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EPA announces comprehensive asbestos ban

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared a total ban on the remaining uses of asbestos last week, reinforcing a 2016 law targeting toxic substances in everyday items. This decision comes after years of partial bans and legal battles, aiming to eliminate the presence of asbestos, a substance known to cause cancer, from consumer products entirely.

The ban specifically targets chrysotile asbestos, the last form of the material still in use in the United States, notably in products like brake linings, gaskets, and in the production of chlorine bleach and sodium hydroxide. New York state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos celebrated the move, highlighting its significance for public health and safety across the country.

Despite the global consensus on the dangers of asbestos, with over 50 countries having already implemented complete bans, the U.S. has been slower to act. Advocates like Bobbi Wilding from the Clean and Healthy New York organization point out the lingering effects of asbestos, especially in older buildings in low-income areas. The EPA’s new rule marks a pivotal step towards aligning the U.S. with international standards on asbestos use, promising improved health outcomes for all Americans.

Categories: EnvironmentNews