Biden-Harris Administration bans asbestos to protect people from cancer

Mar 28, 2024
Written by WR Communications

The Biden-Harris Administration has taken a significant step in protecting public health by finalizing a ban on ongoing uses of asbestos. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the ban on March 18, 2024, marking a historic milestone in the nation’s chemical safety efforts. This ban, the first rule to be finalized under the 2016 amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), aims to halt the use of chrysotile asbestos, the only form of asbestos currently used or imported in the United States.

Asbestos exposure is linked to various cancers, causing over 40,000 deaths annually in the U.S. The ban aligns with President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative, aiming to end cancer’s impact. EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan emphasized the importance of the ban, highlighting the severe health impacts of asbestos.

The rule sets compliance deadlines for transitioning away from asbestos use, particularly in the chlor-alkali sector, where asbestos diaphragms are used in critical processes like water purification. EPA ensures a reasonable transition period while prioritizing public health.

Additionally, the final rule bans asbestos in various products and mandates workplace safety measures and proper disposal practices. EPA continues to evaluate other asbestos fibers to further protect public health. This decisive action signifies progress in chemical safety and underscores the administration’s commitment to environmental justice and public health.

Learn more about risk management of asbestos


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