A number of public health officials are pushing for the Environmental Protection Agency to put asbestos at the top of their list of regulatory priorities. However, Bloomberg reports those in the pool chemical industry are concerned about this. That’s because chlorine, caustic soda and other chemicals manufactured in this industry use asbestos. In fact, the U.S. Geological Survey lists the chlor-alkali industry as the No. 1 importer of asbestos in its yearly mineral commodity summary. The chlorine industry’s use of asbestos accounts for 90 percent of the 358 tons of asbestos imported into the country last year, according to the survey’s most recent report.
While many people think of asbestos as a man-made product, it is actually a naturally occurring substance made up of a combination of silica elements. It forms in the ground like other minerals and has been used by humans for thousands of years.
However, it was during the 1800s in the industrial revolution that it became heavily used, and, by the 1970s, when the asbestos ban went into effect, asbestos was used in just about every residential, commercial, and industrial construction project in much of the world. There are various reasons that asbestos was used so heavily. Continue reading