FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2022
EPA IMPROVES LEGACY ASBESTOS SCOPE OF RISK REVIEW
ADAO lawsuit prompted EPA to commit to evaluating legacy asbestos under TSCA
Washington, DC — The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), an independent nonprofit dedicated to preventing asbestos exposure through education, advocacy, and community work, is pleased with EPA’s Asbestos Part 2 Supplemental Evaluation Including Legacy Uses and Associated Disposals of Asbestos; Final Scope of the Risk Evaluation To Be Conducted Under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
This document addresses the ongoing threat of “legacy” asbestos to public health. It is a critical milestone in conducting the necessary evaluation and incorporates many of ADAO’s suggestions, which have improved the final risk document when compared to the initial draft.
“More than a century of asbestos imports and use into the United States have left our communities riddled with this deadly chemical,” commented ADAO president and co-founder Linda Reinstein.
“EPA has an obligation to protect the public from asbestos under the Toxic Substances Control Act, and their plan as detailed in the final Part 2 evaluation, is a welcome step forward in the fight against asbestos. The agency addressed many of the uses and threats of legacy asbestos that we noted in our comments which will help advance a comprehensive approach to limit the risk of disease and death from legacy asbestos. Though there is much more to do, we applaud the agency for listening and updating the scope of this evaluation to make it more robust.” she continued.
Asbestos is a known carcinogen that kills nearly 40,000 Americans each year. There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos. Exposure to asbestos causes fatal diseases including mesothelioma and cancers of the lung, larynx, and ovaries.
Legacy asbestos, or asbestos used in products and construction materials over the last century, poses a serious threat to public health and is a major contributor to asbestos-caused disease and death. Workers and consumers can be exposed to legacy asbestos during its ongoing use, structural renovation, repair or demolition, and disposal of asbestos-containing materials.
Unlike EPA’s disappointing Part 1 Chrysotile Asbestos rule which only proposed banning six conditions of use, EPA’s Part 2 evaluation includes all six asbestos fibers and the Libby Amphibole (winchite and richterite); however, the evaluation will not lead to a banning these additional fibers.
Under a consent decree negotiated by EPA and ADAO, the Part 2 risk evaluation must be completed by December 1, 2024. It is one of many ways legal actions by ADAO have held EPA accountable for its responsibility under TSCA to protect public health from toxic asbestos.
While EPA continues its work on asbestos risk evaluation and management, ADAO urges Congress to pass the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2022. Americans have suffered for decades while EPA has attempted to ban asbestos. We urge Congress to take action to stop asbestos imports and use to protect Americans from this deadly carcinogen once and for all.