Cinnaminson, NJ, January 2nd
Due to its many unique properties, asbestos has been used in thousands of consumer products and building materials over the years. Unfortunately, it has also been known for some time that exposure to asbestos fibers could result in mesothelioma, asbestosis or lung cancer. Considering all we know about asbestos exposure hazards, many people in the United States assume it has been banned. To the surprise of most, that is not completely correct.
The following is an explanation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “On July 12, 1989, the EPA issued a final rule under Section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) banning most asbestos-containing products in the United States. In 1991, the rule was vacated and remanded by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. As a result, most of the original ban on the manufacture, importation, processing, or distribution in commerce for most of the asbestos-containing product categories originally covered in the 1989 final rule was overturned. Only the bans on corrugated paper, rollboard, commercial paper, specialty paper, and flooring felt and any new uses of asbestos remained banned under the 1989 rule. Although most asbestos containing products can still legally be manufactured, imported, processed and distributed in the U.S., according to the U.S. Geological Survey, the production and use of asbestos has declined significantly.”
So what types of new products could still contain asbestos? The EPA states that the manufacture, importation, processing and distribution in commerce of the following products, as well as some others not listed, are not banned. However, in June of 2018, EPA took action by proposing a significant new use rule (SNUR) that would prohibit these uses.
-Cement corrugated sheet -Automatic transmission components
-Cement flat sheet -Clutch facings
-Clothing -Friction materials
-Pipeline wrap -Disk brake pads
-Roofing felt -Drum brake linings
-Vinyl floor tile -Brake blocks
-Cement shingle -Gaskets
-Millboard -Non-roofing coatings
-Cement pipe -Roof coatings
“Exposure to airborne asbestos fibers is a serious potential health risk,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Fibers embedded in lung tissue over time may cause serious and deadly diseases. To help protect workers and the public from asbestos exposure risks, and to keep companies in regulatory compliance, EMSL provides environmental and industrial hygiene testing services, all of the sampling supplies necessary and easy-to-use test kits.”
EMSL has also sponsored an educational video about asbestos-containing products that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/aVXM5GDdtrQ.
To learn more about asbestos or other environmental quality testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com, email info@EMSL.com or call (800) 220-3675. To access asbestos and other indoor environmental quality (IEQ) test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 45 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.