SA Herbst

Asbestos is Still Legal in America

It’s still legal to buy and sell asbestos in the United States. In the past it has been banned in only a few products, including:

  • Some paper products
  • Pre-formed and wet applied pipe and block insulations
  • Some spray applied materials
  • Patching compounds
  • Artificial fireplace ash and wall patching compounds
  • New uses

In April 2019 EPA published the Asbestos Final Rule that gives them the authority to prohibit the use of certain products, such as vinyl floor tiles, roofing, adhesives, clothing, and cement products, or put in place restrictions to protect public health.  Importers and manufacturers now need to request an exemption to sell or make these products. Otherwise, these products plus things such as caulk and plaster can still be made and sold with asbestos in them. Building contractors and do-it-yourselfers should be aware of what they are buying and assume any materials not banned, or imported from countries that allow unrestricted uses of asbestos, may still contain asbestos.

See the U.S. EPA web site

In December 2018, the Canadian government banned asbestos sales, mining, and manufacturing with some exemptions. See the Canadian government’s web site article