EPA Considering How to Handle Legacy Uses of Asbestos
The EPA says it is giving thought to reconsidering how they will handle already existing asbestos as it pertains to the 2016 Toxic Substances Control Act.
Originally, reports Chemical Watch, the EPA’s interpretation of that act as it pertains to asbestos (and several other toxins) was that a risk assessment would focus upon “current and prospective” uses of the mineral and products containing that mineral.
The assessment would have excluded “legacy uses” of the toxin, such as tiles, shingles, drywall, and other asbestos-containing products that have long been present in American homes, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities.
In a recent conference with EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, Representative Frank Pallone Jr (D-New Jersey) proclaimed that ignoring the danger of asbestos disposal “will produce a risk assessment that fails to capture the risk to workers and ordinary Americans”.
This is accurate since most people who suffer exposure to asbestos these days do so as a result of coming into contact with already existing material that’s damaged or deteriorating.
“You raise a meaningful concern,” Mr. Pruitt replied, adding that the issue concerning “legacy” uses of asbestos is currently under active discussion at the EPA and will be addressed.
Asbestos abatement professionals who’ve viewed EPA documents concerning this issue agree that ignoring existing asbestos is tantamount to ignoring the dangers of the hazardous mineral altogether.
Representative Pallone also argued that the agency’s response to the 2016 Toxic Substances Control Act is not what he considers on the so-called up-and-up in general.
He pointed out that deputy assistant administrator Nancy Beck should not have been allowed to “rewrite” key TSCA regulations to benefit her former employer, the American Chemistry Council, which has a stake in many of the toxins that appear on the list of the most dangerous substances in the U.S.