Washington — The Environmental Protection Agency accepts comment until July 5 on a proposed rule which would establish reporting and record keeping requirements for asbestos – a known human carcinogen – under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
According to a notice published in the May 6 Federal RegisterEPA would require manufacturers, importers, and processors of asbestos and asbestos-containing products to report to the agency certain information about use and exposure observed over the past four years, including quantities of asbestos manufactured or processed, types of use and employee data.
These manufacturers, importers and processors would have up to nine months after the effective date of a final rule to collect and submit the required data, which “would be used by the EPA and other federal agencies to consider ‘possible future actions, including risk assessment and risk management’. management activities,” the notice reads.
In a press release, the EPA called the proposal the latest in a “comprehensive suite of actions to address the public health risks of asbestos.” According to the American Public Health Association, asbestos kills nearly 40,000 Americans each year.
In April, the EPA announced a proposed rule that would ban the use of chrysotile asbestos. The only known form of asbestos imported into the United States, chrysotile asbestos is found in products such as aftermarket automotive brakes and linings, brake shoes, sheet gaskets, and other automotive friction products. vehicles.
“Strong data and the best available science is the foundation of our work to protect communities from dangerous chemicals like asbestos,” said Michal Freedhoff, deputy administrator of the Office of Pollution Prevention Safety. chemical from the EPA, in the press release. “Obtaining a fuller and more comprehensive set of data on how and where this chemical is used is part of the EPA’s broader efforts to assess asbestos-related health risks. and, if necessary, put in place safeguards.”
Linda Reinstein, president of the nonprofit Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, praises the most recent proposed rule in a press release. In June, EPA reached a legal settlement with ADAO; the organization sued after the EPA denied a 2018 petition to mandate asbestos reporting under TSCA. The proposal is a condition of the settlement.
“The asbestos industry’s lack of reporting requirements has been a gaping hole in the EPA’s efforts to protect Americans from exposure to this deadly carcinogen,” Reinstein said. “We’ve always said we can’t protect Americans from asbestos if the EPA and the public don’t know where it is, how it’s used, and who’s exposed.”