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By Jessica Corbett

In a report that elicited calls for congressional action, The New York Times revealed Wednesday that "senior officials at the Environmental Protection Agency disregarded the advice of their own scientists and lawyers in April when the agency issued a rule that restricted but did not ban asbestos."

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John Keeble / Getty Images

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning Tuesday urging customers not to use certain Claire's cosmetics products that may be contaminated with asbestos.

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A container of Johnson's baby powder sits on a table. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

A Reuters investigation published Friday charges that Johnson & Johnson, a multi-billion dollar company known for its healthcare products, knew for decades that its iconic talcum baby powder "was sometimes tainted with carcinogenic asbestos," but concealed the information from regulators and the public.

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L: Michael Coghlan / Flickr R: Coloured chest X-ray of a male patient showing evidence of a mesothelioma lung cancer, which is usually associated with exposure to asbestos. Zephyr / Science Photo Library / Getty Images

The Environmental Working Group Action Fund, the political arm of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), released a first-ever report that scores how each member of the U.S. House of Representatives voted on chemical policy and safety.

The scorecard shows that 140 House members voted against chemical safeguards every time, while 149 members consistently voted for chemical safety protections.

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An asbestos cleanup crew before the demolition of Moorpark High School in CA in 1996. Carlos Chavez / LA Times / Getty Images

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) isn't doing enough to protect the 50 million school children and seven million teachers and staff who spend time in U.S. private and public schools from asbestos exposure.

That's the conclusion of a report released Monday by the EPA's Office of Inspector General (OIG), the agency's internal watchdog.

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Two workers in protective gear scrape asbestos tile and mastic from a facility at Naval Base Point Loma in California. NAVFAC / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Reports surfaced this month that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had proposed a significant new use rule (SNUR) for asbestos in June, requiring anyone who wanted to start or resume importing or manufacturing the carcinogenic mineral to first receive EPA approval.

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U.S. Air Force / Anthony Jennings

Attorneys and scientists with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) objected to the Trump administration's proposal of a "significant new use rule" (SNUR) for asbestos, according to internal agency emails obtained by the The New York Times.

Trump's former EPA boss Scott Pruitt quietly announced the proposal in June, framing the plan as an "important, unprecedented action on asbestos," a toxic construction material and known carcinogen that kills almost 15,000 U.S. citizens annually.

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An image of asbestos wrapped with Donald Trump's face was posted to the Facebook page of a Russian asbestos company in June. ОАО "Ураласбест" / Facebook

Asbestos killed at least 45,221 Americans between 1999 and 2015, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found. But President Donald Trump has long expressed his support for the dangerous mineral currently banned by 65 countries.

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A post office closed for asbestos removal; the EPA's new chemical risk analysis policy will not consider the risks of asbestos already in the environment. 293.xx.xxx.xx / CC BY-SA 3.0

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will limit the criteria it uses to determine the health risks of 10 dangerous chemicals including asbestos, The New York Times reported Thursday.

A 2016 amendment to the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 required the EPA to evaluate hundreds of hazardous chemicals to decide if they should face more restrictions or be banned entirely. But documents released by the EPA last week suggest the EPA is kowtowing to the chemical lobby in the narrow criteria it is using the asses the safety of the first 10 chemicals, restricting its analysis to the risks posed by direct exposure to a chemical, and not the risks associated with exposure to contaminated air, soil and water.

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Claire's Bedazzled Rainbow Heart Makeup Set is among the company's products to be recalled for asbestos testing. claires.com

The troubling news about the presence of asbestos in children's makeup is just the latest example of the deadly fiber contaminating imported products marketed toward children, said Environmental Working Group (EWG).

The national retail chain Claire's, which sells jewelry, makeup and other items targeted toward young girls and children, recently announced it was recalling a number of its makeup products after they tested positive for asbestos.

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By Ryan Schleeter

Donald Trump wants to slash the EPA's budget and defund public health programs—which could cost people like Heather Von St. James their lives. This is her story.

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