EPA bans most common form of cancer-causing asbestos – that has continued to be used in insulation, home appliances and brake pads despite links to 40,000 deaths a year

The Biden administration has issued a ban on chrysotile asbestos after three decades of failed attempts to cease using all forms of the deadly cancer-causing mineral.

All other forms of asbestos have been banned, with the first going into effect more than 50 years ago.

Asbestos is found in insulation, home appliances and brake pads in the U.S. and is already banned in more than 50 countries. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the ban as part of the new Toxic Substance Control Act which received a near unanimous vote from the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

The Biden administration has banned chrysotile asbestos after three decades of failed attempts to fully ban the deadly mineral

The EPA has banned chrysotile asbestos imports effective immediately and issued deadlines for when facilities should fully transition away from using the toxic mineral.

Companies that use diaphragms containing asbestos and those that have to transition multiple facilities have five years to do so for the first facility, while they have eight years to convert the second and 12 years to convert the third.

‘Today’s rule is a positive first step to give all Americans a future free of exposure to asbestos – a carcinogen that has killed far too many,’ said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon). 

‘… An immediate ban on the import of chrysotile asbestos for the chlor-alkali industry is a long overdue step forward for public health,’ he added.

Chrysotile asbestos is the only known form to be imported, processed and distributed in the U.S., with the last known import brought in by the chlor-alkali industry in 2022.

The chlor-alkali industry’s main products include chlorine, sodium hydroxide and potassium carbonate, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Asbestos is known to cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, ovarian cancer, and laryngeal cancer and is also linked to more than 40,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, according to the EPA. 

‘Asbestos has harmed people across the country for decades, and under President Biden’s leadership, we are taking decisive action to ban its use and advance this administration’s historic environmental justice agenda,’ said White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory.

‘This action marks a major step to improve chemical safety after decades of inadequate protections, helping advance President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot goal to end cancer as we know it.’

Dailymail.com has reached out to the EPA for comment. 

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