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Does the EPA allow asbestos-containing substances?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a federal agency that was established in 1970 to set and enforce guidelines to protect the environment.

The agency has been under heat lately due to claims that it was going to allow new asbestos-containing products to be used in the United States.

Why would this be a problem?

Asbestos is a material that was widely used in the mid-20th century. While it is chemically harmless, it is extremely dangerous when it enters the body. Over time, the chronic inflammation caused by inhaled asbestos fibers can develop into mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer that affects the outer lining of the lungs.

Many individuals were exposed to asbestos at work years ago and later developed mesothelioma. Further allowing asbestos products on the market would certainly be problematic and could cause even more cases of mesothelioma down the road.

What, exactly, is the EPA proposing?

The fact-checking website claims that the EPA is allowing new asbestos-containing products on the market.

Let’s take a look at the facts:

On June 1, 2018, the office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, part of the EPA, proposed a “Significant New Use Rule” for asbestos. This typically happens when a substance will be used in a completely different way – and the new proposed use could potentially cause concerns.

Basically, the Significant New Use Rule for asbestos requires manufacturers and importers to obtain EPA approval before proceeding with the manufacturing or importing process. This allows the EPA to review the product, and prohibit or limit its use.

The truth: No major changes have been made. The EPA is simply requiring manufacturers and importers to seek EPA approval for new uses of asbestos.

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