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Is the EPA ruling on asbestos something to celebrate?

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2024 | asbestos

On March 18, 2024, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced changes to the rules concerning asbestos. This final ruling expands the scope of the restrictions authorized by 2016 amendments to the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act.

The new ruling will still not ban asbestos altogether, however, and if some of the big players in industry have their way, that might not happen for a long time.

The new developments

The March 18 ruling outlaws the use of chrysotile asbestos which was still permitted under the 2016 ruling. Of course, you can’t expect it to disappear overnight. Manufacturers have continued to use this highly toxic substance in multiple products, including brake linings and gaskets, and in the manufacture of bleach and caustic soda. It’s even used in water purification in some parts of the country.

The ruling brings in an immediate ban on the import of chrysotile asbestos but allows up to five years for manufacturers to transition away from using it.

Many believe the ruling does not go far enough

Currently, chrysotile asbestos is the only form of asbestos imported. Some believe the ban could lead manufacturers to turn to other, more dangerous forms of asbestos that are not currently outlawed. They would rather have a total ban on all forms of asbestos. After all, the dangers have been known for years, giving manufacturers decades to find safer alternatives.

For many, it will be too late

Each year, around 40,000 people die due to asbestos exposure they experienced earlier in their lives. The harm it does can take years to manifest, with many not discovering they have asbestos-related cancer until long after they were last exposed to it.

Once asbestos-related cancers become noticeable in your body, they can act quickly, leaving you little time on this earth. That’s why acting fast and getting legal help to claim compensation is imperative.