No sane person would bring back asbestos... Shurely
Yet........ he wants to make asbestos a thing again. Yes, the material that is synonymous with cancer, and that 60 countries have banned
As quick reminder, asbestos were popular in the early 20th century thanks to the fact they were cheap, lightweight, and fire-resistant. At the time, virtually everyone was using the material for insulation and fabrics. (You know what else used to be popular? Cigarettes, lead paint, and dumping industrial waste in streams and rivers.) It soon became apparent, however, that asbestos was an extremely dangerous carcinogen that caused, among other things, lung cancer, mesothelioma, cancer of the larynx and ovary, and asbestosis. Nearly 1 million people have sued for asbestos-related injuries, and by the 1970s the U.S. had stopped using them in most buildings, and banned them from products like flooring felt and corrugated paper. But the president has always had a thing for the material, and thinks they’re long overdue for a comeback.
Currently, Trump’s E.P.A. is considering a proposal—a “significant new-use rule”—that says manufacturers of asbestos products would have to inform the agency prior to an asbestos-containing item going to market, in order to give the E.P.A. time to evaluate its risks. But, shocker of all shockers, the rule contains a couple of giant, gaping loopholes. The first is that, according to environmental activists, evaluating asbestos products on a case-by-case basis means “the agency could in theory approve new items for sale that contain the deadly carcinogen,” if, and this is just a for instance, the manufacturer in question was a paying member of Mar-a-Lago. The other issue is that rather than requiring all new asbestos-including products to be reviewed by the E.P.A., the rule “would include just 15 specific uses that would trigger a federal assessment.” That, of course, means that other uses would avoid review. “This is presuming there’s nothing under the sun you could ever do with asbestos other than these 15 things,” Betsy Southerland, the former director of the E.P.A.’s office of science and technology, told The New York Times.