EPA release suggests asbestos ban decision is near

Published on March 17, 2023

A newly released Environmental Protection Agency document indicates the agency is much closer to a final decision on how to regulate chrysotile asbestos under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). EPA has released additional data related to the proposed rule change and has opened a 30-day period for public comment before coming to its final conclusion.

Ban on Mineral Causing Malignant Mesothelioma on the Horizon?

Although many Americans believe that the use of asbestos was long ago banned in the United States, the material continues to be used in numerous applications, most notably in the chlor-alkali industry. The powerful chemical industry has been working for years to block a federal ban on the carcinogenic material used in membranes and gasket sheets used to make chlorine.

Exposure to asbestos causes malignant mesothelioma as well as other deadly asbestos-related diseases. In recent years, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) has aggressively pursued the EPA to take action to force the industry to switch to non-asbestos parts and accessories in the interest of safety. Other targets are automotive brakes/pads and seals for the aftermarket.

The end of the use of asbestos in the chlor-alkali industry could come in two years

Because the EPA has published a proposed rule that would ban the manufacture, processing, commercial distribution, and commercial use of asbestos-contaminated materials effective two years from the effective date of its final rule, it has reviewed several public comments that for and against the two-year period.

The chlor-alkali industry has argued that material shortages and individual plant specifics make a two-year conversion overly ambitious. They have suggested that resulting chlorine shortages could affect public health and water security. ADAO has countered this claim by saying that some of the necessary steps are already being taken and suggested that the agency should ask chlor-alkali companies seven specific questions about the switch. Following this latest round of discussions and new data, EPA is again inviting public comments over the next 30 days regarding maintaining the currently proposed ban compliance dates, staggering compliance dates, or setting longer deadlines.

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If you have been exposed to asbestos, you know that banning the substance is only the first step in eradicating the malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. For more information, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.

FREE Mesothelioma Pack Written by Terri Oppenheimer Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the main author of our Mesothelioma.net news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes knowledge is power, and she is committed to sharing news about the effects of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and the stories of victims.

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