Trump EPA unlawfully ignored dangerous chemicals, rules court

In the case of asbestos, the EPA's new direction would mean ignoring almost 8.9 million tones of asbestos-containing products.

Image credit: Alessandro/Flickr

With its efforts at suppressing important climate science as well as being in bed with the fossil fuel industry, the Trump administration is not winning any awards when it comes to the health of the earth and the American public. Now one of their most recent moves has left Americans exposed to millions of tons of dangerous chemicals.

This week a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the Trump Administration unlawfully excluded millions of tons of dangerous materials in public use from a safety review. The court says that the EPA must consider dangers posed by these toxins, which include asbestos and lead, regardless of whether or not they’re still being manufactured.

Under President Obama, the EPA agreed to consider the risks of certain products due to the high exposure levels to the public and a safety review was mandated by Congress. Since Donald Trump became president, however, the EPA has gone in another direction, choosing to limit the review to products still being manufactured.

In the case of asbestos, the EPA’s new direction would mean ignoring almost 8.9 million tones of asbestos-containing products.

Some of the products are present in home insulation and fire retardant, house paint, and plumbing pipes. Firefighters and construction workers are particularly concerned as the majority of products put them at risk for exposure.

The American Chemistry Council, the chemical industry’s lobbying arm, calls the original Obama-era plan chasing “illusory risks.”

The EPA will now have until summer 2020 to finalize rusk evaluations for the first 10 chemicals under review. Once that is done they will make the final decision as to whether or not new regulations are needed.


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