The global asbestos industry through the asbestos lobby is desperate to make consumers forget that their business is tied to increasing rates of deadly diseases such as malignant mesothelioma. Proponents’ attempts to flat-out deny this link have shown that they are not above using faulty science to deceive lawmakers or the general public, no matter the cost.
However, that’s not to say that people are helpless to do anything – far from it. As we all know, education is the best way to fight deception and protect ourselves.
The asbestos lobby wants to get a foothold in the developing world
As if it weren’t bad enough that the asbestos lobby essentially rendered federal laws reducing asbestos use toothless, proponents are also pushing for the use of the mineral in nations such as Brazil, China and India. There are several things that are disturbing about these efforts.
Studies are showing that the incidence of mesothelioma and other asbestos-induced diseases eventually shift downstream, from the miners and manufacturers to the carpenters, plumbers and other tradespeople who have to handle the material. This same pattern can eventually emerge in nations that still mine asbestos.
Organizations that lobby for the asbestos industry have sometimes suggested that knowledge of the risks associated with asbestos leads to the possibility of handling the mineral safely. However, in developing nations, the regulations needed to enforce safety measures are rarely in place.
Perhaps most disturbing, though, is the fact that science hasn’t proved that there’s a safe level of exposure to chrysotile asbestos. If even minute amounts of this mineral can cause cancer, there’s no denying that it has to be banned.
Still, the chrysotile asbestos lobby has fought large-scale government efforts to crack down on asbestos use. That doesn’t mean that consumers should give up the fight.
Kazan Law stands up for consumers
Time and again, the courts have listened to us at Kazan Law when we told them how maliciously irresponsible companies have disregarded the health of consumers and tradespeople.
We first beat the “chrysotile is safe” defense argument almost 40 years ago. There are a couple of recent examples. In 2010, we represented a mesothelioma patient who worked with Rockbestos brand wire insulation as a machinist from 1969 to 1971, as did his mother before him. A jury ruled that Rockbestos ignored more than 60 years’ worth of scientific evidence linking asbestos to mesothelioma, and that the company demonstrated malice in failing to warn customers about the risks until 1979.
In 2011, we proved to a jury that brake manufacturer Pneumo Abex was aware of the ties between asbestos and cancer since at least the 1940s, but failed to warn consumers or brake specialists. When a part-man from Oakland developed the deadly disease, we represented him.
These juries awarded more than $20 million for our clients.
We don’t just act locally, though. We have a proud history of supporting scientific studies that develop better treatments for mesothelioma. During the most recent meeting of the International Mesothelioma Interest Group, several researchers presented work that they completed with our financial help. These included efforts to enhance the immune system’s response against cancer cells and manipulate genes associated with the development of mesothelioma.
We also support global efforts to ban the use of asbestos. We work closely with the International Ban Asbestos Secretariat, which helps organize educational conferences all around the world.
If you find yourself wondering whether you, too, can help fight the chrysotile asbestos industry and the asbestos lobby, remember that you have a voice as well. Don’t keep your concerns, frustrations and anger to yourself. Put them to good use and contact your lawmakers to let them know how you feel about these issues. If you want to spread the word, write a letter to the editorial section of your local newspaper and tell your story about how asbestos exposure has impacted your life.
It’s guaranteed that you’re not alone, and the influence of the asbestos lobby is nothing compared to the collective voice of everyday people like you. Send a copy to us and we will publish it online!