EPA Submits TSCA Section 6(a) Rulemaking on Asbestos (Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos) to OMB for Review
Posted on December 20, 2021 by Lynn L. Bergeson
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
On December 16, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a proposed rule under Section 6(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) on asbestos (part 1: chrysotile asbestos). According to an item in the fall 2021 Unified Agenda, the TSCA Section 6(a) rulemaking is needed to address the unreasonable risks of chrysotile asbestos that were identified in a risk evaluation completed under TSCA Section 6(b). EPA reviewed the exposures and hazards of chrysotile asbestos, the magnitude of risk, exposed populations, severity of the hazard, uncertainties, and other factors. As reported in our January 4, 2021, memorandum on the final risk evaluation, EPA found unreasonable risks to human health for the following uses of chrysotile asbestos:
- Consumers and Bystanders: EPA found unreasonable risks to consumers and bystanders from all consumer uses of chrysotile asbestos. Most consumer products containing chrysotile asbestos have been discontinued. Consumer products still available and for which EPA found unreasonable risk include aftermarket automotive brakes/linings and certain gaskets. Risks to consumers can come from the inhalation of chrysotile asbestos; and
- Workers and Occupational Non-Users (ONU): Commercial chrysotile asbestos uses for which EPA found unreasonable risk to workers include chlor-alkali diaphragms, sheet gaskets, brake blocks, aftermarket automotive brakes/linings, other vehicle friction products, and other gaskets. Additionally, EPA found unreasonable risks to workers nearby but not in direct contact with chrysotile asbestos for the use of chlor-alkali diaphragms, sheet gaskets, brake blocks, and other gaskets. Risks to workers and ONUs can come from the inhalation of chrysotile asbestos.