Internal Notes Expose EPA’s Asbestos Regulations

The Environmental Protection Agency has come under scrutiny due to internal memos that have been leaked regarding the recent asbestos regulations. These two memos were found by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization and show that the EPA disregarded the opinions of their own scientists while regulating asbestos.

    Multiple staff at the Environmental Protection Agency expressed that they were disappointed in the lack of an outright ban on asbestos. They wrote that, “Rather than allow for (even with restrictions) any new uses for asbestos, E.P.A. should seek to ban all new uses of asbestos because the extreme harm from this chemical substance outweighs any benefit — and because there are adequate alternatives to asbestos.”

    Although the use of asbestos has been mostly stopped in the United States, asbestos still come into this country through other revenues. The primary revenues are from countries such as China and India which import items such as household bleach, bulletproof vests, electrical insulation, and other building materials.

    Vice president of the American Chemistry Council Mike Walls is opposed to this idea of outright banning all asbestos in the United States. He states that, “The risks of asbestos can be managed. We ought not to be imposing regulation simply on the basis of hazard.” Walls also claims that there is currently enough regulation on United States industry and that asbestos is already being safely managed.

    Siding with organizations such as the American Chemistry Council, the EPA will continue to fight against the outright ban of all asbestos.

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