Press Release

AFL-CIO Applauds Biden Administration’s Rule to Protect Workers by Banning Use of Chrysotile Asbestos

Statement from AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) rule to protect workers: 

Today’s groundbreaking rule by the EPA is the first final rule to protect workers under the amended Toxic Substance Control Act. This action once more shows the deep commitment of the Biden administration to ensure working people remain safe and healthy on the job.  

This rule is a landmark protection for workers, banning and phasing out all current uses and imports of chrysotile asbestos, and eliminating these exposures in workplaces and throughout the supply chain. While a critical step forward, this does not eliminate all types of asbestos fibers and is only the first half of the EPA’s plans to address worker asbestos exposures, including the tens of thousands of workers—many firefighters, construction and manufacturing workers—exposed to “legacy” asbestos throughout our old buildings and infrastructure. We urge the EPA to move swiftly to address those risks as well. 

Unions have been sounding the alarm about this dangerous substance for decades. Today’s action will undoubtedly save lives and prevent countless exposures that endanger working families. 

We applaud the administration for its unrelenting focus on making workplaces safer so that families can have confidence that when loved ones go to work they will return home safely at the end of their shifts. 

Contact: Steve Smith, 202-637-5018