A notorious Russian asbestos mining company, Uralasbest, has begun to mark its packages of raw asbestos with an “Approved by Donald Trump” stamp. This comes after the Trump administration’s EPA proposal to loosen regulations on asbestos in the United States and allow more uses of the carcinogenic material.
Uralasbest is one of Russia’s major asbestos producers and the United States imports more asbestos from Russia than any other country. A recent post on the Russian company’s Facebook page proclaims that “Donald is on our side!” Trump has been a proponent for asbestos, including a statement in his 1997 book, The Art of the Comeback, that asbestos is “100% safe, once applied.”
While asbestos corporations such as Uralasbest will benefit from deregulation of asbestos, environmental groups have fiercely responded to the EPA’s decision. Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, said that “Helping Putin and Russian oligarchs amass fortunes by selling a product that kills thousands each year should never be the role of a US president or the EPA.”