Washington (April 5, 2022) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA ) announcement is considering banning a form of asbestos. Asbestos is a known human carcinogen and exposure can cause mesotheliomas, lung, gastrointestinal, larynx and ovarian cancers. Between the 1930s and the 1970s, asbestos was widely used in consumer products and as insulation, including in schools where millions of children spend many hours every day.
“I have long fought to ban this harmful material that kills tens of thousands of Americans every year,” said Senator Markey. “While I am pleased to see the EPA take a big step forward in eliminating exposure to this major form of asbestos, there are still five types of asbestos that can still be imported in consumer products. We need to take a more holistic approach to protecting Americans from all forms of these toxic chemicals. »
Asbestos production was stopped in 2002 in the United States, but it is still imported to produce chemicals used in a wide range of items. The EPA’s proposed rule would ban the use, manufacture and import of chrysolite asbestos, known as “white asbestos,” which is used in building materials and auto parts. Other forms of asbestos would still be allowed to be imported under the proposed rule.
In 2015, Senator Markey released the report “Failing the Grade: Asbestos in America’s Schools” which revealed the extent of asbestos-related risks in schools and the inefficiencies in monitoring, investigating and remediating the asbestos-related risks.