Donald Trump’s Face Adorns Packaging For Russian Asbestos Brand: “Donald Is On Our Side!”
DONALD TRUMP’S FACE ON RUSSIAN ASBESTOS PRODUCTS
Uralasbest works in the Ural Mountains in Russia, and its products are now donning Trump’s face on their packaging. The company issued a statement on Facebook about two weeks ago, citing the support Trump as well as former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt have for asbestos.
According to a translation by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, the seal on the packaging reads, “Approved by Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States.” Additionally, a caption on the photographs posted to social media reads, “Donald is on our side!”
Trump has long been an advocate for asbestos, tweeting in 2012 his belief that the Twin Towers would not have burned down had the fire-resistant asbestos not been removed from them:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2012
The United States, however, has greatly reduced its usage of asbestos within the past few decades as its correlation with health problems have come to light. Ninety-five percent of the United States’ asbestos used to be imported from Brazil, though the country has since issued a ban on the carcinogen, preventing its citizens from mining, using or distributing it.
Consequently, Russia will now be the primary shipper of asbestos to the United States. Russian asbestos distributors have also combated efforts to ban the carcinogen worldwide. Uralasbest’s Andrei Kholzakov reportedly asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for his help on this front.
In 2016, Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act, which requires the Environmental Protection Agency to evaluate substances that are used nationwide. Some were optimistic this would finally lead the United States to ban asbestos, although the Trump administration has instead focused on deregulation.