Asbestos safety campaigners in the United States have secured a significant victory as they continue to push for greater accountability for the country’s Environmental Protection Authority.
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organisation explained recently that along with supporters, it had struck an agreement with the EPA over risk assessments. The EPA will finalise a second risk evaluation by December 2024, in addition to studying legacy asbestos risk.
Linda Reinstein, ADAO’s president, said that the developments are a critical next step by the Biden administration via a statement.
“Legacy asbestos is everywhere, and our country has not yet taken the necessary steps in evaluating the magnitude of this risk and protecting the public from harm,” said Reinstein.
“Trump’s EPA failed to address the deadly and often hidden threat asbestos poses in schools, factories, commercial buildings, homes, and consumer products across the United States. Now, the Biden EPA is stepping up to carry out this long overdue task.”
Per the agreement, the EPA will be required to finalise its second risk assessment by 1 December 2024, which will address all six types of asbestos fibres and examine linked diseases due to exposure.
It will also look at all the various exposure pathways that can negatively affect human health, noting susceptible populations, which advocates are pushing for, to address disproportionate harm in vulnerable communities.
Asbestos has long been a contentious issue across Presidential administrations and is often referred to as the ‘poster child’ of US chemical policy failure.