Public outrage is building about a proposed change to the country’s asbestos regulations, but perhaps none are objecting as strenuously as those whose lives have been impacted by malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is the deadliest of several asbestos-related diseases, and health advocates have long fought to have the carcinogenic material banned in the United States. Though there were hopes that this would be accomplished following the passage of a new law under the Obama administration, the Trump administration has taken a different approach to hazardous chemicals and substances: in June, instead of finally announcing a total ban of asbestos the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) “for certain uses of asbestos (including asbestos-containing goods)” that would benefit chemical companies that want to expand their use of the deadly material.
Though the EPA has attempted to portray their new rule as being protective, health advocates and mesothelioma victims have recognized it for what it is: a business-friendly rule that will allow greater use of the deadly mineral by importers and manufacturers. Of greatest concern is the fact that the new rule fails to recognize the health impact of asbestos, which has not only been linked to mesothelioma, but also to lung cancer, asbestosis, and other diseases, and reduces efforts aimed at evaluating its safety.
Speaking on behalf of mesothelioma and asbestos-related disease victims, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization’s president and co-founder Linda Reinstein said, “It is incredulous to know that the EPA has ignored the science, the history, and the carnage that asbestos has caused throughout the nation each year,” Reinstein said in a June statement. “From the World Health Organization to the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General, there is global consensus that there is no safe level of asbestos exposure or controlled use of asbestos.”
The EPA is accepting public comment on the new ruling until August 10th. If your life has been turned upside down by mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, we can help. Contact us today at 1-800-966-2244.