Asbestos warning should be issued

By Jim DiPeso

AN HISTORICAL DOCUMENT: The following letter to the editor was published on January 2, 2003 in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.



Every citizen should be outraged by the White House’s reprehensible squelching of an official warning about home insulation products containing a particularly dangerous form of asbestos. Congratulations to the Post-Dispatch for exposing this despicable action.

The White House Office of Management and Budget should be asked a simple question: What is more important — protecting the health of American families or enabling W.R. Grace Co.’s stonewalling about the hazards of its products?

As former EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus said, it is unconscionable for public servants to deliberately hush up information affecting the health of millions.

EPA Administrator Christine Whitman should go ahead as she had planned last spring, and issue an official warning about the tainted insulation. If Whitman cares about the integrity of this nation’s environmental and public health policies, and we believe she does, she should do what’s best for America’s families, the OMB and W.R. Grace be damned.


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