Concerns Raised Over TTIP’s Impact on Asbestos Regulations
Asbestos is a material that was formerly used in many materials, and still may be used in some. Its applications include insulation, roofing, and other building materials. The EU banned the use of asbestos in 2005, but many now worry that the regulations are under threat. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a potential deal between the US and the EU, is the culprit. Environmental and public health activists have concerns. They say that if TTIP is approved, US companies may be able to export products containing asbestos to the EU. While there are asbestos bans at state level in the US, there is no federal ban. This means that regulation isn’t as strict as in the EU, where there is a total ban of asbestos in all forms.
Asbestos is concerning because prolonged exposure to it can lead to various health concerns. One of them is mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer strongly associated with asbestos. Exposure to asbestos can also lead to other types of lung cancer, as well as other diseases. Mesothelioma is incurable and almost always caused by asbestos. It’s most common in those who have worked in environments where they were regularly exposed to the mineral. This can include construction workers and other manual laborers. However, it also occurs in people working in older buildings, from teachers to nurses.
Many people take legal action after being diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related condition. Firms such as Madeksho Law can help with your mesothelioma case if you need representation. You may have been exposed to asbestos in the past, but many people are still exposed to it today. It is important to hold those responsible to account. People who suffer from a disease caused asbestos deserve compensation.
In the EU, a substance may be banned without irrefutable evidence of its danger. If a risk is apparent, they don’t need complete scientific proof to act on it. However, in the US, things are very different. Asbestos manufacturers can even sue the government if they think regulations are too strict. There was previously a ban on asbestos use, put in place by the Environmental Protection Agency. However, in 1991 it was overturned due to a lawsuit by a manufacturer. It did mean stricter regulation, but there was no longer a complete ban.
Overall, TTIP has received a mixed reception both in the EU and in the US. There are concerns from many in the EU that the agreement is overreaching. Many believe it could have disastrous effects and allow US corporations too much power in the EU. It was hoped that an agreement could be reached by the end of 2016, but that is unlikely to happen. Advocates say a deal needs to be in place by the time President Obama leaves office. However, talks so far have led to barely any progress in some areas. Germany and France have been critical in particular.
TTIP may not go ahead, but if it does it could have implications for asbestos regulation. These could be along with changes due to an agreement between the EU and Canada.