EPA: Ban asbestos
Asbestos is a notoriously toxic substance. A known carcinogen, it can cause fatal illnesses including mesothelioma, asbestosis, and cancers of the lung, larynx, and ovaries. It is estimated that each year more than 40,000 Americans die from entirely preventable asbestos-caused diseases. Today, while asbestos is banned in nearly 70 countries, it is not banned in the United States.
There is still much more work to be done to truly protect us from this dangerous substance. All asbestos should be banned, not just individual fibers.
Working with our partners at Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, we continue to fight for federal bans on asbestos.
- In April 2022, nearly six years after TSCA reform was signed into law, EPA proposed a rule that bans the import, use, and manufacture of chrysotile asbestos, one of six harmful asbestos fibers. The largest use of this form of asbestos is in the manufacture of chlorine and caustic soda, which relies heavily on imports of raw chrysotile asbestos.
- In 2016, Safer Chemicals Healthy Families (today known as the federal policy program of Toxic-Free Future) built a coalition that worked to convince Congress to update the Toxic Substances Control Act, giving the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) more power to regulate asbestos and other chemicals. Unfortunately, the EPA has not yet made full use of this power and our asbestos exposures continue.