NABTU Statement Applauding Biden’s Historic EPA Asbestos Ban

Washington, D.C. – March 18, 2024 – North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) President Sean McGarvey issued the following statement:

“NABTU applauds the Biden Administration’s issuance of the monumentally important rule banning the use of chrysotile asbestos. Construction unions have historically been the hardest hit by diseases caused by asbestos, and it is estimated hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost their lives due to this toxin. This new Environmental Protection Agency rule is welcomed to ensure that chrysotile asbestos will be phased out of all current uses, benefitting not just workers in those industries that are still using asbestos, but also workers with exposure throughout the supply chain.

“Construction workers who build, maintain, and demolish buildings in those industries will be saved from potentially life-ending exposures. NABTU and its affiliates have been advocating this ban for decades. It’s taken President Biden’s Administration to finally listen to science and get this scourge out of use in the United States of America.

“Thank you, President Biden, for all you have done to protect and uplift America’s construction workers and for moving forward on this ban that will protect workers. This incredible step forward does not end the fight to get asbestos out of our workplaces, though; construction workers continue to be exposed to asbestos that’s been put in place since the 1800s in various construction materials across all industries. While these “legacy” exposures will continue to happen, NABTU continues to support the Environmental Protection Agency’s rulemaking efforts on legacy asbestos.”