Asbestos Legislation - The potential health risks of asbestos have been known for literally thousands of years – even the ancient Greeks saw that it had an effect on those that worked with it. But for too long, the governments of the United States and many other countries opted not to act to stop the use of asbestos in construction, and now thousands of people every year are paying the price. It may be too little, too late, but in recent years the government has been ramping up their asbestos legislation, both to try and ensure that victims of asbestos are compensated and that the flood of constant lawsuits is abated.
The hint that there would be any asbestos legislation was in the 1970s, when the government was working on the Black Lung Bill. Since then, a number of different programs have been proposed to help deal with the problems related to asbestos. Almost every year brings a new piece of potential asbestos legislation, and the issue remains a very heated one that is a focus of many groups, including the Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and many others. The trouble with asbestos legislation is finding a middle ground between the rights of the victims of asbestos exposure, and the rights of the level of liability of the companies responsible for exposing them.
The most recent piece of asbestos legislation to be proposed was the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act, also referred to as the Asbestos Trust Fund. The purpose of this program is to help to limit the amount of asbestos lawsuits that are filed each year – to date over 600,000 such lawsuits have been filed in the US. This would be accomplished by creating a multi-billion dollar fund that asbestos victims could be paid from. However, this program has faced some criticism because it has the potential to deny compensation to some people who legitimate claims for negligent asbestos exposure.
The government is still working on finding a perfect plan for asbestos legislation, and the issue has become a very divisive one. For the time being, it remains the right of every person who has suffered on account of exposure to asbestos to seek compensation for their suffering. In the future, asbestos legislation may remove or limit that right. So, if you are currently suffering from an asbestos related illness, now is the time to file a claim and receive compensation.