Posted on April 29, 2020

Due to high demand, the press conference is now only open to government employees and credentialed journalists.


ADAO is please to host a press conference on Thursday, May 28 at 2:00 pm ET to discuss the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Draft Asbestos Risk Evaluation. Due to high demand, the press conference is now only open to government employees and credentialed journalists. Should you want to join, please register via this link. 

For nearly four years, ADAO and other stakeholders have urged the EPA to use the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act to ban asbestos. The risks of asbestos have been well-documented since 1989, when the EPA initially banned the carcinogen. However, the ban was overturned in 1991 and under Trump’s EPA, our comments and docket submissions have fallen on deaf ears. This was made even more clear by the release of the draft evaluation, as there are numerous deadly exclusions in the risk evaluation, and the EPA originally tried to push through the risk evaluation during the coronavirus pandemic, when scientists and other experts have little time to give their opinions and suggestions.

Although there are many flaws in the industry friendly Draft Risk Evaluation, we plan to focus one the below six points: 

  1. The draft evaluation does not address the risks of legacy asbestos products contained in millions of buildings across the US, despite a ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last year that EPA is obligated to evaluate these risks. 
  2. The evaluation only examines one type of  asbestos fiber — chrysotile — while there are six recognized commercial asbestos fibers.
  3. EPA only looks at the risks of lung cancer and mesothelioma, and does not consider other types of cancer (ovarian and laryngeal), or serious non-cancer diseases (asbestosis) that are known to be caused by asbestos
  4. EPA has ignored the documented presence of asbestos contamination in talc-based crayons and other common consumer products to which infants and children are exposed. 
  5. EPA has excluded all environmental pathways of exposure, including air emissions, contaminated waste, and drinking water contamination, further underestimating risk.
  6. EPA has excluded Libby Amphibole asbestos which is contained in attic insulation   found in 15 – 30 million homes.

Experts include:

Barry Castleman, ScD
Penny Fenner-Crisp, PhD; Environmental Protection Network
Dr. Arthur Frank, MD, PhD
Liz Hitchcock; Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families
Brent Kynoch
Richard Lemen, MSPH, PhD
Jacqueline Moline, MD, M.S.c.
Celeste Monforton, MPH, DrPH, American Public Health Association
Patrick Morrison; International Association of Fire Fighters
Christine Oliver, MD, MPH, MS
Linda Reinstein
Robert Sussman, JD

We look forward to seeing you on the call. Together, we will make change happen.

Linda Reinstein
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Barry Castleman, ScD is an Environmental Consultant trained in chemical and environmental engineering. He holds a Doctor of Science degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. He has been a consultant to numerous agencies of the US government and other governments, international bodies, and environmental groups dealing with a wide range of public health issues. He has testified as an expert in civil litigation in the US on the history of asbestos as a public health problem and the reasons for failure to properly control asbestos hazards. Dr. Castleman has spent the past. 40 years working on asbestos as a public health problem.

Penelope Fenner-Crisp, PhD has 40+ years of experience in the preparation and management of assessments of chemical risks to human health and ecosystems.  She held a number of senior scientist and senior management positions in the drinking water, chemicals and pesticides programs during 22 years at EPA. She has served on many WHO and OECD working groups, and NAS, FDA and EPA advisory panels.  She has authored over 50 publications.  Dr. Fenner-Crisp is a member of the EPA Alumni Association board and an active volunteer with EPN.  Dr. Fenner-Crisp received a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an M.A. and PhD. in Pharmacology from the University of Texas Medical Branch, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Georgetown University.   

Arthur L. Frank, MD, PhD is a physician board certified in both internal medicine and occupational medicine and currently serves as Professor of Public Health and Chair Emeritus of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia. He is also a Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary) at the Drexel College of Medicine. He also holds a position at Drexel as Professor of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering. A life-long academic, Dr. Frank has previously taught at Mount Sinai, the University of Kentucky and in the University of Texas System. He has served many governmental agencies in the US and has carried out research and has been a governmental advisor internationally. Trained in both occupational medicine and internal medicine, Dr. Frank has been interested in the health hazards of asbestos for more than 35 years. He has published a great deal of work on the hazards of asbestos, and clinically cared for asbestos affected patients. He has lectured internationally about the problems of asbestos, and worked in many settings looking at the diseases caused by this material. His research interests have been in the areas of occupational cancers and occupational lung diseases, as well as agricultural safety and health. For thirty-seven years he held a commission in the U S Public Health Service (active and inactive) and served on active duty both at the NIH and at NIOSH. Arthur is the ADAO Science Advisory Board Co-Chair.
Liz Hitchcock is Director of Safer Chemicals Healthy Families. She leads our staff, coordinates work with our partner organizations, and manages the campaign’s advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill and at EPA and other federal agencies. Liz joined the campaign after four years as the public health advocate for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. In that capacity, she led U.S. PIRG’s campaigns on environmental health issues including product safety, chemical policy reform, chemical facility security and food safety. She coordinated PIRG’s successful campaign to win landmark federal standards for toxic lead and phthalates in children’s products in the 2008 reform of Consumer Product Safety Commission and was lead lobbyist for the PIRGs on the food safety campaign that resulted in the 2010 passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act. Before becoming public health advocate, she served as U.S. PIRG’s Communications Director for eleven years, working with the state PIRGs’ advocacy and field staffs to educate national and local media on such issues as product safety, clean water, toxic chemical hazards, safe energy alternatives and air pollution. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and a native of Schenectady, NY.
Brent Kynoch is the Managing Director of the Environmental Information Association, headquartered just outside of Washington, DC in Chevy Chase, MD. He has been the Managing Director of the Association since 1996, but previously had served EIA in other volunteer roles on the Board of Directors as an officer, and ultimately as the President of EIA in 1988 and 1989. EIA has spent over 30 years at the forefront in providing its members with the information needed to remain knowledgeable, responsible and competitive in the environmental health and safety industry. Mr. Kynoch is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, where he received a degree in mechanical engineering. He is called upon frequently as a speaker, as a writer and as an expert regarding environmental contaminants. He has testified before both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate regarding asbestos, and has written numerous articles on asbestos management and control.
Richard Lemen, PhD, MSPH is a retired Assistant Surgeon General of the United States and also served as the Acting Director and the Deputy Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health before his retirement. He has been a practicing epidemiologist for more than forty years and has taught graduate level courses on environmental and occupational health issues, including asbestos, at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. He has also testified on behalf of asbestos victims; Dr. Lemen is a world-renowned author, speaker, and lecturer on this topic.
Jacqueline M. Moline, M.D., M.Sc. is an Occupational Medicine specialist and Professor of Occupational Medicine, Epidemiology and Prevention and Internal Medicine at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine. She obtained her medical degree from the Pritzker School of Medicine of the University of Chicago. She completed residencies in Internal Medicine at Yale University and Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where she obtained her Masters of Science degree. She is the former Director of the NIOSH funded New York/New Jersey Education and Research Center in Occupational Safety and Health. After 19 years on the faculty at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, she joined Northwell Health as the founding Chairperson of the Department of Occupational Medicine, Epidemiology and Prevention. Dr. Moline continues to maintain a clinical practice, focusing on patients with occupational exposures such as asbestos. Since 2001, many of Dr. Moline’s endeavors have been centered on the medical evaluation and treatment of World Trade Center (WTC) responders. While at Mount Sinai she directed the WTC health program, which she now runs at Northwell Health in Queens, NY. In 2010, Dr. Moline was the recipient of the Kehoe Award of Merit from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine for significant contributions to research in the field of occupational and environmental medicine and she has received numerous awards for her service to WTC responders
Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH is a professorial lecturer in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, and liaison to the ADAO Science and Prevention Advisory Boards. Her research includes assessment of worker health and safety laws and policies, and their effectiveness in protecting workers from illnesses, disability and death. She has published articles on strategies used by economic interests, including the asbestos industry, to manipulate scientific evidence to create uncertainty about health risks in order to delay protective regulatory action and compensation. Prior to her academic appointment, Dr. Monforton was a federal employee at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA, 1991-1995) and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA, 1996-2001). Dr. Monforton served on the special panels appointed by the West Virginia Governor to investigate the January 2006 Sago coal mine disaster that took the lives of 12 workers, and the April 2010 disaster at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 workers. Dr. Monforton is an active member of the American Public Health Association and serves in a leadership position with the organization’s Occupational Health and Safety Section
Patrick J. Morrison is the Assistant to the General President for Occupational Health, Safety and Medicine at the IAFF (International Association of Fire Fighters), a union representing more than 320,000 professional fire fighters and paramedics in the United States and Canada. Mr. Morrison’s expertise is in the design and implementation of health, safety and wellness programs to improve fire fighters’ overall physical and mental health, address their medical needs and increase protection from the hazardous elements of fire fighting. Prior to joining the IAFF, Mr. Morrison was a career firefighter for 22 years with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department in Fairfax, Virginia.
L. Christine Oliver, MD, MPH, MS is an adjunct professor in the Division of Occupational and Environmental Health in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto in Toronto, ON. She is a consultant to Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW). Dr. Oliver has an occupational and environmental medicine consulting practice in Brookline, MA. She was formerly an associate clinical professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a member of the Department of Medicine (Pulmonary and Critical Care Division) at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Dr. Oliver’s primary specialty is occupational and environmental medicine, with an emphasis on occupational lung disease. Dr. Oliver is a Fellow of the Collegium Ramazzini and has done research and published in the area of occupational lung disease, with a focus on asbestos-related disease. She has lectured frequently on this topic, including more recently the determination of risk for asbestos-related lung cancer. Dr. Oliver has testified before Congress and OSHA on issues related to asbestos and other workplace exposures. She has also testified as a medical expert on behalf and at the request of asbestos victims and their families.
Linda Reinstein is the President/CEO and Co-Founder of Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO). Reinstein became an activist when her husband, Alan, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2003. She co-founded the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization in 2004, and now serves as President and CEO. Reinstein has been a strong political voice for justice in every major asbestos-related issue. Reinstein, a highly sought-after international speaker, has frequently served as a Congressional witness and presented at the Department of Labor (OSHA), British House of Commons, United Nations Congress, American Public Health Association, and to other audiences around the world. Recognized as an expert with nearly 40 years of nonprofit experience in building and sustaining grassroots organizations, Reinstein specializes in developing, implementing, and leveraging integrated social media campaigns. Focused on national and international occupational and environmental disease prevention, Reinstein’s proficiency in the powerful advocacy space of online media has greatly increased the effectiveness of ADAO’s core mission of education, advocacy, and community support actions. She has won many prestigious awards including the Global Impact Award (2013), from the Independent Asbestos Training Providers; Bruce Vento Hope Builder Award (2011), from the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation; the highest level of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for her 4,000 hours of volunteerism during her lifetime (2010); and the Heart and Soul Award in from the Manhattan Beach Women in Business Association (2005). Recently, after months of collaboration with experts in the U.S. and Australia, Reinstein spearheaded the launch of a new web know Asbestos”, to educate about the dangers of asbestos exposure and prevention.
Robert Sussman, JD, is the principal in Sussman and Associates, a consulting firm that offers advice on energy and environmental policy issues to clients in the non-profit and private sectors. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and was a Visiting Lecturer at Yale Law School. Bob served in the Obama Administration as C0-Chair of the Transition Team for EPA and then as Senior Policy Counsel to the EPA Administrator from 2009-2013. He served in the Clinton Administration as the EPA Deputy Administrator during 1993-94. At the end of 2007, Bob retired as a partner at the law firm of Latham & Watkins, where he headed the firm’s environmental practice in DC. Bob was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress in 2008. He is currently serving on the Board on Environmental Science of the National Academy of Sciences and as a Commissioner of the Interstate Commission for the Potomac River Basin. Bob is a magna cum laude 1969 graduate of Yale College and a 1973 graduate of Yale Law School. Bob has posted numerous blogs on the Brookings Institution Website and elsewhere and published articles in the Environmental Law Reporter and other publications.