands of deaths every year. Many of these deaths are related to exposure that occurred years or even decades before victims developed symptoms. Until the EPA takes action to ban asbestos, continued use will put more people in Tennessee at risk now and in the future. For some victims, a mass torts claim can help secure necessary compensation for their injuries, which often include physical, emotional and financial damages.