Asbestos has been regulated by federal entities since 1971, but people are still dying from mesothelioma due to exposure to the carcinogen, according to a recent analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Asbestos is a group of fibrous minerals that are found in rock and soil. They are mined from the earth and used to make a variety of products. Because of its strength and resistance to fire, asbestos was widely used in industrial products including roof shingles, ceiling and floor tiles, paper and cement products, automotive parts, and packaging.

More than 60 years ago, asbestos was linked to serious illnesses including mesothelioma (a rare form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs or other organs), lung cancer, and asbestosis (a progressive lung disease caused by severe fibrosis). It can take 15 to 50 years after asbestos exposure for symptoms of mesothelioma to present. The disease usually proves deadly within 12 to 24 months of diagnosis.

Yet, asbestos was never banned. But beginning in 1971, regulations were put in place to limit asbestos exposure in the workplace. As a result, use of the carcinogenic fiber substantially decreased in the U.S.

Despite these efforts, thousands of people are still dying from mesothelioma each year. The CDC’s analysis found that from 1999 to 2015, 45,221 people died in the U.S. from this preventable disease.

People who were exposed to asbestos decades before they developed the disease may still be entitled to compensation. Our experience as mesothelioma lawyers shows that all too often giant corporations that manufacture and sell asbestos-containing products continue to choose profits over people until they are forced to pay for their blatant disregard for the health and well being of others.

National Cancer Institute

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