From the blog

New Rules Regarding Reporting of Asbestos

Published: August 11, 2023

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced its final rule requiring comprehensive reporting of asbestos. The rule requires that importers and manufacturers of asbestos related products report information including use and exposure information from the past four years. The new rule was issued under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The reporting rule is due to the EPA’s Risk Evaluation of Asbestos Part 2, which is focused on legacy asbestos and disposal. The data collected from this rule will guide the EPA’s future actions related to asbestos. The rule requires that any manufacturer, importer, or processor that handled asbestos between the years 2019 and 2022 and had annual sales of $500,000 or more must report certain exposure related data like amount of asbestos, how the asbestos was used, and employee data. The rule also deals with asbestos as an impurity in products like talc. Companies that the rule applies to have nine months to collect data and submit it to the EPA.

The first part of the Risk Evaluation of Asbestos was completed in December 2020 and mostly looked at chrysotile asbestos. It did not look at legacy uses of asbestos like asbestos already in people’s homes and already used products. The second part, which looks at legacy asbestos, will be complete by December 1, 2024.Asbestos is the main cause of mesothelioma. It can take years for the cancer to develop after multiple exposures to asbestos. The four main types of mesothelioma include pleural (lungs), peritoneal (abdomen), pericardial (heart), and tunica vaginalis testis (testicles). Multiple states and Washington D.C. along with health and advocacy organizations sued the EPA to try to strengthen asbestos oversight. One organization was the Asbestos Disease Awareness organization, or ADAO. The main goal of the organization is to prevent asbestos related diseases.

There was a proposed ban on chrysotile asbestos by the EPA in 2022. This type of asbestos is the only type still being imported into the United States. It makes up 95 percent of all asbestos used across the United States. No amount of asbestos is considered safe. Chrysotile asbestos can be found in many different products and in homes and buildings. The products containing this type of asbestos include adhesives, appliances, automobile brake linings, boiler seals, ceilings, cement, drywall, ducts, floors of homes and businesses, gaskets imported into the United States, pipe insulation, roofing, sheet gaskets, vehicle friction products, vinyl tiles, and walls.

“EPA Takes Another Step to Protect the Public from Asbestos Exposure by Finalizing Rule to Require Comprehensive Reporting” EPA [Link]
Jonathan Stempel, “U.S. states sue EPA for stricter asbestos rules” Reuters (July 1, 2023). [Link]
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