Making Asbestos Great Again

While the caterwauling freakshow that is the Trump administration continues apace, they are also passing some hideous regulations–with bonus Russia action! (boldface mine):

One of the most dangerous construction-related carcinogens is now legally allowed back into U.S. manufacturing under a new rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Fast Company recently reported that on June 1, the EPA authorized a “SNUR” (Significant New Use Rule) which allows new products containing asbestos to be created on a case-by-case basis.

According to environmental advocates, this new rule gives chemical companies the upper hand in creating new uses for harmful products in the United States. In May, the EPA released a report detailing its new framework for evaluating the risk of its top prioritized substances. The report states that the agency will no longer consider the effect or presence of substances in the air, ground, or water in its risk assessments.

This news comes after the EPA reviewed its first batch of 10 chemicals under the 2016 amendment to the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which requires the agency to continually reevaluate hundreds of potentially toxic chemicals in lieu of removing them from the market or placing new restrictions on their use. The SNUR greenlights companies to use toxic chemicals like asbestos without consideration about how they will endanger people who are indirectly in contact with them.

Asbestos was widely used in building insulation up until it was banned in most countries in the 1970s. The U.S. is one of the only nations in the world that has placed significant restrictions on the substance without banning it completely. The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) revealed in April that asbestos-related deaths now total nearly 40,000 annually, with lung cancer and mesothelioma being the most common illnesses in association with the toxin. That number could rise if new asbestos-containing products make their way into new buildings.

Did we mention Russia? Why, yes, we did!

As the world’s largest exporter of asbestos, the Russian company Uralasbest operates an enormous open mine nearly half the size of Manhattan in a mountainous town 900 miles northeast of Moscow, according to the Center for Public Integrity. The company has support from the government and President Vladimir Putin, even though their economic success exposes the local residents to major health risks. Once referred to as “the dying city,” Asbest’s residents have reported the carcinogenic dust is often found as a thick film over garden vegetables, laundry lines, and even on the floors of their homes.

Earlier last month, The Washington Post noted that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the ADAO had discovered a controversial post on Uralasbest’s Facebook page showing photos of company pallets stamped with a seal of U.S. President Donald Trump’s face. Trump has long been vocal about his skepticism on the harmful effects of asbestos, citing in his 1997 book, The Art of the Comeback, that anti-asbestos efforts were “led by the mob.” In 2012, he tweeted that the World Trade Center might not have burned had the fire-retardant material not been removed from the towers. It’s estimated that 400 tons of asbestos fiber went into the structures before the developers stopped it from being used further in 1971.

MAGA! This dumb motherfucker and his enablers are going to get us killed.

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