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EPA Nominee Fails to Pledge Asbestos Ban

Across the nation, all eyes are on Washington, D.C. as the Trump administration begins to apply itself to the promises that the new president made throughout the long campaign. One of the key areas of interest has been the approval process of various cabinet members, with some being confirmed easily and the process taking longer for others. Among the proposed members of the administration being vetted is Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s nominee to head up the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt has been the subject of controversy because his record includes filing lawsuits against the agency, and one of the top areas of concern has been whether he would permit the ongoing process of reviewing asbestos’ dangers to proceed. Health advocates had long hoped that the recent update to the federal Toxic Substances Control Act would lead to the ban of the dangerous mineral that causes mesothelioma and other diseases. So far, Pruitt has given them no reason to continue in that hope.

As had been feared, when Scott Pruitt was provided with written questions regarding the way that he would manage the agency, he was noncommittal in his response to specific questions about the disposition of the asbestos question. He was asked by Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey whether he would commit to making sure that the EPA would ban both the use of asbestos and its import into the country based upon evidence from the Centers for Disease Control of numerous deaths and illnesses over the year. His response was that, “Asbestos has been identified by the EPA as a high-priority chemical that requires a risk evaluation following the process established by the Lautenberg Act [TSCA] to determine whether conditions of use of the chemical substance pose an unreasonable risk. Prejudicing the outcome of that risk evaluation would not be appropriate.”

Though this answer may be factually accurate, it is not what those who have been hurt by exposure to asbestos wanted to hear. The answer gives rise to fears that, as was done in 1991 when the first ban of asbestos was overturned, big industry motivations will prevent the dangerous mineral from finally getting the ban that it deserves.

For those whose lives have been forever impacted by exposure to asbestos, this is an issue of real importance. At Mesothelioma.net, we are true advocates for victims, and we do everything we can to prevent others from suffering further exposure, as well as providing essential resources to those already affected. If we can be of help to you, please call us at 1-800-692-8608 and talk to one of our compassionate Patient Advocates.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Her dreams of a writing career were diverted by a need to pay her bills. She spent a few years providing copy for a major retailer, then landed a lucrative career in advertising sales. With college bills for all three of her kids paid, she left corporate America for a return to her original goal of writing. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.

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