Think asbestos is banned in the United States? Well, you may be surprised to learn that it isn’t. In fact, despite the known dangers and deadly medical conditions associated with this hazardous material — including mesothelioma and lung cancer — U.S. lawmakers still haven’t enacted a comprehensive asbestos ban.
While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did attempt to ban most asbestos-containing products in 1989, a federal Court of Appeals vacated this EPA rule in 1991 — meaning most of the proposed ban on the importation, manufacture, processing or distribution of asbestos products was overturned and therefore not enforceable.
Indeed, according to the EPA, federal law currently does not ban the importation, manufacture or distribution of many asbestos-containing products, including, but not limited to:
- Cement shingles
- Vinyl floor tiles
- Cement pipe
- Cement corrugated sheets
- Disk brake pads
- Drum brake lining
- Transmission components
While there is no complete, comprehensive ban on asbestos in the U.S., it is important to mention that some federal laws — including Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) — do ban this deadly material in certain situations. However, these laws in no way come close enough to protect the entire population.