EPA Finalizes Ban on Ongoing Uses of Asbestos to Protect Public Health

EPA Finalizes Ban on Ongoing Uses of Asbestos to Protect Public Health

The move aligns with President Biden’s ongoing Cancer Moonshot initiative.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a final rule to prohibit ongoing uses of chrysotile asbestos, the only known form of asbestos currently used in or imported to the United States. 

According to a release dated March 18, this decision is the first of its kind under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Chrysotile asbestos—which poses serious health risks, including lung cancer and mesothelioma—is found in products such as asbestos diaphragms, sheet gaskets and vehicle friction products. The ban aligns with President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative, aiming to mitigate the impact of cancer on public health.

“The science is clear. Asbestos is a known carcinogen that has severe impacts on public health. President Biden understands that this concern has spanned generations and impacted the lives of countless people. That’s why EPA is so proud to finalize this long-needed ban on ongoing uses of asbestos,” EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said in a statement. “Under the president’s leadership, EPA has been working expeditiously to put the nation’s chemical safety program back on track and finally realize the protections of the 2016 law. This action is just the beginning as we work to protect all American families, workers, and communities from toxic chemicals.”

The final rule sets compliance deadlines for transitioning away from each use of chrysotile asbestos, ensuring a reasonable transition period while prioritizing public health and safety. The EPA is banning the import of asbestos for chlor-alkali use immediately and implementing strict workplace safety measures to protect workers during the phaseout process.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor for Environmental Protection.