It is well known that exposure to asbestos causes malignant mesothelioma, asbestosis, and asbestos-related lung cancer. But the deadly material is also responsible for a host of other illnesses, and the EPA’s failure to address both these illnesses and many possible sources of occupational exposure to asbestos is being roundly criticized by its own internal Science Advisory Committee.
While Mesothelioma is Included, Many More Risks Are Left Out of EPA Analysis
Mesothelioma patients, healthcare professionals and researchers have been waiting for the Environmental Protection Agency to complete their evaluation of asbestos’ risks. There is significant concern that the agency will fail to ban the carcinogenic material, and this concern is bolstered by the criticism from the EPA’s Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals.
In enumerating the problems with the draft evaluation, the panel’s Henry Anderson said that it underestimates both the extent to which people are exposed in less obviously hazardous professions, and the illnesses beyond mesothelioma that asbestos can cause. “Most exposures are not being captured,” said the retired physician.
Occupations at Risk for Mesothelioma and Many Forms of Asbestos Not Included in EPA Evaluation
One of the top concerns about the analysis is that it fails to include many occupations that are at risk for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, including those working with asbestos-contaminated brakes for vehicles other than automobiles. Demolition workers and industries using talc were also not included.
Also missing from the report was an analysis of the impact of other forms of asbestos known to cause mesothelioma. Critics point to the fact that the document’s title uses the generic term “asbestos” while it only evaluated chrysotile asbestos, leaving the impression that the findings on chrysotile applied to all forms. Committee Chairman Kenneth Portier said, “Our preference would be to see a more complete picture of risk, a true asbestos risk assessment.”
One thing is clear, and that’s that whether the EPA adequately fulfills its mission of conducting a thorough evaluation or not, people exposed to asbestos will continue to be diagnosed with mesothelioma. If you need access to resources to help you deal with this disease, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.