WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the U.S. EPA issued a final rule on asbestos that adds four categories of products to a Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) proposed in June 2018.

In response, Safer Chemicals Healthy Families Director Liz Hitchcock issued the following statement:

“While EPA’s final rule makes some limited improvements on its 2018 Asbestos SNUR, the fundamental problem remains: EPA is not banning the obsolete uses subject to the SNUR but is simply requiring notification before these uses are reintroduced.  This leaves the door open for their return to US commerce.

EPA should permanently ban all asbestos imports and uses — both current and discontinued  — so they do not add to the threat to the American public that this deadly chemical poses. EPA could set the stage for a comprehensive ban by including all uses in its ongoing asbestos risk evaluation, including legacy asbestos uses that can still be found in millions of homes, schools, factories and other buildings across the US.

Congress should pass the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2019, which would eliminate all asbestos import and use in one year.”