New Zealand recently announced that it will become the 56th country to completely ban the importation of asbestos and asbestos-containing products. The import of raw asbestos has already been banned in the country, but it will soon prohibit the import of products containing asbestos to protect its citizens from deadly asbestos-related diseases, like mesothelioma.
Possible Diseases from Asbestos Fibers
Diseases like asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer can be caused by the inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers. Once fibers have become trapped within the body, these serious conditions can develop over time, taking years or decades for symptoms to appear. Once a victim is diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, their life expectancy often drops to 1-2 years.
On the list of countries that has yet to ban asbestos is the United States. We hope that the U.S. soon follows in New Zealand’s footsteps by banning the import of this hazardous substance.
Workers at Asbestos Risk
Many workers continue to be put at risk while working with and around asbestos-containing materials. Even children are put at risk, as toys contaminated with the substance are imported into the country. Asbestos poses a risk to anyone who comes into contact with it, so why allow it to be imported into any country?