Public health groups are renewing pressure for the Environmental Protection Agency to ban asbestos in the United States after a report revealed that asbestos imports nearly doubled in 2016 after years of decline.
The Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that 705 metric tons of raw asbestos were imported last year. The U.S. Geological Survey reported asbestos imports came from Brazil and Russia.
The EPA is currently in the process of implementing the revamped Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which will give the agency broader authority to ban toxic chemicals. Under the TSCA, asbestos is being evaluated for regulation.
A Congressional staff briefing is being held on September 26 to discuss the increase of imported asbestos, and its impact on public health and the environment.