Six non-governmental organizations (NGOs) petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to amend the chemical data reporting rule (CDA) in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to require the reporting of asbestos.
The petition argues that more information is needed on the cancer-causing mineral to support the ongoing risk evaluation of asbestos because the uses currently identified in the TSCA are “limited, vague and incomplete.”
“Without adequate information on ongoing importation and use of asbestos and asbestos-containing products, the risk evaluation will fail to provide a meaningful picture of the threat that asbestos poses to public health, and citizens will be in the dark about exposure to asbestos in their communities and places of employment,” the petition states.
The NGOs want the TSCA CDR rule to be amended to require that asbestos be reported in order to collect information on its current import and use. It is currently exempted from report because it is “naturally occurring.”
The petition also asks that the reporting threshold be lowered and exemptions for impurities and its presence in articles be eliminated. Furthermore, the NGOs are asking that these reports be blocked from protections as confidential business information.
Asbestos use was restricted in the 1980s because exposure to the mineral can cause serious diseases including lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare type of cancer. Asbestos is banned in more than 60 countries but is still allowed in the United States. The EPA, under the Trump administration, has proposed a significant new use rule that allows for new uses of asbestos in the U.S.
The NGOs supporting 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), and the Safety Chemicals Healthy Families (SCHF).
Source: Chemical Watch