The public awareness to the health risks of asbestos has increased over the past few decades. It is well publicized that asbestos has been used in building materials, in the military, in products and much more. Almost all Americans have come into contact with an asbestos product at one time or another, most likely without them even knowing it. That is a scary statement. You and your family members could be in contact with asbestos products on a regular basis without you even knowing it.
But how can this happen? Isn’t it outlawed in the United States? No. Asbestos is not banned in the USA. The EPA began to ban the import, processing, manufacturing and distribution of products containing asbestos in 1989, but the asbestos industry worked hard to eliminate this ban. So at this time asbestos is limited, but not outlawed for use in the United States of America.
Here are a few products that you may or may not know can contain asbestos:
- Talc Powder – This product is found around the world and is used to create a variety of products. A recent string of lawsuits involving Johnson & Johnson and showing the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer revealed that the company had scientific proof its talcum powder contained asbestos, yet hid that information from the public for years.
- Crayons – Recently asbestos fibers were found inside a number of crayon boxes.
- Modeling Clay – ArtSkills Clay Bucket and Ja-Ru Toy Clay were both found to contain asbestos.
- Bowling Balls – Historically bowling balls were made from fiberglass and asbestos. So when holes were drilled into the bowling balls, asbestos fibers were inhaled. Even old bowling balls can contain asbestos.
- Books and Book Bindings – The NY Times ran a story about “Fahrenheit 451” being bound with asbestos materials with the hopes that it could never be burned. Back in the 1950’s bookbinders were routinely exposed to asbestos. So the old books in your library may contain asbestos.
Until we decide to pressure our government to ban asbestos, business will continue to expose innocent people to asbestos and put them at risk to develop mesothelioma.