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Chlorine Industry Opposes EPA Proposal to Ban Chrysotile Asbestos

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Last month the Environmental Protection Agency under the Biden Administration announced a 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.

From Reuters: Chemical industry fights U.S. government move to ban asbestos