EPA fails to recognize legacy asbestos as deadly hazard

20 Jun 2018 by under News

EPA logo 100x100 EPA fails to recognize legacy asbestos as deadly hazardThe Environmental Protection Agency () will not prohibit new uses or review exposures from abandoned uses of asbestos, a fibrous mineral used in building materials and other industrial products that has been linked to a rare and deadly form of cancer called .

The EPA announced these intentions in the “Problem Formulation Document,” a report that excludes a risk review of ongoing exposure from legacy asbestos products in the environment.

“With these exclusions, it is clear that the EPA will fail to evaluate the full risk of asbestos,” says Linda Reinstein, president and co-founder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO). “The end result will be a serious inadequate risk evaluation that fails to address major contributions to the heavy and growing toll of asbestos mortality and disease in the United States, and represents an irresponsible and unjust rollback of the recent Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform legislation.”

Congress gave the EPA the much broader authority to ban toxic chemicals or dramatically curtail their uses in commerce to protect public health. Asbestos is among the chemicals under consideration. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says he is taking “important, unprecedented action on asbestos,” but is avoiding a ban, a move that Reinstein calls “reprehensible.”

“The asbestos importers and users may see this as an initial win – but they are dead wrong. ADAO has built an arsenal of evidence in the docket proving there is no safe or controlled use of this toxic chemical,” she says.

An estimated 15,000 Americans die each year from diseases caused by asbestos exposure, including mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. “It is incredulous to know that the EPA has ignored the science, the history, and the carnage that asbestos has caused throughout the nation each year,” Reinstein says. “There is global consensus that there is no safe level of asbestos exposure or controlled use of asbestos.”


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