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Asbestos is a naturally occurring, fibrous mineral that can only be identified under a microscope. Asbestos is found in the ground and is mined all over the world. In the past, asbestos was added to different products as insulation and for fire resistance. Asbestos exposure can cause ailments like mesothelioma and other problems. Extended asbestos exposure usually develops into serious problems.

Asbestos exposure affects an estimated 1.3 million employees in construction and general industry today. The highly toxic, fibrous mineral causes serious problems like mesothelioma and asbestosis.

Asbestos laws refer to the statutes established by state and federal governments to regulate occupational or household asbestos exposure. Asbestos laws also allow those who are injured because of asbestos exposure to seek compensation for their losses and suffering.

The government enacts asbestos laws to provide protection to people who have suffered from the harmful consequences of asbestos exposure. Dangerous levels of exposure can lead to asbestosis -a build-up of scar tissue in the lungs from inhaling asbestos fibers that impede lung functioning and can lead to death or disability-and mesothelioma , a severe and deadly cancer that is almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure. Once diagnosed, the survival time for mesothelioma victims is extremely short; on average, a patient may only have one year to live. People who were exposed to asbestos as far back as the 1940s are still susceptible to developing deadly diseases.

The Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA) enforces asbestos laws that protect workers. Asbestos laws define permissible exposure levels for asbestos in the workplace: 0.1 fibers per cubic centimeter for an eight-hour work period and one fiber per cubic centimeter in any given thirty minute time period. Employers are also required to conduct frequent exposure monitoring and create regulated work areas. Under asbestos laws, employers must also provide their employees with protective respiratory and clothing equipment, adequate hygiene facilities, training on how to safely work with asbestos, and routine health exams.

Asbestos laws are currently the topic of debate in the United States Congress. For the last several years, Congress has been considering an asbestos bill called the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act (the FAIR Act). If passed, a $140 billion dollar industry financed trust fund would be created to assist victims of asbestos-related ailments. However, the FAIR Act would prevent you and your loved ones from filing an asbestos lawsuit against the manufacturers of asbestos products . Please click here to learn more about the FAIR Act.

Under state and federal civil statutes, asbestos laws also allow victims of asbestos-related injuries to seek compensation for damages suffered. Victims may recover compensation for medical expenses, lost income capacity, loss of companionship, reduced lifespan, pain and suffering, and more . In cases where a victim has died because of asbestos related disease, asbestos laws permit the victim's family to recover damages related to the asbestos illness.

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury or illness because of asbestos exposure, it is wise to seek the early assistance of a qualified attorney who is familiar with asbestos laws.

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