Environmental Working Group Raises Awareness About EPA Proposal on Asbestos

At Good Soul Shop, we follow the media, regulating bodies like the EPA, and the hard work of advocates like Environmental Working Group (EWG). This week, a new EPA proposal opens the door for new uses of harmful asbestos.

The proposal states that the new rule will 'provide EPA with the opportunity to evaluate the intended use of asbestos and, when necessary, take action to prohibit or limit the use.' We are very concerned about the new rule, as there are no safe uses for asbestos. And 'when necessary' opens the door to inaction on behalf of the EPA.

According to a CBS News report, Linda Reinstein, president and co-founder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, said that while an estimated 15,000 Americans die each year due to asbestos-related diseases that are preventable, "raw asbestos imports and use continue."

"It is incredulous to know that the EPA has ignored the science, the history, and the carnage that asbestos has caused throughout the nation each year," Reinstein said in a June statement. "From the World Health Organization to the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General, there is global consensus that there is no safe level of asbestos exposure or controlled use of asbestos."

In the last year, asbestos has been reportedly found in crayons sold on Amazon and has been found in cosmetics. This year, a bill was passed to warn children about cosmetics containing asbestos.  According to EWG, "Asbestos can contaminate cosmetics made from talc, such as facial powders and eye shadow. Even small amounts of asbestos can cause mesothelioma and other diseases many years after exposure.

Geologically, talc and asbestos can be formed from the same parent rock. As a result, mined talc deposits in many parts of the world can be contaminated with asbestos fibers. This is the likely reason why products made with talc could be contaminated with asbestos."

Asbestos is a highly toxic chemical that does not belong in manufacturing or the import/export of goods. The new EPA rule is available for public comment until August 10. I encourage you to contact the EPA and speak out. 

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