The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a new asbestos regulation designed to close loopholes in a 30-year-old law that was preventing the agency from restricting the sale of certain products containing the deadly mineral. Public health advocacy groups say the new rule falls short of providing the protection needed and could potentially lead to the reintroduction of some asbestos products into U.S. markets.
Under the new rule, companies will now be required to obtain federal approval to manufacture or import specific types of products that use asbestos, the New York Times reports.
Though not currently banned by the U.S. federal government, the cancer-causing substance is almost never used in ways that would expose workers or the general public to potentially deadly asbestos fibers. Previously banned asbestos items like pipe insulation and spray-on surface applications would remain banned.
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