OxyChem Still Importing Asbestos to the US Despite Government Recommendations

Occidental Chemical Corporation, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corp., commonly known as OxyChem, has been urged to stop importing asbestos and accelerate its transition to non-asbestos technology.

Since asbestos is a known carcinogen, New York government officials have suggested they find alternatives to making their products that do not involve the use of imported asbestos.

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), identified OxyChem as one of the few remaining companies in the chlor-alkali industry that still uses raw asbestos. Competitors like Westlake Corp. and Olin Corp. have ceased importing asbestos, using their existing stockpiles as they transition to non-asbestos technology. This makes OxyChem the sole U.S. company continuing to import this hazardous mineral.

Officials have urged OxyChem to follow its competitors’ lead by committing to a transition away from asbestos.

OxyChem is reportedly opposed to phasing out asbestos and claimed that such a transition would require at least 25 years. The company imported over 300 metric tons of chrysotile asbestos from Brazil and China in the previous year.

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