Washington – The Environmental Protection Agency has released the final scope of Part 2 of a final risk assessment that concludes asbestos – a known human carcinogen – poses an “unreasonable” risk to the health of workers under certain conditions.
Used in chlor-alkali production, consumer products, coatings and compounds, plastics, roofing products and other applications, asbestos is among the top 10 chemicals being evaluated for potential risks to health and the environment under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety Law for the 21st Century.
According to a review published June 29 Federal RegisterPart 2 of the assessment focuses on legacy uses and disposal of asbestos, defined by the EPA as “the conditions of use for which the manufacture (including import), processing, and commercial distribution no longer occur, but where the use and disposal is still known, planned or reasonably foreseeable (example: asbestos in old buildings).
Part 2 covers five other types of asbestos fibers besides chrysotile – the subject of Part 1, published early last year – as well as talc. The EPA published a draft of Part 2 in the December 29 Federal Register.
The final scope “includes conditions of use, hazards, exposures, and potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations that the EPA expects to consider in the risk assessment,” which must be finalized no later than on Dec. 1, 2024, the agency says.
In a press release, Linda Reinstein, president of the nonprofit Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, welcomed the release of Part 2.
“The EPA has an obligation to protect the public from asbestos under the Toxic Substances Control Act, and their plan, as detailed in the Part 2 Final Assessment, is a welcome step forward in the fight against asbestos,” said Reinstein, whose late husband, Alan, who died of mesothelioma in 2006. “The agency has looked into many uses and threats of legacy asbestos that we noted in our comments, which will help advance a comprehensive approach to limiting the risk of illness and death from inherited asbestos. While much more needs to be done, we commend the agency for listening and updating the scope of this assessment to make it more robust. »