Last month the Environmental Protection Agency under the Biden Administration
landmark proposal to ban the use, manufacture and import of Chrysotile asbestos in the United
States, a move long coming since the US halted production of the mineral in 2002.
Industry and chemical groups, particularly chlorine, oppose the move claiming
it would have a drastic impact on wastewater treatment systems and reduce
clean drinking water. However, only a third of the chlorine produced in
the United States is manufactured at plants which use asbestos diaphragms
in the process. Most of the chlorine produced is made using newer alternative
methods, that are more efficient and release less carbon emissions.
Olin Corporation, which uses asbestos in its chlorine production, claims
it would also lead to immediate factory closures and cause thousands to
lose jobs, but the EPA’s proposal allows for a two-year phase out
of the substance.
Chemical industry fights U.S. government move to ban asbestos