Asbestos, a mineral that naturally occurs in the environment, has long been used across a number of industries thanks to its unique makeup. Unfortunately, it is also extremely dangerous and can lead to a number of serious illnesses if breathed in or ingested.
If you didn’t already know, asbestosis is currently being used in many industries despite the fact that it’s a known carcinogen. It is used in things like brake pads, gaskets and other kinds of vehicle-friction products.
In 1991, the 1989 ban of asbestos was mostly overturned by a court decision and made it hard for the EPA to have the authority it needed to ban asbestos. Since then, it has been found that asbestos is so dangerous that people have been pushing to have it removed from the market.
Now, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has taken a major step to prevent workers and those in the public from falling ill by making a proposal to ban the ongoing use of asbestos once again.
According to a report from April 2022, The EPA released a proposed rule that would ban the use of the one kind of asbestos that is still imported into the country today, chrysotile asbestos. As a risk-management rule, it’s the first of its kind under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
What will the new rule do to prevent asbestos-related cancers?
The new rule aims to eliminate chrysotile asbestos imports. On top of this, it will also require disposal and recordkeeping requirements to be met in line with the current guidelines issued by the Asbestos National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
There is an unreasonable risk to your health if you’re around asbestos
The EPA has found that there is an unreasonable risk to human health caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos exposure can lead to lung cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma and other serious illnesses, all of which can take decades to develop and are often terminal by the time they’re identified. This step by the EPA could help prevent thousands more injuries or deaths linked to asbestos.