Asbestos watchdog organizations believe the U.S. is failing to properly monitor a surge in asbestos imports.
Recently, the EPA rejected a petition to increase public transparency regarding asbestos imports and usage by manufacturers. Despite the marked increase in asbestos flowing into the country, the EPA declined the request from a coalition of environmental organizations.
No new rules needed
The petition was not asking for the EPA to create a new rule regarding asbestos monitoring or imports. Instead, the petition urged the federal agency to leverage existing authority to compel asbestos importers and users to make full disclosures of all products containing the cancer-causing agent.
This is not the only recent example of the EPA declining to pursue stricter asbestos regulations.
A relaxed approach to asbestos exposure
The EPA does not plan to increase asbestos reporting despite the uptick in tainted products and heightened risk of cancer to Americans. Groups such as the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization have reviewed data that indicates asbestos imports increased upwards of 2,000 percent in July and August 2018 alone. Such a surge puts everyday people at a higher risk of developing a deadly asbestos-related cancer.
Supporting the claim, the U.S. International Trade Commission and the Commerce Department reported that 272 metric tons of asbestos flowed into the U.S. in August, 2018. Despite the best efforts made by environmental watchdog organizations to protect everyday Americans from the dangers of asbestos, our communities remain at risk.