EPA Is Allowing Asbestos Back Into Manufacturing
On June 1, the EPA authorized a “SNUR” (Significant New Use Rule) which allows new products containing asbestos to be created on a case-by-case basis. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has enacted a SNUR (Significant New Rule) allowing companies to use new asbestos-containing products on a case-by-case basis. (Courtesy Mesothelioma + Asbestos Awareness Center)
Fast Company recently reported on the potential comeback of one of the most infamous building materials of recent memory. Asbestos is now legally allowed back into U.S. manufacturing under a serious of loopholes by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). AsFast Companyreported, on June 1, the EPA authorized a “SNUR” (Significant New Use Rule) that allowed the creation of new products containing asbestos on a case-by-case basis.
This news comes after the EPA reviewed its first batch of 10 chemicals under the 2016 amendment to the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which requires the agency to continually reevaluate hundreds of potentially toxic chemicals in lieu of removing them from the market or placing new restrictions on their use. The SNUR greenlights companies to use toxic chemicals like asbestos without consideration about how they will endanger people who are indirectly in contact with them. Asbestos was widely used in building insulation up until it was completely banned in most countries in the 1970s.
The U.S. severely restricted its use without completely outlawing it. AsFast Companycovered, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) revealed in April that asbestos-related deaths now total nearly 40,000 annually, with lung cancer and mesothelioma being the most common illnesses in association with the toxin.