Lax regulations allowed for recent spike in asbestos imports

15 Nov 2018 by under News

asbestos Trump Russia Facebook image OAO 100x100 Lax regulations allowed for recent spike in asbestos importsLax regulations for by the Trump-controlled Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have contributed to a “surge” in asbestos imports into the U.S., according to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) and the Environmental Working Group (EWG). According to data from the U.S. International Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce published by the two NGOs, more than 550 metric tons of asbestos have been imported into the U.S. so far this year, compared to just 340 tons in 2017.

The increase in asbestos imports is “a major indicator that industry is not concerned about President Trump and the EPA taking any steps to ban or ever reduce the use and import of asbestos.” Instead, the EPA announced a significant new use rule, which will allow new uses of cancer-causing asbestos.

Asbestos is a mineral that was widely used in construction, shipbuilding and friction materials until the 1980s, when its use was restricted. It had been known for decades that asbestos exposure could cause serious diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer, and , a rare but deadly form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs and other internal organs. It can take up to 50 years for asbestos-related diseases to develop. Once diagnosed, they are aggressive and deadly, killing most people within a year or two.

The EWG and ADAO say that the chlor-alkali industry is the remaining user of raw asbestos in the United States, an industry that the organizations say lobbies heavily to maintain the legal exemption that allows it to import and use asbestos.

“It is appalling that unlike more than 60 nations around the world, the U.S. not only fails to ban asbestos, but allows imports to increase,” said Linda Reinstein, president and co-founder of ADAO. “The time is now for the EPA to say no to the asbestos industry and finally ban asbestos without exemptions.”

Source: Chemical Watch

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