Sustained Outrage

U.S. won’t act on cancer-causing insulation

The great Andrew Schneider, now working for AOL News, is kicking off another series of articles about the dangers of asbestos and the government’s refusal to do anything about it:

Americans living in millions of homes will soon crawl into their attics to collect their holiday decorations. With those colorful lights and ornaments could come invisible and deadly asbestos fibers that decades from now may destroy or end the lives of some of the celebrants.

For years the government has known that the attics and walls of as many as 35 million homes and businesses are insulated with Zonolite, which contains lethal asbestos-tainted vermiculite. Some medical authorities believe that people are still dying because of it.

… Yet AOL News has documented that the government has steadfastly refused even to issue widespread warnings to the public about the dangers of a product that was became a popular insulation in the 1940s and continued to be installed in U.S. homes through the 1990s.

The tale of this confirmed killer includes political intrigue, White House intervention, industry meddling and the failure of three Environmental Protection Agency administrators to act on their promises.

Read the whole report here.

Schneider has been writing about asbestos for many years, uncovering the death toll in the town of Libby, Montana, and also producing the book, An Air That Kills about that scandal.