EPA Bans Chrysotile Asbestos

For over five decades, mesothelioma and asbestos-related disease advocates have been fighting for asbestos to be banned in the United States of America. Finally, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made a decision that has been applauded by many. EPA finalized a rule that prohibits people from importing and using chrysotile asbestos in the U.S. ADAO is one of the mesothelioma and asbestos-related advocates that acknowledged that the recent ruling by EPA will help in the fight against asbestos and asbestos-related illnesses. However, ADAO highlighted that the rule’s limited scope is not enough. The organization noted that this rule may not be sufficient to keep Americans safe from asbestos exposure and asbestos-related diseases.

The EPA has banned chrysotile asbestos for six conditions of use. This ban means that users of chrysotile asbestos are no longer allowed to import it into the country. The EPA rule bans the use of chrysotile asbestos in several sectors. Several industries must now transition away from chrysotile industries, including the chlor-alkali, refining, chemical, and brake clock industries. However, there are concerns about the extended changeover period allowed by EPA’s ruling. There are also concerns about the ruling’s inconsistencies in compliance deadlines. There are fears that the extended changeover period and the inconsistencies in compliance deadlines will allow people to continue suffering chrysotile asbestos exposure for a long time to come.

Another concern arises from the fact that the EPA ruling only addresses chrysotile asbestos. The rule does not address five asbestos fibers: crocidolite, tremolite, amosite, actinolite, and anthophyllite. In other words, the EPA has not yet fully banned asbestos in the U.S. Regulators believe that chrysotile is the only type of asbestos being used or brought into the U.S. However, critics believe regulators may not know of other uses and may lack all the information. According to ADAO, the EPA ruling’s limited scope shows that asbestos use and imports will only end completely when Congress passes a comprehensive asbestos ban prohibiting all six types of asbestos. ADAO mentioned the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act (ARBAN) as a critical piece of legislation necessary to pave the way for a future free from asbestos exposure and asbestos-related diseases. ADAO counsel Bob Sussman noted that without legislation, exposure to asbestos fibers with the same deadly properties as chrysotile asbestos would continue.

The EPA rule also does not address legacy asbestos. Legacy asbestos is asbestos-containing materials that were used in buildings or structures before the implementation of regulations restricting asbestos use. Examples of such materials include floor tiles, insulation, roofing shingles, and ceiling tiles.

In conclusion, the EPA’s ruling marks a significant milestone in the fight against asbestos and asbestos-related illnesses. However, the reality is that the rule’s limitations will not fully protect Americans from asbestos and asbestos-related illnesses.

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