Biden-Harris administration announces ban on asbestos to combat cancer

March 19, 2024

Biden administration progresses with Cancer Moonshot through historic asbestos ban

In a significant development reported on 19 March 2024, the Biden-Harris administration announced a historic action by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban ongoing uses of asbestos in the United States.

This decision is part of President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative, which aims to halve the cancer death rate by 2047, thereby potentially preventing over four million cancer deaths.

Asbestos, a known carcinogen linked to numerous cancers such as lung, ovarian, and colorectal cancer, is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths annually in the U.S.

The EPA’s ban specifically targets chrysotile asbestos, the last form of asbestos still used or imported into the country.

Advancing environmental justice and public health

The ban on asbestos aligns with the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader commitment to environmental justice and public health.

Facilities using asbestos have been disproportionately located near communities with environmental justice concerns, impacting both the residents and workers in those areas.

The EPA’s action reflects the administration’s dedication to protecting all Americans, especially those in vulnerable communities, from the hazardous effects of toxic substances.

This initiative is also a core element of President Biden’s Unity Agenda, emphasizing priorities that unite Americans across different walks of life.

Coordinated federal effort against hazardous chemicals

The EPA, along with other federal agencies under the Biden-Harris administration, has been actively working to shield communities from toxic substances, including carcinogens.

This collaborative federal effort encompasses guidance, regulatory actions, and investments as part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda.

Besides the asbestos ban, the administration is advancing proposals to mitigate health risks from other dangerous chemicals, such as methylene chloride and carbon tetrachloride, and to slash emissions of carcinogenic pollutants like ethylene oxide from commercial sterilizing facilities.

These measures represent a comprehensive approach to reducing the public’s exposure to toxic chemicals and advancing the administration’s goal of ensuring clean air, clean water, and healthy living conditions for all.

FSJA Comment

The Biden-Harris administration’s announcement of a historic ban on asbestos is a noteworthy milestone in the fight against cancer and toxic exposure in the United States.

By targeting chrysotile asbestos, the administration is addressing a significant health hazard, reinforcing its commitment to environmental justice and the well-being of vulnerable communities.

This action, part of the broader Cancer Moonshot initiative, underscores the importance of federal coordination and regulation in tackling public health challenges.

As the administration advances proposals to regulate other toxic chemicals, it is evident that a holistic approach to public health and environmental protection is being prioritized.

These efforts collectively contribute to the overarching aim of reducing cancer rates and ensuring a healthier future for all Americans, reflecting a decisive step forward in public health policy and environmental justice.

Read Next

Subscribe Now