Posted on June 10, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Linda Reinstein, president and co-founder of The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), issued the following statement in response to EPA’s Dangerously Narrow Draft Risk Evaluation for Asbestos. 

“Today the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) begins their 3rd day of the public meeting to assess the Draft Risk Evaluation for Asbestos.

“After two full days of the meeting, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is pleased the SACC recognizes the concerns that ADAO and many experts have expressed about the EPA draft risk evaluation. 

In short, the risk draft evaluation presents a dangerously incomplete picture of asbestos risks because it: 

  1. Excludes legacy asbestos despite a ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last year stating that EPA is obligated to evaluate these risks.
  2. Only evaluates the risk of chrysotile and fails to consider the other five amphibole fibers: crocidolite, amosite, anthophyllite, tremolite, and actinolite asbestos. 
  3. Only evaluates the risks of lung cancer and mesothelioma and excludes other asbestos-caused cancers such as ovarian and laryngeal, as well as asbestosis and other pleural diseases 
  4. Fails to examine the risks of talc-based industrial and consumer products contaminated with asbestos such as crayons, toys and paint.
  5. Excludes the dangerous Libby Amphibole which can be found in 15 – 30 million U.S. homes as attic insulation.

“It was regrettable that over half of the docket’s public comments were unavailable for review by the SACC experts and public before the meeting began Monday. The facts are irrefutable: each year, nearly 40,000 Americans die from preventable asbestos-related diseases. Leading health authorities have agreed for decades that asbestos is a human carcinogen and there is no safe level of exposure. 

We are depending on the SACC to provide the honest and hard-hitting feedback that EPA needs in order to do its job correctly and fully examine the risk from all fibers — all conditions of use — and all asbestos-caused diseases to get a complete and accurate risk review of this deadly chemical. Americans demand our homes, schools and workplaces, and consumer shelves don’t have toxic asbestos.”

May 27, 2020: Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization full statement submitted into the docket 

June 8, 2020: Robert Sussman, ADAO Counsel, Oral Remarks for EPA’s Draft Risk Evaluation for Asbestos 

June 8, 2020: Linda Reinstein, ADAO Cofounder, Oral Remarks for EPA’s Draft Risk Evaluation for Asbestos