Today, Michael Regan, former secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, will be sworn in as Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Asbestos is one of the most studied and dangerous toxic substances in the world. Hundreds of tons of raw asbestos are imported into the U.S. each year. Most of it is used in the chlor-alkali industry to make chlorine, but asbestos has been found in children’s crayons, talc, automobile brakes, makeup, and other products.
Asbestos is still found in older homes, schools, and other buildings across the country. This leads to significant ongoing exposure and risk to workers and the rest of us. There are tens of thousands of deaths from asbestos-related illnesses in the U.S. each year.
Yesterday, at the Biden EPA’s request, a federal judge vacated a Trump EPA rule that would have weakened the agency’s ability to protect our health. Hundreds of thousands of Americans and hundreds of scientists spoke out against it, and attorneys general for 14 states and six cities took action in opposition.