The Trump Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency has lost its way. The environmental protection the agency is supposed to provide is in question. In June the EPA enacted a Significant New Use Rule (or SNUR) allowing manufacturers of new products with asbestos to get approval from the federal government on a case-by-case basis.
An article in the New York Times reports the asbestos and chemical industries lobbied the Trump Administration into changing the way the EPA will evaluate potentially harmful substances. In deciding the risk, the Environmental Protection Agency will no longer consider any potential environmental exposure caused by the substances’ presence in the air, ground or water, i.e. the Environment. The continuing diagnoses of mesothelioma that stems from asbestos exposure counsels against the EPA’s allowing new exposures.
This action ignores years of research and warnings of the death-dealing dangers of asbestos and risks of cancer including malignant mesothelioma. The Administration is taking a step backwards in terms of responsibility and attention to safety of America’s people.
The dangers of asbestos have not changed. It is as dangerous to anyone exposed to it today as it was 20, 30 or 50 years ago. It was deadly to people then, and it’s deadly to them now. In September 2001, I rebutted an ill-informed editorial by the Florida Times Union’s Lloyd Brown and explained the dangers of asbestos:
Breathing in asbestos fibers is dangerous. They can get trapped in your lungs and cause breathing problems, cancer and mesothelioma. Our firm is dedicated to assisting asbestos victims and their families throughout the state of Florida and beyond. If you or your loved ones were exposed to asbestos and consequently developed mesothelioma or lung cancer from that exposure, you deserve to have compassionate, capable, and experienced legal representation. We are here to help.