EPA issues final scope of second installment of risk evaluation for asbestos
Washington — The Environmental Protection Agency has announced the availability of the final scope of Part 2 of the final risk evaluation to be conducted for asbestos.
A known human carcinogen used in chlor-alkali production, consumer products, coatings and compounds, plastics, roofing products, and other applications, asbestos is among the first 10 chemicals under evaluation for potential health and environmental risks under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.
According to a notice published in the June 29 Federal Register, Part 2 of the evaluation will focus on legacy uses and disposal of asbestos, defined by EPA as “conditions of use for which manufacture (including import), processing and distribution of commerce no longer occur, but where use and disposal are still known, intended or reasonably foreseen to occur (example: asbestos in older buildings).”
Part 2 will address five additional types of asbestos fiber apart from chrysotile – the focus of Part 1, published early last year – along with talc. EPA published a draft of Part 2 in the Dec. 29 Federal Register.
The final scope “includes the conditions of use, hazards, exposures, and the potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations that EPA plans to consider in conducting the risk evaluation,” which is required to be finalized no later than Dec. 1, 2024, the agency says.
In a press release, Linda Reinstein, president of the nonprofit Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, welcomed the publication of Part 2.
“EPA has an obligation to protect the public from asbestos under the Toxic Substances Control Act, and their plan as detailed in the final Part 2 evaluation is a welcome step forward in the fight against asbestos,” said Reinstein, whose late husband, Alan, died from mesothelioma in 2006. “The agency addressed many of the uses and threats of legacy asbestos that we noted in our comments, which will help advance a comprehensive approach to limit the risk of disease and death from legacy asbestos. Though there is much more to do, we applaud the agency for listening and updating the scope of this evaluation to make it more robust.”