US EPA confirms all 6 current uses pose unreasonable cancer risks to workers and consumers
Despite intense lobbying by the chemical industry, the US Environmental Protection Agency is set to address the cancer risks posed by all current uses of chrysotile asbestos. In a final assessment released Dec. 30, the agency identified unreasonable risks to workers and consumers who handle chlor-alkali diaphragms, gaskets, aftermarket automobile brakes, and other products that contain the carcinogenic substance.
The EPA only evaluated current uses of chrysotile asbestos, the form that is still imported into the US. The agency plans to evaluate risks from former uses, such as construction materials in older buildings, in a separate assessment. In that second part, the EPA will consider chrysotile and 5 other types of asbestos fibers. The agency expects to have a draft scoping document, which describes the uses that it will evaluate, by mid-2021 for that additional assessment.