EPA's Scope of the Risk Evaluation for Asbestos Document Reveals Strong Industry Influence, Excludes Major Points of Exposure Risk

Advocates Call on EPA to be Transparent with Crucial Information about Use and Exposure in Chlor-Alkali Industry

WASHINGTON--()--The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), the largest independent nonprofit asbestos victims’ advocacy group in the United States, released a statement from Co-Founder and President Linda Reinstein in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Scope of the Risk Evaluation for Asbestos” document.

“The scope defined in this document also fails to address the exposure risk during transport and processing at the shipyards where raw asbestos imports are accepted and handled.”

“We recognize the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for meeting the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act statutory deadline for releasing the asbestos risk evaluation scoping document; however, we have grave concerns.

“The document’s focus on de minimis exposure is a non-starter. There is consensus among the World Health Organization, International Agency on Cancer Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and other scientific bodies — including the EPA — that asbestos is a carcinogen for which there is no safe level of asbestos exposure.

“The scope defined in this document also fails to address the exposure risk during transport and processing at the shipyards where raw asbestos imports are accepted and handled.

“The chlor-alkali industry is working overtime to secure another exemption to allow the continued importation and use of asbestos. In January 2017, the EPA met with twelve American Chemistry Council (ACC) and chlor-alkali industry representatives. According to the EPA, there are three companies, Axiall Corporation, Olin Corporation, and Occidental Chemical, who own a total of 15 chlor-alkali plants that continue to use chrysotile-containing semipermeable diaphragms onsite. It is incredulous that the chlor-alkali industry continues to peddle their 'safe use' propaganda to the EPA, the public, and their shareholders.

“Hundreds of organizations have worked for years to reform the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) which failed to ban asbestos or regulate thousands of toxic chemicals. ADAO holds the EPA responsible for using the weight of evidence to evaluate and finally ban asbestos--without an exemption for the chlor-alkali industry. Asbestos continues to take more than 15,000 American lives each year and hundreds of thousands around the world. Enough is enough.”

About the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is a global leader in combining education, advocacy, and community initiatives to prevent and end asbestos exposure. ADAO seeks to raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos, advocate for an asbestos ban, and protect asbestos victims’ civil rights. ADAO, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, does not make legal referrals. For more information, visit www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org.

Contacts

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
Sara Tiano, 310-251-7477
Sara@asbestosdiseaseawareness.org

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