In the wake of an Al Jazeera investigation revealing that the US government has been dumping toxic aluminum into the oceans, the US is now banning the manufacture of aluminum plates and other materials that use aluminum in its deodorants.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Department of Energy (DOE) said it would “exclude from the manufacture, distribution, sale, or distribution of all materials” that use “or are made from aluminum.”
“While this decision does not prohibit the production or use of these products, it does mandate that these products be manufactured with aluminum, the only material that is inherently biodegradable,” the DOE said.
Aluminum is a key component in all products made from plastic and glass, as well as in plastic and aluminum, making it a widely used industrial additive.
It is also commonly used in plastic bottles, which are often used as containers for industrial waste.
Aluminium is widely used in dehumidifiers and other products that need to be heated, cooling or kept in the dark, including air conditioners, dishwashers, water heaters and refrigerators.
But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been slow to act on aluminum’s role in dewatering.
The agency has been “lagging far behind other states” in taking action on the problem, according to a report published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2014.
The report said that the EPA had only issued one regulation in the past two years that “specified the types of chemicals that could be used to dehumidate and cool a water system.”
While the EPA is now working on a regulation, the agency’s website says that it “does not require that all products use or contain aluminum or other metals.
The use of aluminum or similar metals may be allowed if the agency determines that the use of such materials is necessary for a purpose such as controlling corrosion or reducing air or water pollution.””
The EPA is aware of no data indicating that aluminum is inherently harmful,” the agency said in its statement.
“Aluminum remains an important element of our national fabric and an essential element in our environment.
We will continue to take appropriate actions when the data demonstrate that aluminum can be safely used.”
While many US cities have implemented restrictions on the use and disposal of aluminum, others are moving forward with regulations.
The New York City Department of Environmental Conservation (DECC) recently announced it would ban the manufacture and sale of aluminum deodorizers in its city, a move that comes just weeks after the New York State Assembly passed a resolution calling on the city to ban aluminum dehumids.
In April, a ban on the manufacturing and sale to restaurants and bars in the city was announced by the New Jersey Department of Health.
“We have seen an increase in the number of businesses that are using dehumi-gel deodorators and other dehumifiers, but that’s not all,” said Karen Capps, an environmental consultant at the environmental nonprofit Environmental Working Group.
“The city should make sure that these dehumimizers are not made in places where people are going to be exposed to the toxins.”
“This is a major problem,” Capps added.
“It’s not something that’s going away anytime soon.”
Follow Stephanie Pappas on Twitter: @stephanieappapp