WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), the largest independent nonprofit asbestos victims’ advocacy group in the United States, released a statement from Co-Founder and President Linda Reinstein after meeting with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about implementing the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform:
“Our message to the EPA was simple: asbestos is a known carcinogen and there is no safe level of exposure. While the EPA finalizes their scoping document that will guide the risk assessment of asbestos, it is imperative the evaluation includes a comprehensive review of all uses and points of exposure, which will ultimately lead to a full ban without any exemptions.
“According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the chlor-alkali industry was responsible for 100% of the asbestos consumption in the U.S. 2016.
“However, since TSCA legislative discussions began, the American Chemistry Council (ACC), which lobbies on behalf of the chlor-alkali industry, has been repeatedly requesting an exemption from any forthcoming asbestos regulation, claiming the industry uses the carcinogen safely. This assertion is contrary to the determination made by every leading scientific organization, including the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Each year, an estimated 15,000 Americans die from preventable asbestos-caused diseases, yet this substance remains legal in our country and the asbestos industry continues to lobby to evade efforts to protect the public. It is reprehensible that since the EPA’s first attempt to ban asbestos in 1989, an estimated 400,000 Americans have died from preventable asbestos-caused diseases and more than 375,000 metric tons have been imported into our country. Moreover, countless other products containing asbestos have been, and continue to be, imported.
“We are finally standing at the crossroads of change. For decades, corporations hid behind a broken law to put profits over people and act with complete disregard for public health. Under 2016 TSCA reform, the EPA is now required to evaluate existing asbestos uses to determine whether they present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment. The science on asbestos is unwavering and clear. The EPA cannot deny the unreasonable risk of asbestos and must not grant exemption for the chlor-alkali industry or any other industry.
“We have grave concerns about the appointment of Dr. Nancy Beck to lead the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention because her immediate past employment at the ACC who vigorously lobbies for the chlor-alkali industry. We question her ability to objectively and fairly implement TSCA, and request that she recuse herself."
Participants at today’s EPA meeting were:
Liz Hitchcock, Government Affairs, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families
Brent Kynoch, Managing Director, Environmental Information Association (EIA)
Richard Lemen, PhD, MSPH, Asst. U.S. Surgeon General (ret.)
Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH, American Public Health Association (APHA)
L. Christine Oliver, MD, MPH, MS, FACPM, Harvard Medical School
Linda Reinstein, President/CEO/Co-Founder, Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
About the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is a global leader in combining education, advocacy, and community initiatives to prevent and end asbestos exposure. ADAO seeks to raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos, advocate for an asbestos ban, and protect asbestos victims’ civil rights. ADAO, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, does not make legal referrals. For more information, visit www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org.