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Pallone Blasts EPA’s Failure to Address Asbestos

Jun 1, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) released the following statement today after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it would not address the legacy use and disposal of the known human carcinogen asbestos:

“EPA’s refusal to address longstanding concerns around the use and disposal of asbestos is further proof that Administrator Pruitt will bend over backwards to help industry, but won’t lift a finger to protect public health.  

“The use and disposal of asbestos are the main sources of its risk to human health, and it is unacceptable for the Trump EPA to simply ignore these dangers to public health that are inconvenient for their industry allies.  The unfortunate result of the Trump Administration’s inaction is that Americans will continue to get sick and die from this toxic substance.  It’s time for the Trump Administration to put the health of the American people over corporate profits.”

In December, Pallone asked Administrator Pruitt to review the legacy use of asbestos at a public hearing, pointing out that the bipartisan toxics protection law passed last Congress requires EPA to look at the conditions under which a chemical is manufactured, processed, distributed, used and disposed of. During the exchange, Administrator Pruitt noted that Pallone’s concerns were valid and that he had already raised the issue with EPA officials.

In April, the President of the International Commission of Occupational Health released new findings that asbestos-related diseases caused 39,275 deaths in the U.S. each year.   According to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), an independent nonprofit dedicated to preventing asbestos exposure, that’s more than twice the number previously estimated by the federal government.