Asbestos Officially Banned By EPA

Asbestos Officially Banned By EPA

( – On March 18, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a ban on chrysotile asbestos, the only asbestos type still used in the US. Asbestos is a deadly carcinogen that the chemical industry in some areas of the US still uses.

According to a cancer advocacy association, The Mesothelioma Center, the US has not manufactured chrysotile asbestos, but has recently imported it from India, China, Kazakhstan, Brazil, and Russia. The US uses it to manufacture sodium hydroxide and chlorine.

The ban is hoped to reduce the number of deaths from cancer by preventing cases of ovarian, laryngeal, lung, colorectal, and other types of cancer linked to exposure to asbestos. The deaths linked to asbestos in the US are over 40,000. Fifty nations worldwide have already banned asbestos, according to the EPA.

Michael S. Regan, the administrator for the EPA, announced that science clearly shows that asbestos impacts public health due to its carcinogenic qualities. According to the EPA, they have created deadlines for compliance with ending every chrysotile asbestos use in the chlor-alkali chemical industry in the US.

Naturally existing asbestos is a mineral fiber located in soil and rock. The housing insulation industry uses it as a fire retardant due to its qualities. The EPA lists the following products that contain chrysotile asbestos: building insulation, chlorine bleach, brake pads, heat-resistant fabrics, vinyl floor tiles, and textured paint for walls and ceilings.

Legislators attempted to ban asbestos in the 1980s, but the measure failed in 1991. During the next few decades, there were some protections provided that proved to be inadequate, according to a statement on March 18 from the White House.

The EPA stated that the US government did pass legislation in 2016 that regulated chemicals that were deemed toxic. Using this legislation, the EPA is now able to work on a viable ban on all forms of asbestos.

The EPA’s ban will aid the Biden administration’s aim to diminish deaths due to cancer in the US, according to a White House statement.

Copyright 2024,