EPA Proposes Ban On All Remaining Asbestos Use
April 12, 2022 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed banning the use of chrysotile asbestos, the only known form of asbestos being imported into the U.S.
Chrysotile asbestos, or “white asbestos,” is a carcinogenic material that accounts for 95% of all asbestos used in the US. It is found in a wide range of products including textiles, cement, vehicle brakes, and gaskets. It is also commonly used in insulation and can be found in the roofs, ceilings, walls, and floors of homes and businesses.
This new proposed rule would be the first of its kind issued under the new process for evaluating and addressing the safety of existing chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
The EPA cited the declining use of asbestos in the U.S. and the fact that it is currently banned in over 50 countries as a reason for the new rule. In December of 2020, the EPA issued a final risk evaluation that found unreasonable risks to human health from conditions of use associated with six categories of products that included asbestos.
Product Categories Impacted by Ban
The proposed rule would prohibit manufacture (including import), processing, distribution in commerce, and commercial use of chrysotile asbestos for the following six categories of chrysotile asbestos-containing products.
- Asbestos Diaphragms
- Sheet Gaskets
- Oilfield Brake Blocks
- Automotive Brakes and Linings
- Other vehicle friction products
- Other types of automotive gaskets
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