Following testimony about mesothelioma, asbestosis and other dangers posed by exposure to asbestos, the Brazilian Supreme Federal Court has entirely banned the production, sale and use of asbestos throughout the entire country.
The 7-2 vote by the country’s top judges mans that the world’s third largest producer and exporter of the deadly material will bring its active asbestos mine operations to a complete halt.
Health advocates in the United States hope that this decision will bring additional pressure on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to finally ban its use in the U.S. as well.
Ever since it has been proven that exposure to asbestos leads to malignant mesothelioma and other serious illnesses, countries around the world have been cutting back on their use of the dangerous material.
Despite popular belief that asbestos has been banned in the United States, it still remains legal, although with restrictions. Attempts to ban asbestos have been defeated by the chemical industry, and the only protections put in place have to do with environmental or occupational exposure.
Health advocates have been lobbying for the nation to join the majority of the world in banning the material, and hope that Brazil’s actions will make that more likely.
Despite the knowledge that asbestos causes malignant mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer, the U.S. has continued to import raw asbestos. In fact, the amount of asbestos brought into the country doubled between 2015 and 2016.
With 95% of the asbestos imported into the United States having come from Brazil, the Brazilian Supreme Court’s ruling will mean that the material will need to be purchased from Russia or China, and that may have an impact on how much of the product is brought in.
The Brazilian Supreme Court’s decision was based on their assessment that there are no safe levels for the use of asbestos and that a federal law allowing for its use in a controlled way was unconstitutional.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, then you know how much harm it can cause. For assistance with accessing any of the many resources available to asbestos victims, contact our Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.