Russian mining firm places seal with Trump's face on asbestos products

Russian mining firm places seal with Trump's face on asbestos products
© Greg Nash

One of the world's largest and producers and sellers of asbestos has reportedly begun placing a seal with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' MORE's face on its products. 

The Guardian reported on Wednesday that Uralasbest has adorned pallets of its products with Trump's face and the message, “Approved by Donald Trump, 45th president of the United States."

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The newspaper noted that the move came after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) elected not to prohibit the new asbestos product outright. 

"Donald is on our side!" Uralasbest announced in a Facebook post accompanied by the products with Trump's face stamped atop them. The post also thanks Trump for supporting former EPA Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: Trump rolls back methane pollution rule | EPA watchdog to step down | China puts tariffs on US gas EPA inspector general to resign Overnight Energy: EPA watchdog says agency failed to properly monitor asbestos at schools| Watchdog won’t investigate former Superfund head’s qualifications| Florence causes toxic coal ash spill in North Carolina MORE and adds that Trump called asbestos "100% safe after application." 

Uralasbest is located in Asbest, a mining city in the Ural Mountains of Russia. The Guardian notes that previous reports have said the company has ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom Trump is set to meet in Finland this month. 

Environmental groups have been critical of Uralasbest and the decision from the EPA not to ban asbestos on public health grounds. 

“Vladimir Putin and Russia’s asbestos industry stand to prosper mightily as a result of the Trump administration’s failure to ban asbestos in the U.S.,” Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, told The Guardian. 

Asbestos is classified by the U.S. government as a "known carcinogen" because of the evidence that suggests asbestos fibers can become lodged in the lungs and cause mesothelioma. It can also reportedly cause cancers of the lung, larynx and ovary.

Using asbestos for clothing and roofing is still allowed in the U.S., but the EPA in June announced that it would take further action on the product by using the “best available science” to evaluate its effects.