Asbestos: Not Banned in the USA

Above image: asbestos fibers[hr]

[dropcap]If [/dropcap]you’re like a lot of Americans, you probably think the cancer-causing mineral asbestos has been banned in the U.S. It hasn’t. This week’s cover story on Full Measure looks at where you can find asbestos today in your home and why it’s been outlawed in dozens of countries–but not here.

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Scott Thuman will take a look at the tension between law enforcement efforts to track online purchases of materials that can be used by terrorists to make bombs–and the privacy rights of ordinary consumers who might be buying the same materials for perfectly innocent reasons.

Watch Full Measure every Sunday on TV or online. We won’t waste your time rehashing news you’ve already heard all week.

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10 thoughts on “Asbestos: Not Banned in the USA”

  1. Steve Dantzler

    Sharyl, I don’t know yet what you will cover in your report. I’m a mechanic and dodging asbestos is a full time job. I found out about the non–ban from the chief industrial hygienist for the state of Maryland. When the “ban” was supposed to begin, a gasket company somewhere, i think, in New England sued EPA successfully because EPA never established a minimum safe exposure for asbestos. This was never made a big enough story and many people are exposing themselves to brake AC (asbestos containing) dusts that can legally be imported and installed aftermarket. I remember reading the ingredients on a 5gal. can of roofing sealer at Home Depot. One of the ingredients was chrysotile asbestos! That was in 1999. The AC home materials ban was supposed to long predate the AC automotive materials ban. That’s when I first became suspicious . I started working on commercial mowers thinking that I could avoid asbestos but the mowers have blade brakes on them. In one of my searches I found myself on the phone with someone at American Friction Materials. ” Who told you that asbestos was banned?”, I was asked. Thanks for doing this. Steve

  2. Steve Dantzler

    A correction regarding my comment. I may have the name of the brake materials company incorrect. I believe it was in N.C. That’s where I was directed from the brake maker. The brake maker did not make the friction material. The material was supposed to be non-asbestos but I wanted to know what it was made of. I wanted to hear it from the people who make it. The person I talked to told me that it was non- asbestos but then asked me, “Who told you that asbestos was banned”? My point is that people in the industry knew there was no ban.

  3. Can’t find a way to read your articles on your site.
    Too bad as we are real fans.
    We are not likely to get up at 7:30 a.m. to listen to you out of Boise on Sunday.
    Why not post where we can read you.?

  4. R. L. Hails Sr. P. E. (ret.)

    I watched the show on asbestos. It was one sided.

    I, a retired engineer, worked with the best industrial engineers in the US on the rework of old thermal power plants. All are loaded with asbestos, a natural mineral with superb thermal insulating characteristics. There are many types, one is dangerous. The rest are as dangerous as any dirt; it should not be inhaled.

    It is a national tragedy that one hard headed industrialist fought tort liability lawyers in a give-no-quarter fight which led the public, e.g. your fireman, to waste his life savings for very little protection from danger. Handled with common sense measures, limited airborne dust, it is a useful material. But there is a trail of broken companies, employers, who were financially destroyed by the fear and profitable litigation.

    If you can find any asbestos material scientists, with the counter argument ( I no longer know any), your presentation would be more even handed. My guess; they are all unemployed and have moved on to other careers.

    This is the real story, the resolution of real but assessed dangers from any technology, the nexus of regulatory types, industry experts and trial lawyers in contending with real, albeit small and manageable risks, e.g. climate change, radiation, asbestos, digital components manufacturing, EV manufacturing, lead paint, and radon. America is very poor at risk assessment and management.

  5. The simple existence of asbestos in a building does not pose a threat to inhabitants! It was completely unnecessary for that family in Florida to gut their house. Just as the families who lived there before them, they would have been fine as long as they understood they only needed to avoid turning the asbestos into dust. We safely use highly-flammable gasoline every day, and we can live safely in a building with asbestos if we handle it properly – by not turning it into dust and then breathing that dust. If you have to saw into sheet rock or the ceiling, capture the dust and wear a simple paper mask to prevent inhalation of fibers. Unfortunately, ignorance promotes fear, and that fear has resulted in unnecessary asbestos removal that creates so much dust, it is difficult to completely capture, and actually creates more of a hazard than if it had been allowed to remain in place.

  6. TRUE STORY: This is not a comment about Sharyl’s Article, but this really did happen to me. I am a huge fan of Sharyl Attkisson. I am looking forward to her receiving Justice from our government. I noticed something the other day on my computer. I have had a shortcut to Sharyl for a couple of years now. It’s gone, disappeared and has been replaced by a Facebook shortcut. I did not do it so I’m just curious to how this could have happened? Keep up the great work Sharyl!

    1. Rick of the South

      I`m curious. What kind of shortcut was it? For example, a Windows shortcut , browser favorite (what browser?), or maybe one of those top sites items browsers have on their new tab pages?

  7. We all should know how the Canadian government has taken a action against the asbestos. The government first asked them apologies to asbestos victims and now soon they are going to take strict action against the asbestos.

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