With Mesothelioma On Their Minds, EPA Staff Fought New Rules

Though the Trump administration’s newly-assigned leaders of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pushed hard for a new, laxer method of evaluating asbestos in consumer products,  emails show that career officials  aware of the risks of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases fought hard against its enactment.

Many of those who have worked at the EPA for years had been hopeful that a law passed under former President Barack Obama would put an end to mesothelioma in the United States by permanently banning the use of asbestos, the carcinogenic mineral that causes it and many other diseases. The United States is one of the few developed countries in the world that has not yet banned its use: now the EPA’s new rule may actually make it easier for it to be used.  EPA policy analyst Sharon Cooperstein wrote an email about the administration’s proposal that read in part, “The new approach raises significant concerns about the potential health impacts.” She and her colleagues feared that the proposal’s language leaves a loophole through which many businesses could start using asbestos again without undergoing any type of federal review.

Though President Trump has made clear that he believes that government regulations hurt business, and has worked to defang many existing laws, the efforts to deregulate asbestos have brought a outcry from those impacted by mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Many Democratic state attorneys are threatening legal action, including Attorney General Maura Healey of Massachusetts, who said, “In recent years, tens of thousands have died from mesothelioma and other diseases caused by exposure to asbestos and other dangerous chemicals. If the Trump administration’s erosion of federal chemical safety rules continues, it will endanger our communities and the health of all Americans.”

If you or someone you love has been harmed by malignant mesothelioma, then the idea that the United States may be making it easier for companies to begin using the carcinogenic material may seem like a step in the wrong direction. To learn more about the resources available to mesothelioma victims, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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