EPA Finalizes Asbestos Reporting Rule
On July 6, 2023, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that they had formulated and put into place a final asbestos reporting rule. The rule was issued under section (a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). According to the EPA press release, the rule “requires asbestos manufacturers (including importers) and processors to report certain use and exposure information from the past four years, including information on asbestos-containing products (including as an impurity).”Reasons for the Rule
The EPA wants to use the rule data to guide future actions regarding asbestos. The rule requires asbestos importers with annual sales of $500,000 or more to report information about asbestos exposure, asbestos quantities imported, what the asbestos was used for, and the names of employees who may have been involved in the asbestos importation or use process.Ban Proposed
Chrysotile asbestos is the only form of asbestos that is knowingly imported into the United States today. It is used in oil-field brake blocks, automobile brake linings, and brake shoes. Chrysotile asbestos is also used in many imported gaskets. Gaskets were a large source of asbestos exposure on naval ships. When naval engine parts had to be cleaned, asbestos-insulated portions needed to be scraped, and dangerous asbestos fibers were released into the air.
On April 5, 2022, the EPA released a statement that explained that the agency was proposing a rule that would finally prohibit the use of chrysotile asbestos. Although United States asbestos use has been declining for many years, chrysotile asbestos use continues.Asbestos Uses
Asbestos had been hailed as a miracle fiber when first discovered. Asbestos fibers occur naturally in soil and rocks and they are flame retardants. Asbestos fibers also do not conduct electricity so they were preferred as electrical insulators. Asbestos fibers are very strong and many homes were built with asbestos siding. Asbestos siding was purported to be very strong and durable. Homebuyers were told that any extra costs that were related to the purchase of asbestos home siding would be mitigated because the siding never needed to be painted. Even novelty products like artificial snow were made with asbestos.Asbestos Risks
Even 100 years ago, researchers found evidence that breathing asbestos fibers could be harmful. Eventually asbestos inhalation was found to be the cause of:
- Lung scarring
- Lung cancer
In addition, asbestos fiber ingestion could lead to cancers of the digestive tract.Banned?
While many countries ban the mining, exportation, and importation of asbestos, the United States has not yet implemented a total asbestos ban.Have You Been Exposed? Get Help Today!
If you have been exposed to asbestos and you have developed mesothelioma, you can be compensated. Navigating a complex asbestos lawsuit can be very challenging, and you need to consult with an experienced attorney about your issue.
If you think you have an asbestos claim, contact a qualified Mesothelioma Attorney at the Throneberry Law Group. The Throneberry Law Group provides aggressive and compassionate support and representation for asbestos cancer victims. Call an experienced Throneberry Law Group attorney today at 888-506-1131, or visit them online for 24/7 assistance.