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NGOs petition US EPA to require asbestos reporting

Workers - Asbestos removal ©Lucaz80 - fotolia

Six NGOs have petitioned the US EPA to amend its TSCA chemical data reporting rule (CDR) to require reporting for asbestos.

The TSCA section 21 petition, filed on 25 September, argues that additional data on asbestos is necessary to support the substance's ongoing risk evaluation. The uses identified in asbestos's TSCA problem formulation are "limited, vague and incomplete", it says.

"Without adequate information on ongoing importation and use of asbestos and asbestos-containing products, the risk evaluation will fail to provide a meaningful picture of the threat that asbestos poses to public health and citizens will be in the dark about exposure to asbestos in their communities and places of employment," the petition adds.

The NGOs want the EPA to amend the TSCA CDR rule, which comes under section 8(a) of TSCA, to:

  • require that asbestos be reported under the CDR rule, in order to collect information on its current import and use. The substance is currently exempted from reporting as it is 'naturally occurring';
  • lower the reporting threshold, eliminate exemptions for impurities and its presence in articles, and require processors to report "in order to assure that EPA has the information on asbestos necessary to meet its TSCA responsibilities";
  • block such reports from being protected as confidential business information.

The  petitioning organisations are:

  • the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO);
  • the American Public Health Association (APHA);
  • the Center for Environmental Health (CEH);
  • the Environmental Working Group (EWG);
  • the Environmental Health Strategy Center (EHSC); and
  • Safer Chemicals Healthy Families (SCHF).

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