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'Bombshell' Report: Internal Memos Show Trump EPA Ignored Agency Scientists' Calls to Ban Asbestos

May 8, 2019
In The News

In a report that elicited calls for congressional action, the New York Times revealedWednesday that "senior officials at the Environmental Protection Agency disregarded the advice of their own scientists and lawyers in April when the agency issued a rule that restricted but did not ban asbestos."

Asbestos is a group of fibrous, heat-resistant minerals used in manufactured goods, particularly building materials. According to the World Health Organization, "All types of asbestos cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, cancer of the larynx and ovary, and asbestosis (fibrosis of the lungs)."

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement last month that the agency's new rule "gives us unprecedented authorities to protect public health" and block certain products from the market. However, environmental and public health advocates raised concerns at the time about loopholes that remain, with one critic calling the regulation "toothless."