EPA Asbestos Rule ‘Half Step’ That Leaves Deadly Carcinogen Legal

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For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, April 17, 2019

WASHINGTON – The rule announced today by the Environmental Protection Agency claiming to strengthen the agency’s ability to restrict certain uses of the notorious carcinogen asbestos falls short of what is required to fully protect public health, said EWG legislative attorney Melanie Benesh.

The so-called significant new use rule, or SNUR, restricts uses of asbestos that have already been abandoned by industry. Instead of outright banning asbestos, the SNUR merely requires manufacturers to notify and seek approval from the EPA before resuming these uses.

“This new rule makes it more difficult for industry to resume some abandoned uses of asbestos, but that is a half step at best,” said Melanie Benesh, legislative attorney at EWG. “Administrator Wheeler should use the authority under the new Toxic Substances Control Act law and ban all uses of asbestos. That is the only way the public can trust industry will never again be able to use this dangerous material that has literally killed tens of thousands of Americans.”

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