OSHA hasn’t been able to ban substances that harm workers the most – but the EPA is making some headway.
Chrysotile asbestos will soon be banned in a wide range of industrial uses under a Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) rule.
EPA is calling for a manufacturing, distribution and import ban on chrysotile asbestos in:
• chlor-alkali diaphragms
• sheet gaskets used in chemical production
• brake blocks used by the oil & gas sector
• aftermarket automotive brakes and brake linings, and
• other asbestos-containing vehicle friction products and gaskets.
This TSCA rule also sets waste handling and recordkeeping obligations on facilities.
Raw chrysotile asbestos is the only type of asbestos imported into the U.S., roughly 100 metric tons annually. Many of the asbestos-containing products listed above are also imported.
Breathing asbestos fibers can cause a buildup of scar-like tissue in the lungs called asbestosis, result in lung failure and death. Asbestos also causes lung cancer and mesothelioma.