Asbestos is a mineral that was heavily used in many different American industries in the 1900’s. The mineral was found to be extremely dangerous when inhaled, however, and was quickly banned in the 1980’s. Due to the popular usage of it in many different industries, these industries needed asbestos to survive. This led to the ban being overturned just two years after it had been initiated.
Groups and organizations must now fight against the Environmental Protection Agency to reban all use of asbestos. Bills like the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2019 work to have asbestos completely banned in all United States industries.
The Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2019 will call for an amendment of the TSCA that will completely ban all manufacturing, importation, and processing of the asbestos mineral. This bill has been supported now by almost 20 state attorney generals who claim that, “[The] EPA clearly has demonstrated that it is unable and unwilling to use its authority under TSCA to address the unreasonable risks of injury to health and the environment posed.”
The Environmental Protection Agency is not banning asbestos due mostly to pushback from the chlor-alkali industry, which relies heavily on the mineral. The ban on asbestos would result in millions of dollars lost in the chlor-alkali industry and a mass shortage of chlorine across the United States.
The supported of the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2019 claim that the potential damage this could do to the chlor-alkali industry do not outway the damage done to workers from the exposure of the asbestos mineral.