Mesothelioma:

Guidelines and Regulations

Asbestos Statute of Limitations

One of the regulations and guidelines that may hinder a mesothelioma claim is the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations puts a restriction on how long after an injury that a person can file a lawsuit. It varies from state to state for mesothelioma cases but is usually only a couple of years. This regulation is a problem since the symptoms of mesothelioma may not show up for 20 to 50 years after an individual is exposed to asbestos. Because of the statute of limitations, people with x-rays that show changes consistent with mesothelioma have begun to file claims before they actually become sick. The American Bar Association (ABA) has two suggestions to remedy this problem. First, a standard of damage should be employed. Secondly, the ABA suggests that the statute of limitations not begin until the person becomes ill.

Asbestos Regulation

Asbestos is banned in 60 countries worldwide. Nonetheless, in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has no general ban on the use of asbestos. However, there are regulations and guidelines that exist for the use of asbestos. Asbestos was one of the first hazardous air pollutants regulated under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act of 1970, and many applications have been forbidden by the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

Asbestos Surveys

Currently, asbestos is not part of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) E 1527-05 Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA). A Phase I ESA is a report for a property that ascertains potential and existing environmental contamination liabilities. Instead ASTM Standard E 2356-04 should be consulted by the proprietor to establish which type of asbestos building survey is suitable. There are two main kinds of surveys, a baseline and a design survey. Typically, a baseline survey is performed by an EPA (or State) licensed asbestos inspector. Also, the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Ari Pollutants (NESHAP) from the EPA and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations must be consulted in addition to ASTM Standard E 2356-04 to ensure all legal requirements are satisfied.

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