EPA Opens 60 Day Comment Period: Asbestos Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos; Regulation of Certain Conditions of Use Under Section 6(A) of TSCA

Federal Register

National – EPA has opened the 60-day comment period for the proposed rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to address the unreasonable risk of injury to health it has identified for conditions of use of chrysotile asbestos following completion of the TSCA Risk Evaluation for Asbestos, Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos. TSCA requires that EPA address the unreasonable risks of injury to health and environment by rule and to apply requirements to the extent necessary so that chrysotile asbestos no longer presents such risks. Comments must be received on or before June 13, 2022.

For the full text and to submit comment, click here.

EPA Ban On Chrysotile Like to Lead to Mean Increased PFAS Use

National Law Review Washington, DC

The EPA also recognized the fact that a complete ban on chrysotile asbestos will have a particular impact on chlor-alkali companies, as asbestos-containing diaphragms are currently used by the industry to manufacture a significant amount of the chlorine produced in the United States. Although the industry will be given two years to switch away from the use of asbestos-containing products, the EPA recognizes that the TSCA rule may necessarily lead to increased use of PFAS in the industry. While the EPA is willing to proceed with the proposal despite the increased PFAS use, businesses must pay close attention to the Safe Drinking Water Act and CERCLA developments with respect to PFAS, which could result in significant financial consequences with increased PFAS use. 

Click here for the full article. 

The Future is Now for TSCA Risk Management Rule-Making for Asbestos and Other Chemicals

National Law Review National

EPA has proposed a ban on the ongoing uses of chrysotile asbestos, illustrating EPA’s strong authority under section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Nevertheless, it is the alternatives to a ban that EPA considered but did not adopt that have the most implications for companies that make or use other chemicals for which EPA is conducting risk evaluations. The proposal heralds a new era of EPA promulgating much stricter workplace protections than OSHA has done or that it could do under its statute. 

For the full text, click here.

Feds Accused of Ignoring Asbestos and Mold at Women’s Prison

Associated Press by Michael Balsamo and Michael R. Sisak Washington, DC

A government watchdog has found a “substantial likelihood” the federal Bureau of Prisons committed wrongdoing when it ignored complaints and failed to address asbestos and mold contamination at a federal women’s prison in California that has already been under scrutiny for rampant sexual abuse of inmates. The whistleblower complaints, filed by union officials at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California, alleged that senior Bureau of Prisons officials had failed to act to resolve the allegations of workplace contamination. The union had repeatedly complained that correctional officers and other prison workers and inmates were being exposed to potentially hazardous mold and asbestos but says those concerns were ignored. 

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EPA Opens 60 Day Comment Period: Asbestos Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos; Regulation of Certain Conditions of Use Under Section 6(A) of TSCA

Federal Register National

EPA has opened the 60-day comment period for the proposed rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to address the unreasonable risk of injury to health it has identified for conditions of use of chrysotile asbestos following completion of the TSCA Risk Evaluation for Asbestos, Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos. TSCA requires that EPA address the unreasonable risks of injury to health and environment by rule and to apply requirements to the extent necessary so that chrysotile asbestos no longer presents such risks. Comments must be received on or before June 13, 2022.

For the full text and to submit comment, click here.

EPA Proposes an Asbestos Ban…yes, But Here Are the Details

LinkedIn by Tom Laubenthal

National – With the US EPA’s recently proposed ban on chrysotile, it is helpful to understand a brief history of asbestos ban efforts in the US to understand the context and details. From specific categorical bans in the 70s to failed attempts at total asbestos ban legislation in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s, EPA and other agencies have been unsuccessful in their public health missions, to protect people and the environment. The latest activity is the result not of agency action in the interest of public health, but of litigation and the advocacy of nonprofit organizations such as ADAO and EIA. 

For the full text, click here.

EPA Opens 60 Day Comment Period: Asbestos Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos; Regulation of Certain Conditions of Use Under Section 6(A) of TSCA

Federal Register National

EPA has opened the 60-day comment period for the proposed rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to address the unreasonable risk of injury to health it has identified for conditions of use of chrysotile asbestos following completion of the TSCA Risk Evaluation for Asbestos, Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos. TSCA requires that EPA address the unreasonable risks of injury to health and environment by rule and to apply requirements to the extent necessary so that chrysotile asbestos no longer presents such risks. Comments must be received on or before June 13, 2022.

For the full text and to submit comment, click here.

EPA To Propose Restrictions On Asbestos

New York Times National

EPA said it intends to ban one form of asbestos, the first time the federal government has moved to significantly restrict the toxic industrial material since 1989. Under the regulation proposed Tuesday, the EPA would prohibit the use, manufacture and import of chrysotile asbestos, a type of asbestos that has been linked to lung cancer and mesothelioma. It would still be legal to import other types of asbestos but companies are required to notify the E.P.A. before importing any product known to contain asbestos fibers, and the agency has the authority to deny those imports. 

For the full text, click here. 

EPA Proposes to Ban Ongoing Uses of Chrysotile Asbestos, Other Fiber Types Still Under Consideration

Environmental Protection Agency
April 5, 2022

Washington, DC – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking action to protect people from asbestos exposure by releasing a proposed rule to prohibit ongoing uses of Chrysotile asbestos, the only known form of asbestos currently imported into the U.S. This proposed rule is the first-ever risk management rule issued under the new process for evaluating and addressing the safety of existing chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that was enacted in 2016. The proposed rule would ban Chrysotile asbestos, which is found in products like asbestos diaphragms (used in the chlor-alkali industry), sheet gaskets, brake blocks, aftermarket automotive brakes/linings, other vehicle friction products, and other gaskets also imported into the U.S. 

The chrysotile asbestos ban is “a landmark step forward,” said Linda Reinstein, president of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, an EIA partner. In 2006, her husband died of mesothelioma, a cancer tied to asbestos exposure. “The reality is now we have part one,” Reinstein said. “But anything less than a full ban doesn’t protect public health.”

For the full text of this release, click here. To access the pre-publication notice to the Federal Register of the proposed rule, click here.

J&J’S Controversial Asbestos Prison Testing Resurfaces in Baby Powder Lawsuit

Bloomberg by Jeff Feely New Brunswick, NJ

More than 50 years ago, nearly a dozen men incarcerated outside of Philadelphia enrolled in an experiment funded by Johnson & Johnson, according to unsealed documents. Now, those studies have come back to haunt the world’s largest maker of health-care products. In one study, inmates were paid to be injected with potentially cancer-causing asbestos so the company could compare its effect on their skin versus that of talc, a key component in its iconic baby powder. 

For the full text, click here.

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