For years, mesothelioma advocacy groups have lobbied for a ban of asbestos, the mineral that causes the rare form of cancer and other diseases. They were disappointed by the shortcomings of the EPA’s recent risk evaluation. Following recent court victories over failures in that report, the groups are now asking the Ninth Circuit to invalidate the entire report so that it can be properly conducted.
Mesothelioma Advocates Cite Omissions in Report
Mesothelioma advocates had expressed great hope that an asbestos ban was coming after the passage of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) passed under President Obama. But the EPA under Trump administration was notably more friendly towards asbestos manufacturers, and the report that was recently issued skipped an analysis of forms of asbestos other than chrysotile.
The report was published last December, and in addition to its failure to examine other types of asbestos, the agency also failed to consider past uses of the mineral, to address illnesses like mesothelioma, or even to use the most current, most accurate data for its assessment. In response, public health and environmental groups have called the report legally flawed and have requested an invalidation of the entire assessment.
Asbestos Linked to Mesothelioma and Other Cancers and Illnesses
The history of asbestos banning efforts got its start in the 1970s, when the mineral was linked to mesothelioma and a host of other serious illnesses. Those efforts have repeatedly been parried by lobbyists the chemical industry. Under the TSCA the EPA was tasked with assessing the risks of several chemicals including asbestos, but minimized the report’s impact by ignoring “legacy uses.” In November of 2019 the Ninth Circuit ruled that this would not be permitted. The EPA indicated that it would comply in the second part of its risk evaluation, but when and how that report will be conducted remains a mystery.
In response to the absence of information and the failure to consider mesothelioma and other essential information, advocacy groups have also filed a letter to the EPA, notifying the agency of their intent to file a lawsuit for their lack of compliance. Speaking on their efforts, Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization president and CEO Linda Reinstein said the petition is “monumentally important to public health.” Reinstein said those behind the petition want to “hold EPA accountable for a risk evaluation that will truly measure the risk of asbestos, a known human carcinogen.”
If you or someone you love has been impacted by asbestos, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net are here to help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.