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Mesothelioma Victims Receive Victory

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July 9, 2008

Mesothelioma Victims Receive Victory

Mesothelioma research funding may increase if an asbestos bill, recently introduced to Congress, is passed. The legislation, known as H.R. 3339, issued a proposal to ban the use of all asbestos and increase federal funding for research of treatments to fight against asbestos-related illnesses or conditions. The bill will go to the Committee on Energy and Commerce; it was introduced in August 2007 by 54 co-sponsors.

The purpose of the bill is to add amendments to the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) of the United States, which was passed in 1976. Although the TSCA was amended several times in
the last few years to address asbestos as a hazardous material, the amendments did nothing as far as offering federally authorized funding directly for asbestos-related illnesses.

One of the amendments simply authorized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to create requirements as far as asbestos abatement in schools. H.R. 3339 has also been
referred to as the "Bruce Vento Ban Asbestos and Prevent
Mesothelioma Act 2007." Vento, who was not only a state
legislator and a member of Congress representing the Fourth
District of Minnesota, he was also a schoolteacher and a victim
of pleural mesothelioma who died in late 2000.

Mesothelioma Victims Slipping through the Cracks

While asbestos is considered a highly carcinogenic contaminant,
the United States Geological Survey reported that 2,000 metric
tons (approximately 4.4 million pounds) of asbestos was used in
2006 with the Department of Commerce also estimating that
approximately $100 million was spent on importing brake parts
each year, with these parts allegedly showing traces of asbestos.

The following are facts and statistics of the state of the
asbestos industry in the United States currently and highlighted
in H.R. 3339:

* There is no known safe inhalation level of asbestos exposure.

* Products imported from foreign areas may have little-to-no
asbestos regulations causing asbestos-tainted products to be
imported to the United States.

* New uses of asbestos were essentially banned with the TSCA,
but asbestos continues to be imported and used in consumer and
industrial products.

* The median survival period for mesothelioma is a mere one-year
after diagnosis.

* Europe had a widespread ban of asbestos in 2005.

Asbestos Bill Breakdown

Essentially, with H.R. 3339, supporters are hoping to develop an
in-depth study that will:

* Evaluate the health effects of non-asbestoiform minerals and
elongated mineral particles.

* Develop recommendations to identify, distinguish and measure
these minerals and particles, which may or may not cause
diseases or adverse health effects.

* Provide a description of these minerals and their ability to
remain biopersistent in the human body.

* Provide a description of mesothelioma, or any other form of
cancer or non-cancer form of disease that is caused by these
minerals and particles.

* Develop improved sampling and analytical methods for
non-asbestoform minerals and elongated mineral particles.

* Within 18 months of the bill becoming law, it would require
that a scientific-based study be done.

* The sponsors of the bill have also enacted a portion of the
bill to address the need for public education and awareness

* A campaign to educate the public would need to begin within
one year of the bill becoming law.

* The program would require the Consumer Product Safety
Commission, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the
Secretary of Labor to work together to devise a plan for a
public-education campaign.

The bill requires the campaign to address the following:

* Increase awareness of asbestos-containing materials, products
and contaminants in homes and work environments

* Increase awareness of asbestos-induced conditions and illnesses

* Offer current and informative information on asbestos-related
conditions to patients, family members and health care providers

* Improve awareness of asbestos exposure dangers and the health
effects of exposure

* Providing information on symptoms of asbestos exposure

* Increase publicity of research, treatments and clinical
treatment trials for patients, family members and health-care

Battling Mesothelioma

Patients who are currently suffering from a form of mesothelioma
cancer or other asbestos-induced conditions are advised to
contact an experienced mesothelioma law firm.

Developing mesothelioma litigation is a potential source for
receiving monetary compensation for the lengthy and expensive
costs and bills associated with this asbestos-related illness.

Because of the severity of the condition as well as the short
life expectancy upon diagnosis, it's important for individuals
suffering from this condition to act quickly and seek out the
money deserved for this preventable disease.

About the author:
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