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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

Senator Boxer Asks EPA to Ban Asbestos

Add Senator Boxer to the list of persons and entities asking EPA to ban asbestos under the new TSCA.  Her August 26, 2016 letter to EPA is online. Among other things, she pointed out some continuing use data:

“Though asbestos production has ceased in the U.S and its use has generally dec lined, significant imports for a range of applications persist and exposures continue to occur with alarming regularity. According to a detailed study by the Environmenta l Working Group, from 2006 to 2014, 23 ports on the Gulf of Mexico, West Coast and Eastern Seaboard received more than 8.2 million pounds of raw asbestos, as well as hundreds of shipments of hazardous asbestos waste and products made with asbestos.

Similarly, in its annual report on U.S. mineral importation and use, the United States Geological Service states that in 2015:

“Asbestos consumption in the United States was estimated to be 400 tons, based on asbestos imports through July 20 14. The chloralkali industry accounted for an estimated 88% of U.S. consumption. The remainder was used in coatings and compounds, plastics, roofing products, and unknown applications.

The point here is not to worry about the existing users; no doubt they can advocate for themselves. The larger issue will be the impact for asbestos trials if expert witnesses, the news and social media are full of references to EPA seeking to ban asbestos.

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