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The US EPA Announces Comprehensive Ban on Asbestos

March 18, 2024

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a groundbreaking move for public health, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has declared a comprehensive ban on asbestos, a notorious carcinogen still present in various products across the United States.

This pivotal decision, announced by EPA Administrator Michael Regan, signifies a significant expansion of regulatory efforts under a 2016 law aimed at overhauling regulations concerning toxic chemicals.

The finalized rule targets chrysotile asbestos, the sole remaining form of asbestos used in the U.S., prevalent in items like brake linings, gaskets, and in the manufacturing of chlorine bleach and sodium hydroxide. Regan hailed the ban as a crucial milestone in safeguarding public health, emphasizing the long-awaited closure of a chapter marred by the substance’s severe health risks.

“Asbestos, a chemical banned in over 50 countries, is finally being shown the door in the U.S.,” remarked Regan. “This historic ban, over 30 years in the making, underscores the significant strides achieved through congressional amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act.”

Exposure to asbestos has long been associated with devastating health consequences, including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other fatal diseases, contributing to over 40,000 deaths annually in the nation.

By prohibiting the ongoing use of asbestos, the EPA aligns with President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative, reflecting a concerted effort to eradicate cancer in the United States.

This decisive action by the EPA marks a crucial step forward in prioritizing public health and underscores the government’s commitment to addressing hazardous substances threatening the well-being of all Americans.

 

Credit: AP

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