As an automotive engine mechanic, I started my trade changing out brake pads. As far as im aware, the last generation of asbestos containing brake pads in the US were Ferodo Brake Pads ending around 1994. The pads were phased out for a number of reasons
- health, of course. as a mechanic, mesothelioma was your biggest risk changing brakes all day. most shops douse the pad assembly in a mix of dawn dish liquid or a basic degreaser liquid we called just called sauce, and send it through a quick carwash after the job. It was also an easy way to please customers and it kept friable dust to a minimum.
- performance. compared to euro/japanese brakes arriving in the states in the early nineties, companies like raybestos were at a serious risk of going bankrupt if they didnt change. My first set of ceramic/ceramide pads was a revelation. I recommended them to all my customers.
- health scares. Your consumer risk of driving a car with brakes impregnated with asbestos was minimal, but the CNN/60 minutes documentaries really did a number on the industry. It got so bad that at one point, Raybestos included big labels reading "CONTAINS NO ASBESTOS."
- quality. As manufacturing for ceramic or exotic carbon pads got better, they got cheaper. the only companies still cranking out asbestos had legacy factories in Mexico or Indonesia that could not re-tool. They were just cranking out cheap pads for fleet customers too lazy to change brands.
*update: checking with a buddy in the shop today It seems im wrong. Older Pierce brand firetrucks (pierce saber models she says) shipped with asbestos front and rear pads if they were not intended for airport duty.
warped pads with low miles or pad material that laps the backplate are all signs of a cheap chinesium aftermarket product. these cheap pads usually have issues with fracturing, which scores the rotor and can cause pistons to seize.
- weird pad discoloration with wear or rotor marking is a sure sign the pads been impregnated with a cheap cyanoacrylate as a bonding measure.
I understand this is not an actual rule change and blah blah blah. 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year.
What a slow and horrific way to go. Slowly losing your breath. Lungs filling with fluid and being rushed off to ER to drain. Endless breathing treatments. Never sleeping more than an hour without waking up coughing. I am sure many of you are aware the treatments can be just as painful as the illness itself.
The man I knew when through all of this and more spread over a decade. 2 lung lobectomy surgeries. Chemo. Radiation. Misc corrective surgeries. Not to mention the hassles of the American healthcare system, doctors, lawyers, bills, and enough paperwork to fill a small office building.
3000 people a year.
I can only understand new deployments of asbestos if they are...
Saving thousands of lives
There is no alternative.
For reference, each new case costs the Canadian healthcare system $1m CAD.
How many of those 3000 are a legacy of the previous eras misunderstanding of the chemical? I doubt any company would ignore that risk and produce a product that put people at a direct and unknown risk, especially given the legal liability since we now know the full risks of the chemical and the alternatives the market has long ago developed in every category.
Those companies did exactly that! Asbestos companies knew the dangers internally. It's no different than cigarette companies suppressing the science of how smoking is dangerous
But how many CEO's were?
But we know now and knew then that it was dangerous.
Much like the radium girls in the early 1900's - where the people delivering the paint would wear leaded protective equipment and then management would watch (and encourage) the girls lick the paint brushes to keep the tip pointed. They knew it was bad. They just didn't give a fuck.
I'm slightly confused why the public at large was ignorant of the danger of radium (and even thought it was healthy), but the radium girl managers knew the danger...?
As for why the public was ignorant to the danger; radiation was only discovered in 1895 (x-rays). First injuries the following year from x-ray exposure. First death in 1904.
I am no expert, so I can only speculate. Thinking that pre-internet, information moved slower and scientific information slower still. The radium they were using was "different" and really trendy. Even a handful of deaths wouldn't repel the masses. It was only 12 years after the x-ray deaths.
If I can be cynical for a moment, this is a cycle that replays far too often. Some industry uses a product that is more or less known to be dangerous and it is only with years or decades of evidence, public outrage, and government intervention does that industry change its ways. Not always is it malicious or intentional, but this kind of thing does seem to happen a lot.
History contradicts your statement. The most recent one https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_emissions_scandal
They knew. They did it anyway.
But I agree that most companies, and most people, will not take that path. But you just need a very few to create a global health problem.
As user nemacol said above..... What an awful way to die. Really really nasty.
I'm sorry, but they have done and still do exactly that all the time in the name of profit! Often it takes decades for the public to learn the truth.
Here's a few examples:
- 3M knew already in 1970 that PFOA and PFOE (used in their non-stick frying pan coatings) was toxic and accumulated in peoples blood.
- Volkswagen emission scandal
- Oil companies' continuous support of fake science, lobbying, advertisement and grant making to oppose regulation. Exxon knew about climate change 40 years ago.
- Leaded fuel..
And that's just the few I could think about at a moments notice..
The EPA has not changed anything about currently banned uses of asbestos, and any new uses would first be assessed by the agency.
In the EU, there's a blanket ban on manufacturing or selling asbestos-containing products under the REACH regulations, with an exception only for replacement membranes in existing electrolysis equipment. Member states can add specific exemptions where there is a valid justification; in the UK, those exemptions apply only to used acetylene gas cylinders, heritage vehicles and museum artefacts.
Certainly it's better to outlaw it rather than to simply allow it to happen. You will never catch 100% of the people breaking the law, but you can create an environment of transparency and accountability to help and you can make it costly enough for those who are caught to make the next person reconsider risking it.
The depressing thing about most bribery is how small the amounts of money are. Politicians take bribes in the form of campaign financing because they want to stay in power. It's easy for them to rationalize if they think they're serving the greater good, and many of them would probably prefer to take money from citizens instead.
It seems like one super rich person could fix every level of US politics by implementing a backdoor direct democracy and seeding it with matching donations. If crowdfunding has proven anything, it's that people have more than enough money to spend when they want something.
It's only now that everyone is on the internet that this idea is even possible, and no one has tried it yet.
Electioneering should be treated the same as advertising and have the same penalties for making false or misleading statements.
Your politicians aren't idiots, they rationally respond to the incentives in the system. What's broken is the system.
I've actually considered that, because it's effectively the status quo, but then I conclude: Why should wealthy people have special proportional access? There are so many more groups who are so much more at risk: Small business? Orphans? Groups facing systemic discrimination (women, minorities, LGBTQ)? Homeless? Minority party members in solid red/blue districts? People with rare diseases? With unpopular political beliefs? OpenBSD users? Wealthy people already have so much power and so many advantages; they might be the absolute last group that needs special protection.
Democracy does not "devolve" into that, that is what democracy is.
Lobbyism forms a power structure that effectively cuts off and circumvents the will of the people. So by definition, it's actually a form of tyranny.
I think cash contributions for legislation fundamentally subvert our democracy, and my comment was intended to raise that point for discussion. I don't see discussion of the perversion of democracy as unsubstantive.
Lobbying in its positive form is about experts trying to explain things to representatives that don't understand the specifics of the field. When done right a representative should get perspective from different areas and be able to understand the issues/regulations that are being discussed from multiple parties that have their own different incentives.
Your comment that's it's 'treasonous' absent any discussion doesn't really offer any explanation of how congressional representatives are supposed to be informed about any subject they don't already know about.
People that do this work are going to be paid by the companies trying to explain things.
Political contributions to campaigns are a different issue and I think do pose a corrupting influence, this talk does a good job explaining the issue: https://www.ted.com/talks/lawrence_lessig_we_the_people_and_...
I heard an interview on the Stay Tuned podcast (Preet Bharara's podcast) where he interviewed one of the lawyers that argued the winning side of citizen's united. It was an interesting interview and an over simplified summary was that the influence of campaign contributions which come from concentrated groups is a serious problem that needs to be dealt with, but putting government restrictions on speech in order to do it sets a dangerous precedent (at what point are you rich enough where you're no longer allowed to participate in political speech?).
Anyway - thanks for clarifying.
that’s an interesting perspective on citizen’s united worth mulling over.
but while speech is free from governmental limits, it is not protected from the response of other citizens. it’s still problematic that political contributions can be hidden behind organizations to shield the wealthy from the consequences of their speech.
citizens—nay, people—are equal in the eyes of the constitution (as affirmed in the bill of rights), and moneyed citizens are not entitled to unequal, government-protected veils from such consequences.
this is part of the larger discussion around who gets a public (media) voice and in what proportion. it seems an argument can be made that constitutionally, that proportion should correlate to the population (one person, one vote; not one dollar, one vote). we can defer to representatives to voice our opinions for us, but they should do so with only the aggregate backing of the citizens standing behind them. (then you also have to deal with the tyranny of the majority issues arising therefrom).
Ultimately I think that was what the decision was about - that there need to be better controls and fixes for how campaign finance currently works, but that the citizen's united solution (that lost) was not the safe way to do it.
The US Constitution defines treason thus:
> Treason against the United States, shall consist [...] in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.
If you assume the US is a democracy, ie that its enemies are the enemies of its citizens, rather than its nobility^Wgovernment, then any politician who passes laws at the request of (or otherwise Aids and Comforts) eg Facebook, Dow Chemical, [insert human-rights-violating corporation here], is de facto guilty of treason.
You could certainly argue that treason means something other than what the constitution says it does, but taken at face value this is rather obvious.
0: If you don't, then that's a different discussion.
The US is a republic/representative democracy, but that aside working with organizations to pass laws isn't zero sum - laws can be good for organizations and the public. If Google is lobbying to prevent the government from passing key escrow laws that weaken encryption that's better for everyone.
These companies are also made up of citizens and a part of the society (not enemies of the government or the people) - working with experts in the field to try and understand things better isn't 'de facto treason'.
In many of these cases, these costs are externalized; they are borne by (healthcare, communal, familial) systems outside the industry where the asbestos is used. Only where a link can be definitively traced back to the industry itself can these costs begin to be rectified.
That the EPA allows this represents a shift in our society, that the costs to life and wellbeing are to be borne by the individual worker exposed to the chemical and not the manufacturer of the chemical or the employer cutting costs by not using alternatives.
Cost externalization has always been there. It's inherent in capitalist systems, and it lurked silently under the covers of neoliberalism for the past several administrations.
The change is its shift from covert to overt under this administration. They've saturated our ability to cover scandal, so they're no longer maintaining the facade.
Regulators in other developed nations have concluded that while asbestos may have some marginal advantages in certain use-cases, the externalities are immensely expensive. There are plenty of good, cheap, safe substitutes for asbestos.
Cost of replacement gasket? Less than $1/system.
Cost of getting to gasket? ~$70-80k/system. We had deployed a few hundred.
On the upside, after this incident, noone in purchasing tried to source cheaper, same-same but different replacements for parts specified by engineering for years thereafter...
Trade-offs are everywhere.
The ultimate cheapness is to buy quality items and be done with it. (Obviously, there will be cases where this doesn't hold true, but as a first-order approximation...)
As far as I can tell, both this article and the Snopes fact check are simply wrong. The SNUR pretty clearly does not in any way change the existing blanket ban on new uses of asbestos, defined as using asbestos in any kind of product which it wasn't used in in the US prior to 1989. It only imposes further restrictions on the asbestos products which weren't banned in the US. (See in particular section III of the notice, which explains the rationale and how it relates to the existing ban.)
OP is right -- there is a lower limit of acceptable asbestos exposure that is not well known. All the asbestos-related mesothelioma cases were from workplace exposure for an extended period (more than two months).
Furthermore, there are two major forms of asbestos that have widely varying effects. Chrysotile has been shown to not be harmful in small doses. (That's the stuff that you'll find in popcorn ceilings installed prior to 1974.)
"Inhalation toxicity studies of chrysotile at non-lung overload conditions demonstrate that the long (>20 µm) fibers are rapidly cleared from the lung, are not translocated to the pleural cavity and do not initiate fibrogenic response."
> Asbestos can be found naturally in the air outdoors and in some drinkable water, including water from natural sources. Even nonoccupationally exposed members of the human population have tens to hundreds of thousands of asbestos fibers per gram of dry lung tissue, equivalent to millions of fibers in each lung.
OMG we're all gonna get mesothelioma from the asbestos that is normally found outdoors, unrelated to man-made activity!
Again, I stand by what I said. The risks of asbestos to ordinary people are way overblown. It has to be loose and you have to be exposed to a lot of it for a long period of time. Regular people are fine.
Edit: ya know people, you could respond to the specific claims instead of pressing the "I disagree" button. Is asbestos a dangerous substance? Yes, in certain circumstances. Are those circumstances something normal people need to be concerned about? No, not unless you work with the substance every day and without proper precautions.
If you're using this as an argument that increased asbestos exposure has no correlation to negative health outcomes, then you are contradicting the scientific literature for the sake of making a naturalistic fallacy. Why are you doing that? It's just a strange attempt at an argument.
> OMG we're all gonna get mesothelioma from the asbestos that is normally found outdoors, unrelated to man-made activity!
Again, because something appears in nature does not mean that it isn't positively correlated to negative health outcomes and that we shouldn't minimize it. That just point blank is not an actual argument.
If you want to make an argument for your position you will need to cite research that increased asbestos exposure does not significantly increase negative health outcomes, which will be hard because it's well studied and the research is pretty conclusively against you.
To illucidate why your argument isn't valid at a basic level, you can apply it to other things. Cyanide is present in almond plants and a byproduct of metabolizing apple seeds. Does that mean we should lax regulations around how much we systematically increase people's exposure to cyanide? What about radiation? People are exposed to ionizing background radiation every day. Do you think that somehow means that increasing that radiation exposure won't increase rates of cancer?
I am not agreeing with the GP on their theory of "overblown". Asbestos initiated cancers seem to be some of those with no known threshold. That is, there is no safe amount of asbestos dust inhalation above which you get cancer.
I am disagreeing with your statement on the scientific literature and consensus. As far as I know (not my field, so I am an outsider looking at literature), there is no strong consensus either way. There are hypotheses that need deeper looks . That is, it looks like there may be something there, but the investigators can't as of yet, distinguish between this as causal versus other factors.
This does not mean I think it is safe to ingest a bowl of asbestos followed by an asbestos flavored adult drink. What it does mean is that evidence is inconclusive, though there are a few pathways researchers could imagine would make sense as a causative.
[minor update to add a missing "be" ]
That's not at all what the parent comment did.
Your own source material shows just living near asbestos gives you higher risk of cancer. You're trying to argue that we aren't at significant risk without prolonged exposure. Living with asbestos is prolonged exposure. Increasing the amount used in products that we all live around/near will increase the risk and incidence of cancers.
Walls have a tiny amount of radioactive material, but they protect you from the radiation of the exterior. I don't know if the walls increase or decrease your cancer risk.
There are many thinks that may cause cancer. It's important to calculate the risk of each one, because you can't avoid all of them.
The difference between asbestos and radiation is that there is no "safe" amount of asbestos exposure, according to OSHA.
The radioactivity in a smoke alarm is already negligible when you hold it in your hand, never mind when it's mounted on a ceiling.
Additionally the americium-241 used in smoke detectors is mainly alpha decay and a sheet of paper will stop it, the remaining radiation that is dangerous is gamma and it's exposure is so far below annual average background that you might not even bother. Flying in a plane will expose you to a thousand times more radiation.
But, when I got rid of asbestos insulation around some water pipes I followed every precaution. But many people seem to think chlorine isn't toxic because it's so common.
Note: There is _no_ known antidote to chlorine poisoning. (an example of how there is a toxin around us everyday, in our drinking water, in our pools, on our clothes, cleaning products, etc...) Why is there no outrage over this?
More on asbestos many people may not know that I got from the same wikipedia entry.
"Portions of El Dorado County, California are known to contain natural amphibole asbestos formations at the surface. The USGS studied amphiboles in rock and soil in the area in response to an EPA sampling study and subsequent criticism of the EPA study. The EPA study was refuted by its own peer reviewers and never completed or published."
"Globally, samples collected from Antarctic ice indicate chrysotile asbestos has been a ubiquitous contaminant of the environment for at least 10,000 years."
> Note: There is _no_ known antidote to chlorine poisoning. (an example of how there is a toxin around us everyday, in our drinking water, in our pools, on our clothes, cleaning products, etc...) Why is there no outrage over this?
There’s probably no credible outrage for two major reasons:
- Chlorine in water is not actually a meaningful problem. Unlike, say, asbestos, there are many, many chemicals that are problematic in high concentrations and very safe in low concentrations. As extreme examples, water and sodium chloride will both kill you if taken in excess. Chlorine at ~4 ppm in tap water is a bit stinky but won’t hurt you even after a lifetime of exposure. And Chlorine at ~3 ppm in a swimming pool with an appropriate level of cyanuric acid added is barely perceptible.
- There aren’t credible alternatives. We can chlorinate our water, or we can add monochloramine, or we could let pathogens grow in our municipal plumbing. The latter will sicken people on a large scale.
Other countries (e.g. Germany) do not routinely chlorinate their drinking water and seem to do fine.
But it is probably the perception of unchlorinated water as not safe, and you will probably have a similar problem in the US itself if you switched the water system..
There's the crux of the argument define "meaningful", because I think that is what everyone is arguing over in regards to asbestos.
There are no levels of radioactive alpha particles that are safe to ingest (surface contact, they can apparently be washed off), yet in Desert Storm our troops stomped right through the stuff regularly with no warning or protections. Go look up photos of troops near/on destroyed Iraqi tanks, the white powder is depleted uranium rounds. The wind blows it into the air and the troops breathed that stuff in.
Cancer in Iraqi civilians skyrocketed after that war, and US troops got the mysterious "gulf war syndrome"... (but no one official knows where that came from...) Do you think the Army/government didn't know the area was radioactively polluted?
While I don't have the chemistry degree to argue with you about the dangers of chlorine, my dad (who is a chemist) can. He won't put chlorine in his pool, he uses a bromide of some kind.
Also, there are tons of other toxins dumped into our food supply, including additives to the containers that don't need to be reported as ingredients, but are in the food none the less.
While I don't disagree that pathogens need to be killed in the pipes, and chlorine works pretty well for that, this isn't proof that it's safe to ingest. And considering the massive quantities in many peoples lives, comparing it on a minute level is disingenuous, as it's not just 4ppm if you encounter all day long, it can be dramatically higher than that.
And if anyone doesn't know, chlorine gas, a similar gas to mustard gas (used to kill many in World War 1) can be made by accidentally combining chlorine and another common house cleaner. And these people didn't die right away, in fact most didn't. The effects were longer term.
So to claim since there are no immediate health effects from exposure to chlorine is to dismiss the long term affects, of which, who knows what they are? Seems odd this isn't common knowledge since we know so much about asbestos which somehow one tiny speck of it will give you cancer?
I am not foolish enough to test if asbestos is dangerous, but the sheer willingness to ignore common sense and trust "ppm" and "safe in low concentrations" is likely why we have so much cancer and other diseases these days.
The last time we had chlorine in the water was after a farmer overfertilized and the ancient water system took on some pathogens. After cleaning out the pipes the water system was chlorinated lightly for a week.
Low doses of chlorine aren't deadly, there is such a thing as a LD50 for chlorine.
In low doses, chlorine and asbestos aren't harmful in a significant manner but it should be added that chlorine has much more direct effects than asbestos and asbestos to my knowledge has much lower limits at which prolonged exposure will cause negative medical effects.
Asbestos in nature is not different to background radiation. The obvious conclusion isn't "radiation isn't harmful" or "getting hit with a car is more dangerous than radiation".
My family is in the chemical business and my father (chemist) won't put chlorine in his pool, he uses a bromide of some kind.
But, if something is popular (asbestos was at one point) it must be just fine.
I agree with this sentiment, but it seems the costs are only considered after public outcry, not from scientific understanding or economics. It's often cheaper to let people get hurt.
Are there any examples of things that were in pervasive use around, say, 1970 but didn’t get recognized as dangerous until recently? I think there are examples in nutrition, but I don’t know about environmental toxins.
Are you claiming that people could spend decades counting the average movement of the moon around the earth, accurate to the fraction of a second, thousands of years ago, but couldn't understand long term health effects until just recently?
And yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. Figuring out the motion of the moon can be done by a single person using nothing but dedicated observation and arithmetic. Figuring out the public health effects of chronic low-level exposure to toxins requires statistical techniques and data-gathering infrastructure that didn't exist until at least the 18th century, and wasn't commonly applied until the 20th century.
The concept of long-term health effects due to exposure to stuff has been around forever, but the ability to conclusively prove it is a lot more recent.
> there is no level of [asbestos] exposure below which clinical effects do not occur
> in general, people who become ill from inhaling asbestos have been regularly exposed in a job where they worked directly with the material
If minimal exposure causes small effects, and maximal exposure - loose, lots of it, long periods of time - causes huge effects, you would expect the people who interact with it most to show the most severe symptoms. That does not mean the small effects are not present, only that they're smaller than the large effects.
For an analogy, poking people with a penknife is not a healthy activity. Just because most people who die from or who go to the hospital for knife wounds were stabbed with larger knives does not mean we should promote poking people with small knives, and suggest that knife wounds are only bad if you're stabbed with large fixed-blade knives many times. Being worst in the latter case does not mean that they're benign in the former case. A headline that law enforcement are now allowing people to stab each other with small knives would be ridiculous.
>A history of asbestos exposure at work is reported in about 70 percent to 80 percent of all cases.
This means in 20 to 30 percent of all cases, health effects occur in subjects who do not have periodic exposure to asbestos at work. 20 to 30 percent is not negligible.
His "regular job" did not involve working directly with the material and Asbestos continues to kill hundreds of pople each year who do not directly work with this material. https://www.teachers.org.uk/edufacts/asbestos
I pressed the "made a reasonable argument, even if I disagree, and backed it up with some sources" button. More folks would do well to choose that one more often over other choices.
"In general" people who become ill from inhaling asbestos have been regularly exposed in a job where they worked directly with the material ???
If there is even the risk that a single person could fall ill because of unintentional exposure, then it should be ground enough for a blanket ban.
It's like saying that smoking should be allowed again in public places, since "in general", people that get cancer are first-hand smokers.
At least, I gotta thank you for pointing out a needlessly vague an slanted statement in wikipedia. It should be removed or amended with the figures that follow elsewhere.
No, I'm just annoyed that people seem to treat a statement of fact, that asbestos in your floor tiles or walls is a grave risk to people who don't work around it all day is so controversial.
> Why pretend that we can't click on the same wikipedia link as you and read the paragraphs surrounding the quoted and impressively vague "However, in general..." sentence.
Did you click on it though? Because you would've seen this immediately after:
> A paper published in 1998, in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, concurs, and comments that asbestosis has been reported primarily in asbestos workers, and appears to require long-term exposure, high concentration for the development of the clinical disease.
Which again, supports my original statement.
This is the same belief/religion with high salt or high fat diets. People have grown up for so long with those beliefs because we have been indoctrinated that when new science comes up that disproves the above, they disbelieve the science.
Simply not a claim you can make. The incidence may be very low, but it has been proven that asbestos fibers are directly responsible for the creation of cancerous mesothelioma cells. Any number of fibers in your lungs 'may' cause cancer, even one.
This is also a claim you simply cannot make.
Every chemical has a toxicity level. A single x-ray could give you lung cancer if you're unlucky. Just because there's a claim floating around that a single fiber could cause cancer is meaningless. Was this in a test tube or a lab environment?
Every day, millions of your own body cells are developing cancer because the DNA is being misreplicated during mitosis.
But you have structures in your body that fight against this cancer and destroy those cells. You're saying, without any evidence, that your body can't fight a few microscopic fibers? Remember, any number of x-rays, including dental x-rays, could also cause cancer but you don't see people banning x-rays.
>There is no "safe" level of asbestos exposure for any type of asbestos fiber.
You cant dilute a fibre....
This is also the same reason why nanoparticles are such a threat.
People have to work with it and those people are not hazmat wearing highly paid specialists but your normal workers who get the burden of making sure that they take all precautions during their whole working career no matter the environmental conditions. And the only support they get from their employer are probably just the mask and a note to always use it.
Disclaimer: I have an asbestos linked death in my immediate family so my opinion may be biased.
For example, high rise condo with asbestos used as insulation. Electrician comes in, doesn't know this, does some scraping, people find out, and now the state mandates detector traps be set. Those found asbestos exposure, and that triggered a full abatement and removal for that entire condo unit. Then the neighbors sued claiming exposure. And since that abatement, the upstairs neighbors have flooded the abated unit five times, and every single time the law requires asbestos testing even in the exact same ceiling tested 2 months earlier, just because it was a different flood event. Testing and retesting even though that ceiling has long since been abated. One teeny tiny example, thousands of dollars, multiplied by millions of people and incidents.
And that's when no one gets sick.
You even go so far as blaming others as being intolerant when they challenge you with evidence.
All of this makes you seem like a bad actor to me -- someone either utterly obtuse or willfully trying to undermine everyone else's very ability to have a meaningful conversation.
The current EPA is perfectly okay with rolling back emissions standards, so why shouldn't they be okay with allowing for more asbestos than it's necessary?
of course, we know that it is carcinogenic. the use case does not change that property of the material. the EPA is explicitly excluding environmental contamination risks, too. we know it is harmful to the environment, and, by proxy, us, again.
what a folly the EPA has made here -- for the profit of those who would prefer to make money even if it hurts people.
>Did a Russian Asbestos Company Put Trump’s Face on Their Product?
>A Russian asbestos producer shared a photograph of their product to social media with a seal of Donald Trump’s face and the text "Approved by Donald Trump”.
>All asbestos used in this country is imported. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the only form of asbestos currently imported into the United States is chrysotile, all of which originated from Brazil in 2017(USGS, 2018). USGS reports that in 2017, the United States imported approximately 300 metric tons of raw asbestos, the total of which they state is used in the chlor-alkali industry (USGS, 2018). In 2016, the United States imported approximately 702 metric tons of raw asbestos (USGS, 2018)
Neither of the major parties has a majority, or anything like a "mandate" about what the American people want. The majority wants "none of the above". If anyone figures out how to get that majority motivated to vote for them, they'll sweep the election.
Once you expand your knowledge of political ideologies outside of USA's acceptable overton window, you get a true sense of just how close both parties actually are.
Two generic white people ran in 2016.
Obama left in 6 or 7 wars/major conflicts. He dropped 26000 bombs in 2016 alone . He used the espionage act against journalists more than any president in history . He let protestors get their heads smashed in by oil companies in North Dakota right before he left . He expanded the surveillance state . Obama seemed sincere and then ended up selling out the American people even further.
Schumer wont whip the vote to block Kavanaugh . Democrats recently overwhelmingly backed the largest defense budget in US history .
It still makes sense. It's not "hollow propaganda". Both parties are war, oil, and business parties. Neither are in favor of helping the worker.
If the parties are significantly different when it comes to existential threats to the US, then most issues are a distraction. If we're not talking about millions of lives or trillions of dollars or the political destruction of the country, they may in fact be very harmful distractions when the issue is voting correctly.
I interpret comments like yours as not genuinely engaging person-to-person, but rather demonstrating how to submit to a certain way of thinking, perhaps to normalize it for third party readers.
So, sure, it's your legal right not to vote. But it's my legal right to point out that by doing so, you are not nobly opting out of the system -- you're supporting the winner.
Then again, supporting the lesser evil might be reasonable in some situations, but that doesnt get you out of the responsibility of the actions of the lesser evil.
Voting is a lot like the Trolley problem.
As a Democratic Socialist learning towards Socialist, neither Hillary nor Trump represented really any of my views. Pretty much none at all to be honest. Both were terrible people, and terrible candidates.
Or... even if both sides were pro-war, pro-big-business, anti-worker, whatever, you could have still voted against the undignified office-demeaning racist.
I voted for Obama in 2012, and even though his public image was fantastic, I feel as if the blood from everything that was kept out of public view is on my hands. I won't make that mistake again.
I mean, it's probably not even worth me making the same cliched points about responsibility to vote, that you can read anywhere else. I'll just note this: the disappointment in Obama, the lack of perfect (or often, even "good") candidates, the general disappointment in the actions by government... none of that is new, unique to this cycle, unique to the U.S., or unique to you.
You should put blame in the right places, such as campaign finance laws and mainstream media which undoubtedly played a bigger role than non voters...since people who abstained literally did nothing. Maybe the system is broken and people see nearly the same candidate over and over and have no real way to vote outside that?
For one, it ignores any practical barriers to voting. Maybe someone was working an hourly job with no flexibility to make it to the polls that particular day.
Also, the status-quo of our political system is also in play. What about someone living outside of one of the 6 swing states and their vote wouldn't have likely made a difference. Consider New York State: a Democratic voter may skip with the knowledge that the state will absolutely go blue, and a Republican voter may feel their vote is in vain because the state will go blue anyway.
Shouldn't it be the people who cast their votes who are held accountable for the individuals they put in office? For this I leave you with George Carlin's explanation on the matter 
It's not apathy when your vote literally isn't worth as much as someone else's, as evidenced by the fact that the number of votes didn't even determine the election.
Admittedly, as a statement of fact, it's plausible/likely that the electoral college reduces turnout because presidential elections get people excited (especially when they know their state is in play), but that's not usually a rational response. You still get to vote for congress, state government, ballot initiatives, etc.
Election day is not a national holiday
If Kodos had been elected, this likely would not be happening at the EPA (nor that shitshow over at the FCC). But other similarly destructive corruption would certainly be, depending on what her specific sponsors had purchased. The industries' agendas are written years in advance, the skinjobs' role is merely to sell them, and the act of voting is a major step to getting your mindshare.
Go try talking to a Trump supporter about the direct objectively bad results of his policies, on topics they ostensibly care about - eg tariffs that encourage even more manufacturing to move to China. You will find that they basically just fall back on cognitive dissonance from having chosen him and therefore having bought in to his reality distortion field.
If they had voted in the primaries, they would have different choices, but 71% of those eligible to vote in primaries didn't bother (Turnout was only 29% of those eligible in the 2016 primaries).  So, cutting the field back to those “two pieces of shit” didn't drive people away.
The poor set of general election choices is a product of apathy, not it's cause.
Rather than retreating to lower layers of the recursive structure, it's more productive to discuss models that cover the whole system - my working one is that there is a general gradient whereby the candidates that have (or adopt) views more palatable to entrenched interests receive more support, both funding and institutional. And that support is the primary factor of how far they make it - both election-wise, and how much they "get done" in office.
> The poor set of general election choices is a product of apathy, not it's cause.
The people voting for the popular-corruption candidates look pretty damn non-apathetic to me. I've never understood this idea that if only more people were voting, the process would get more intelligent. I can only think it is wishful thinking by people who are aware of their own struggle between antipathy and capitulation. You hope that if the disinterested suddenly decided to vote, they would all vote in what you consider the intelligent way. And with those numbers, you could have voted for your real choice instead of the one you've resigned yourself to. But, like the idea of gas molecules spontaneously all moving in one direction, it just does not work that way.
What I was replying to is the idea that the winner speaks for the people, which you always hear after every election, which you hear a lot from Trump and his supporters, and which is reflected in the comment "we got what we voted for." If everyone voted, then that would be at least arguably true. But since half of the eligible voters didn't bother to vote, we don't know what they wanted, and no elected official can claim to speak for them.
My final comment was about some theoretical person who could get the dis-interested voters to vote for them. Whoever has that magic could get twice as many votes as the Democrat or Republican. I suspect that the non-voters are mostly centrists, who feel that the major parties have gotten too radical. So maybe a solid centrist candidate could have a third-party chance.
Personally I like to make it as clear as possible that I did not endorse the outcome of the election. And seeing how the press reports on third parties gives little option there.
But as I said my biggest concern is that having voted seems to warp people's minds. If they voted for the winner, they rationalize what's being done as in line with corresponding to what they wished for. And if they voted for the loser they get to tell themselves they fought the good fight, but that the other majority is responsible for the results.
I actually think the second largest factor to winning elections is getting wary voters to show up and vote against the incumbent party (with the first being the tendency to go with what one knows).
IMHO, "centrist" is the wrong way to look at it, but of course I'm imparting my own views here. Primarily people just want to be left alone, but they can be whipped into a fervor against an "other". So both parties' basic marketing spiel is freedom for their grass roots constituents' general pain points. But obviously what's ruining your freedom is that other group over there. So really we've got to stop them, and maybe even give them some of their own medicine.
Then when an election is won and it's time for action, of course the profitable ideas have legs - say, undermining the freedoms of the "other" in a way justifiable to the winners. Meanwhile rolling back the older policies would cut into someone's profit, is thus politically unpalatable, and therefore nothing gets done.
First, gerrymandering's effectiveness is a symptom of the problematic way we elect politicians in this country (first-past-the-post). Implement multimember districts and proportional representation and things might change (then again they might not).
Second, so what if the Democrats controlled everything: Richard fucking Nixon gave us the EPA and relations with China. Meanwhile Carter gave us Regan, Clinton gave us welfare reform/destruction and finance deregulation, Obama gave us a giveaway for private health insurers and put social security on the table ("chained CPI"). Obama and Clinton both accelerated the militarization of our police. This notion that everything would be better (from a progressive/liberal perspective) if only Democrats had power is just out of sync with reality. Better than republicans? Maybe, on some issues. Generally not though.
> while Republican and Democratic gerrymandering affects the partisan outcomes of Congressional elections in some states, the net effect across the states is modest, creating no more than one new Republican seat in Congress
Look up just how many races had exactly one candidate and say that again. US politics has been adjusted based on it's ridiculous rules, different rules would have vastly more competitive races.
IMO #1 change would be nationwide proportional representation for at least one side of congress which mean every single vote counts and 3rd parties are viable.
The electoral college and equal Senate representation acts as a tempering force on said mob.
So rather than tyranny of the majority, now we have tyranny of an arbitrary minority. I fail to see how that improves things.
As others have pointed out, the constitution and the court system are the features that are supposed to counteract tyranny of the majority, not the EC or the Senate. The EC and the Senate aren't there because they make the system better or more democratic, they're there because they were part of the necessary compromises that were made hundreds of years ago to convince all the independent states to band together into the United States.
There's nothing arbitrary about it. The United States is a federated government and the electoral college is a system designed to ensure smaller state governments maintain some influence.
We have granted more and more power to the federal government over the years. You could argue that's a good thing. We are forcing the states to "catch up" their policies with the rest of the nation. You could also argue it's a bad thing. Each state is distinct by its culture, geography, demographics, etc. Therefore it makes sense that each state would need its own government and policies to handle its unique situations. Heavy-handed policies on the federal level could ruin the systems created by those governments.
You can argue the point either way but it's not fair to consider the electoral college as an "arbitrary" system. And it was no more of a bargaining chip than the Bill of Rights. It is a deliberate mechanic designed for a government that has changed significantly over more than two centuries.
Which is another way of saying, having some people's voices worth 3 or 4 times more than others. And the sparser the region you live in, the higher the multiplicative effect.
Rocks, trees, grass don't get a say in govt, people do. And all people should be weighted equally. Unfortunately, our current system does the opposite of that.
Yes, direct representation encourages mob voting, but there are hundreds of distinct mobs that can check one another.
The fact that the electoral college allowed a person with absolutely no political experience who's primary accomplishments were several failed businesses and some TV spotlights to be president of the United States is an absolute fucking glowing failure.
Donald Trump IS the person the electoral college was put in place to stop.
They did not do their job. The electoral college needs to be abolished, and while we're at it, we really need some form of ranked-choice voting for president. FPTP is a pathetic voting system, and while you can argue about which alternative is the best one until you're blue in the face, I have never seen an argument that favors FPTP when the main metric is fair representation.
The fact that sometimes they elect the candidate who did not win the national popular vote is simply a bug in the evolved system, and all defenses of it are post-hoc rationalization motivated by the assumption it will continue to favor Republicans.
Wrong. It was put in place to stop someone who was only popular in urban areas. You need to carry a majority of states in order to represent the states. There are plenty of other checks to "stop" (curb) the power of the office. The voters can have a big say whether or not those should be invoked this November.
The states have never had an equal number of electors, so I believe your claim is false.
The electoral college is the way we elect presidents for a reason. If we went by population, a huge chunk of the country's vote wouldn't matter and the Democrats would win every election. I'm pretty sure that's exactly the opposite of what the founders of the country envisioned.
If you're not happy about what's going on, get your act together and take back the house and then proceed to do what the Republicans did to Obama after they took back the senate and effectively blocked everything he wanted to do, including a SCOTUS nomination.
You want REAL change? Allow more political parties so that the pendulum doesn't just swing back and forth. There was a time when any president would work with a divided congress and compromise to get stuff done. It would seem those days are long gone and the only way to truly fix the system is to get more than two parties just handing off power back and forth.
It's funny that you say that because in France the house is often divided, but one common way to get a law passed is put a vote when most representative are absent, except those of the preseident's party.
It's disingenuous to say that the two party system is the only problem here. Votes already don't matter for many people, except as a symbolic gesture of rights/freedom.
The presidential election is less important than your local elections. I live in a very blue state as well and nearly every year, our state supports the Democratic candidate. However, the majority of the local and state governments have had equal representation over the years, including electing several independent candidates. THOSE elections have far more impact on my day-to-day life then who's president for a few years.
If you want to make a difference you can. If you feel like your vote doesn't count, then I would refer you to the time when Jesse Ventura ran as an independent candidate in Minnesota. The Republican candidate in one of the debates said, "If you vote for Jesse Ventura, then you're wasting your vote" You know who won the Governor's race that year? The guy who was told if you voted for him, your vote didn't matter.
I call BS.
ctrl+f Regulation: The Quiet Tyranny
It's really not that difficult.
What am I missing out of this? Why did the parties completely change their face?
The one senator: Strom Thurmond
The one representative: Albert Watson
The whole "party switch" idea is slander and an excuse. It's a rewrite of history intended to evade the ugly truth of an unbroken continuity to behavior that is now considered unacceptable.
Of course, Reagan flipped that script and made wanton deregulation a “selling point” of the GOP. And now Trump has taken that to the extreme.
In Nixon’s time, introducing an agency that directly answered to/was controlled by Congress was the name of the game.
-Nominating Warren Burger and Harry Blackmun to the Supreme Court, who concurred in Roe v Wade.
-Creating subsidies to turn corn into a commodity crop, effectively paying farmers to grow a lot of it
-De-coupling the US Dollar from the value of gold and instituting price and wage controls
No Republican in any district in 2018 America could get the nomination supporting these policies.
> The problem, according to critics, is twofold. The first, more generally, is that the EPA could have used the currently unfolding overhaul of the TSCA — which began at the end of the Obama administration and has continued along a very different path under Trump — to ban any new uses of asbestos, something that had been the case at the end of the last administration. Instead, they are explicitly allowing new uses, but with the caveat that the EPA first evaluate possible potential new uses based on “risk evaluation, select studies, and use the best available science.”
The EPA has not approved any new uses of asbestos. Quite the contrary:
> In the absence of this proposed rule, the importing or processing of asbestos (including as part of an article) for the significant new uses proposed in this rule may begin at any time, without prior notice to EPA.
This new rule is required for the EPA to comply with the Lautenberg Act's "Mandatory duty on EPA to evaluate existing chemicals with clear and enforceable deadlines"
Politically, it's an unfortunate name. But it's not approving Significant New Uses, it's regulating Significant New Uses.
I think analysis on a case-by-case basis is the right way to go.
It stands to reason that if there is a non-friable, encapsulated use where asbestos' natural properties make a significant impact, them we should at least consider their potential benefits as well.
Asbestos is a cheap and natural product with dangerous side effects. Much like oil. Allowing ways to use it safely is a worthwhile consideration.
EDIT: thinking back, the real pain in the ass with asbestos in my buildings is when it is glued down or otherwise affixed, and cannot be lifted away cleanly. Even in friable asbestos applications, if it can be removed or replaced relatively cleanly, then its not a big deal.
EDIT 2: to put numbers to the abatement discussion, we typically spend 1.5% of our construction budget on abatement. $30mm construction budget will cost $450k to remove it all properly, and in these buildings, asbestos and lead is everywhere. The bigger hit to us is on schedule, where we have to set aside an additional month or 2 to let the abatement guys have a whole floor at time, sometimes having to make 2 passes to abate the surface finishes like floor and ceiling tile, then come back through after general demo to remove pipe insulation, mastics, etc. The schedule hurts.
That stuff is scary.
Maybe it'll find uses in locations that use cement that requires thermal insulation but isn't exposed to humans.
Safety analysis on a 'case-by-case basis' will take place where the product is made, not where it's sold. In China. So you believe Chinese inspectors will keep Americans safe?
Asbestos is carcinogenic because it's extremely fibrous. By enclosing asbestos you mitigate its deleterious effects on human lungs. However, you do not remove its insulation properties, which may not be shared by whatever is physically enclosing it.
Simply put: all you need to prevent fibrous material from entering the lungs is a physical barrier. But a physical barrier is insufficient to provide insulation. Sandwiched asbestos provides insulation that the enclosure material cannot provide on its own.
> The report states that the agency will no longer consider the effect or presence of substances in the air, ground, or water in its risk assessments.
Therefore if they don't consider effects from having it in the air asbestos is not dangerous anymore? This article must seriously misrepresent the facts, I can't believe that even post-Trump / GOP are this insane.
It's all in how you use it, asbestos included.
Wow, misleading headline of the decade. Asbestos was never completely banned from manufacturing in the United States, only for certain items.
companies are still trying to resolve all of these lawsuits.
what kind of incentives would need to be in place for a company to willingly put that lawsuit target on its own back?
Right now, in many cases, if a factory is dumping toxic sludge into a river and they're within EPA limits, there's nothing anybody can do to stop it.
If you allowed farmers downstream to come after them for damaging crops (or whatever), or allowed class action suits against coal-burning power companies for cancer and such, imagine what that might do to incentive structures.
I'm not sure I buy it, but the asbestos case makes me wonder.
Incidentally, I have also seen a good amount of evidence that the fiberglass we currently use to replace asbestos insulation is super bad for your health, but likely not as bad.
They are everywhere now.
E.G: salt now often contains E551, which is silica nano particles. It's silica, so the laws says it's ok because the raw material is harmless. Except we have no idea how the shape of it affects us. It will be able to go into places it couldn't before, interact chemically differently, and so on.
A lot of fun is to come.
It's the same with GMO: the tech is superb, the potential is wonderful. Can we wait 30 years of testing, and do said testing by independent, interest-free entities before spreading it everywhere ? Can we make testing on interactions ? On long term exposures ? On complete ecosystems ? And for each product ?
Hell no: let's say it's safe by default because mouses didn't suffer from eating it for a few months. Then use illiterate facebook mum posts to make sure any critics is regarded as unscientific. We got this.
The thing is, human has always did that. It's not being evil. It's our natural way of doing things: try it out, and fix on the way. It's why we made so many cool stuff.
The problem is, we are arriving at a point were the destructive potential of our actions is reaching such a scale, this strategy is way too dangerous.
Strange how new solutions to non-problems keep getting invented. We just used to put a few grains of rice in the salt cellar to stop it getting damp.
Unfortunately, these physical properties tend to be why these materials are so effective as insulators.
Asbestos breaks down into particles of a dangerous size and shape. Glass and rock wool fibres are shaped differently and do not break in the same way. Glass/rock wool has been used extensively in practice and no link with cancer has been found to date.
A quick search has found a quora post about the subject that goes into more detail: https://www.quora.com/How-much-of-a-health-hazard-is-fibergl...