EPA to confirm new risk evaluation for asbestos safety standards

EPA to confirm new risk evaluation for asbestos safety standards

The United States’ Environmental Protection Agency has confirmed that it is seeking comments on a draft for Part 2 of a final risk evaluation that concludes that asbestos presents an unreasonable health risk to workers, in certain circumstances.

Under the Act, known as the Frank R Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, asbestos will be under evaluation for certain uses as it presents risks to health and environmental safety.

The evaluation will focus on legacy uses and the safe disposal of asbestos, including “conditions of use for which manufacture (including import), processing and distribution of commerce no longer occur, but where use and disposal are still known, intended or reasonably foreseen to occur (e.g., asbestos in older buildings).”

Prominent non-profit, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organisation, had previously condemned the work of the EPA in Part 1 of the reforms, labelling the first instalment of the risk assessment as “piecemeal and dangerously incomplete.” However, they have applauded the EPA for approaching the second half of the project with a more “informed and complete” approach.

“[EPA] has taken a critical step in fulfilling its long-delayed obligation to evaluate the risks of legacy asbestos under the Toxic Substances Control Act,” ADAO President and co-founder Linda Reinstein said.

“The Part 2 risk evaluation will finally provide a robust and comprehensive evaluation of legacy asbestos that can be found in millions of homes, schools and workplaces.”

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