Lobbying Organizations Protect Big Companies From Being Sued About Asbestos
The 1960s provided us with a clear understanding of the dangers of asbestos exposure. One of the biggest and most well-known effects is mesothelioma, which is cancer that grows on the outer part of the lungs. Even with this type of discovery, big-name companies are still producing and using asbestos.
During that time, scientists were still learning exactly what asbestos did to the human body. Companies were not willing to accept this and did everything in their power to maintain their asbestos use, whether they had to intimidate, coerce, or hide critical research, these companies did it.
Operating Pro-Asbestos Organizations
These groups remain in close contact with the United States and Russia.
Now going by the name International Chrysotile Association, or ICA, this group dates back to 1976 starting in the UK. Its original name was Asbestos International Association, which would not be welcomed in any developed country because of the well-known disadvantages of asbestos. The current director’s focus is on lifting bans related to asbestos whenever possible.
Russia gains to profit billions of dollars to export asbestos. With the Chrysotile Association in their corner, they have a safety net to continue their asbestos mining. They have the supporters to protect them from losing money and to freely make asbestos without any inferences.
India is a top consumer of asbestos. Lobbying to keep it that way, the Asbestos Cement Products Manufacturers Association, or ACPMA, is paid to produce false information to the public. The association doesn’t deny death related to asbestos exposure. Instead, they say asbestos will not make Indians sick. The ACPMA was a direct cause for bans to go unheard in 2011 and 2012.
The Mexican Institute of Fiber Industries, or IMFI, works throughout Latin America to stop any bans on asbestos. The organization, which is based out of Mexico, was close with smaller lobbying groups to control the production of asbestos. Now, they are less in control. They do, however, still have a part with the government despite there being evidence of sickness to the Mexican people and workers.
America has not taken a back seat in asbestos lobbying. An active group, the American Chemistry Council, still takes part in stopping asbestos bans. They even have the EPA, or the Environmental Protection Agency, taking a less aggressive stance on asbestos due to their funding and close relationships with businesses.
Fighting Back Against Lobbying Organizations
There are several groups that have formed aimed to fight back against pro-asbestos organizations. Those battles have not been a lost cause, as some made the lobbying group disband. The Asbestos Information Association had to file bankruptcy after fighting to cover-up the United States’ use of asbestos.
When funding dried up, so did Canada’s Chrysotile Institute. As soon as the mines closed in 2012, there was no more money to protect the use of asbestos. Canada used to be the top supplier when it came to asbestos.
The Chrysotile Institute in Brazil disbanded when a ban on asbestos came to Brazil. When Canada began falling short in exports, Brazil picked up the difference to become the leader in supplying asbestos. No sooner than they rose to the top, did they come tumbling down in 2017.
The U.S. Has Groups Focused on Anti-Litigation
With a large amount of money still at hand pertaining to exporting asbestos, the United States has set up groups to limit and prevent litigation towards companies. The use of asbestos continues in the U.S. despite the number of people it has caused illness to and companies find ways around it to protect themselves. For example, groups such as the American Tort Reform Association with the sole purpose to provide protection from lawsuits for use of asbestos.
Other organizations, such as the American Legislative Exchange Council and American Insurance Association/ National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies appear as a legitimate organization focused on helping people. However, they are funded by companies who still use asbestos, therefore working to push away anything that will take away their funding.
This gives these businesses the power to control who and what people say, even if it is wrong, for their own greed. The groups and scientists involved in corrupting people don’t really have a say. If they speak out, they will lose money, too.