June 26, 2017 By Vogelzang Law Webmaster

Asbestos Still in Commercial Use

Asbestos is a dangerous group of fibrous minerals that have historically been used in many different industries. The use of asbestos materials in construction can be traced to the material’s resiliency, strength and ability to operate as a fire retardant.

Where Can Asbestos Be Found?

The use of asbestos in building materials over many decades means that asbestos can be found in many places, including:

  • Boiler rooms
  • Brake pads
  • Water pipelines
  • Roofing shingles
  • Gasoline drums

Corporations have known for many decades that the use of asbestos can cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis and ovarian cancer. Medical experts have demonstrated that there are no safe levels for exposure to asbestos fibers that remain in the lungs for decades before causing damage.


Since 2007, multiple global campaigns have been launched to ban the use of all asbestos minerals. Annually, more than 100,000 individuals die from asbestos related exposures. Despite these campaigns, corporations continue to use chrysotile, which they are argue is a safe form of asbestos.

The Rotterdam Convention, a treaty that obligates countries to control the use of hazardous materials does not include a ban on the chrysotile form of asbestos. The other five forms of asbestos in the world have been added to the treaty’s hazardous substance list, but industry groups have fought very hard to prevent the inclusion of chrysotile on this list.

There are several countries that are responsible for the blockade. These countries include:

  • Belarus
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Russia
  • Syria
  • Zimbabwe

By preventing the addition of chyrsotile on the list of hazardous substances that must be declared, corporations and their nation partners can continue to sell and export products with chyrsotile contamination without fully informing countries of the dangers that they are facing.

Asbestos is found in conjunction with other minerals and therefore cross-contaminates other products. Additionally, it still serves as a viable commercial product in other less-regulated countries, there are many parties that are interested in making sure that the continued use of asbestos is protected.

Part of the challenge for a mesothelioma and asbestos law firm, is fighting the policy battles alongside the legal battles.

While our dedicated attorneys excel at representing clients, they are equally committed to a world in which the use of all forms of asbestos are banned.