Asbestos Reporting

NGOs Petition EPA About Asbestos Reporting

Six environmental- and health-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have petitioned the United States Environmental Protection Agency, requesting that the agency amend its Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) data reporting rule to require reporting for asbestos uses, reports ChemicalWatch.

NGOs Petition EPA About Asbestos ReportingThis comes on the heels of changes made this summer that would potentially open the door for new uses of the toxic mineral.

This petition, which was filed last week, maintains that additional data on the substance is necessary in order to support an ongoing risk evaluation.

The petitioners view the uses outlined in asbestos’ TSCA problem formulation as “limited, vague and incomplete”, the petition says.

Filers of the petition include:

  • the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO)
  • the American Public Health Association (APHA)
  • the Center for Environmental Health (CEH)
  • the Environmental Working Group (EWG)
  • the Environmental Health Strategy Center (EHSC)
  • Safer Chemicals Healthy Families (SCHF)

All of these organizations have rallied for a total ban on asbestos and many continually fight for the rights of victims of asbestos exposure, particularly individuals who have developed mesothelioma cancer due to negligent exposure on the part of employers and others.

As such, they have demanded the following amendments as per their petition:

  • That there be a requirement that asbestos be reported under the Chemical Data Reporting rule, in order to collect information on its current import and use. The substance is currently exempted from reporting as it is ‘naturally occurring’.
  • That the reporting threshold be lowered, and that the agency eliminates exemptions for impurities and its presence in articles, and require processors to report “in order to assure that EPA has the information on asbestos necessary to meet its TSCA responsibilities”;
  • That the agency block such reports from being protected as confidential business information.

These 7 organizations have long had the best interests of asbestos exposure sufferers in mind when dealing with issues such as the EPA’s recently loosened rules on asbestos use.

The EPA has not yet responded to the petition but will likely make a statement in the near future.