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EPA issues rule strengthening its ability to review old asbestos uses, products

Agency says rule intended to close 30-year-old loophole

Posted April 19, 2019

EPA has issued a final rule that strengthens its ability to rigorously review an expansive list of asbestos products that are no longer on the market before they could be sold again in the United States. The Agency says this step closes a 30-year-old loophole that allowed old asbestos uses and products to come back to the market without any reviews or restrictions.

The final rule gives EPA the authority to prohibit the use of certain products or put restrictions in place to protect public health. It does not alter the prohibitions made in a 1989 partial ban.

EPA says that under the new rule products like asbestos vinyl floor tiles, insulation, and other building materials, as well as some clothing and manufacturing products containing asbestos, cannot be imported, produced, or sold in the U.S. without first being reviewed by EPA. Previously banned asbestos items remain banned.

The final rule takes effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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