In his 1997 book, The Art of the Comeback, Trump argued that the association of the chemical with health risks was part of a mob-created conspiracy. “I believe that the movement against asbestos was led by the mob, because it was often mob-related companies that would do the asbestos removal. Great pressure was put on politicians, and as usual, the politicians relented,” he wrote.
The EPA announced last Friday that it would evaluate and require approval for new uses of asbestos but would not evaluate the health risks of asbestos already in the environment. “The end result will be a seriously inadequate risk evaluation that fails to address major contributors to the heavy and growing toll of asbestos mortality and disease in the United States,” said Linda Reinstein, president of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization in a statement.
Reinstein, whose husband developed Mesothelioma and passed away in 2006, told Newsweek that she met with Nancy Beck, deputy assistant administrator of the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, on two occasions along with representatives from the AFL-CIO and the International Association of Fire Fighters. The group explained the hazards of legacy asbestos and presented over 100 studies confirming that low-dose asbestos exposure caused disease, but were shut down by Beck, she said. Beck was previously a senior director at the American Chemistry Council, a lobbyist group that represents Dow Chemical, DuPont, Monsanto and ExxonMobil Chemical.