EPA proposes ‘historic’ plan to ban carcinogenic asbestos


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday proposed to ban chrysotile asbestos, a known deadly carcinogen.

The big picture: Asbestos exposure is linked to nearly 40,000 dead in the United States each year and 255,000 worldwide, according to the American Public Health Association.

  • Asbestos has been banned in at least 70 countries around the world.
  • “Asbestos causes mesotheliomas and cancers of the lung, larynx and ovaries, in addition to pleural diseases such as asbestosis; it is also strongly associated with pharyngeal cancer, stomach cancer and colorectal cancer “, writes the APHA.

State of play: This specific type, also known as “white asbestos,” is the only known form of asbestos imported into the United States, the EPA said.

  • It is used in roofing materials and can also be found in sheet metal gaskets, brake blocks, and aftermarket automotive brakes and linings, according to the EPA.

Details: The EPA’s proposed ban would prohibit all manufacture, processing, import and commercial distribution of products containing white asbestos.

What they say : “Today we take an important step to protect public health and finally end the use of hazardous asbestos in the United States,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan.

  • “This historic proposed ban would protect the American people from exposure to chrysotile asbestos, a known carcinogen, and demonstrates significant progress in our work to implement TSCA and take bold, long-overdue steps to protect the most vulnerable among us.”

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