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Critics say new EPA rule could reintroduce asbestos use

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AsbestosThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Wednesday a new rule they say will limit the use of asbestos in the U.S., but critics, including some of the agency’s own staff, describe it as a half measure that could reintroduce some asbestos products to the market.

The EPA said the new rule closes a loophole from a 30-year-old law that prevented the agency from restricting the sale of certain asbestos products.

“Today, we are following the laws Congress gave us to close the door on certain asbestos products to prevent them from returning to the marketplace without EPA’s review,” Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, assistant administrator of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, said in a release, referring to a 2016 law that gave the EPA the power to prohibit asbestos.

But many argue the review process itself could reopen the door to 15 uses of the substance while questioning why the agency didn’t outright ban asbestos.

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