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Sixteen State Attorneys General have formed a coalition and petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to issue new rules that would require the reporting of asbestos uses, The Hill reported. The coalition, led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, believes that inadequate reporting and tracking systems on imported and domestic asbestos make it impossible for EPA to comply with its mandate to prevent risks to the health and environment posed by the widespread use of asbestos. Healey said, “Each year, tens of thousands die from exposure to asbestos. We urge Acting Administrator [Andrew] Wheeler to issue a rule that will protect the lives of thousands of workers, families, and children in Massachusetts and across the country.”
Only a few uses of asbestos are banned in the U.S., but a law passed in 2016 gives Congress more authority to ban uses of this deadly substance.
According to The Hill, last summer the EPA proposed an ineffectual rule that only would require companies to let EPA know if they planned to import or manufacture asbestos for a few very out-of-date uses like for roofing felt and floor tile. Many argued at the time that the EPA, by proposing such a narrow list of obsolete uses for reporting, then companies could use asbestos in other ways and no one would know.
Why This Matters: This is yet another example of the Trump Administration’s EPA turning its back on its mission to protect people from harmful chemicals in the environment. Assuming the best — that EPA was not covering for the industry — then the proposed EPA rule appears to have been a half-hearted effort to regulate a toxic substance that is widely known as a harmful carcinogen. It is good that the Attorneys General are working hard to protect their constituents. With more information about asbestos uses, it is likely that lives can be saved.
A new study from the journal Cardiovascular Research revealed that long-term exposure to air pollution could be linked to 15% of COVID-19 deaths globally. As Al Jazeera reported the researchers analyzed health data across the world relating to health and air pollution, COVID-19 and SARS – a respiratory illness similar to the new coronavirus […]
In the runup to the election next week, we talked with Jean-Luc Duvall, who is a climate organizer with the League of Conservation Voters in North Carolina. In his spare time, Jean-Luc is running for a local office in his home of Wake County. Here are a few of the highlights.
Catherine Flowers is an environmental justice advocate in Lowndes County, Ala., where she began her advocacy work after watching raw sewage leak into the yards of poor residents who lacked access to a municipal sewer system. Lowdnes County is one of the ten poorest counties in Alabama’s Black Belt–a part of the United States where […]
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