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ADAO Issues Statement from President and CEO on the Organization's Comments Filed Today on the Inadequacies of the EPA Problem Formulation for Asbestos

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EPA's Incomplete Risk Evaluation Perpetuates Continued Use of
Asbestos and Undermines the Ability to Establish a Much-Needed Asbestos
Ban

The Asbestos
Disease Awareness Organization
(ADAO), the largest independent
nonprofit dedicated to preventing asbestos caused diseases in the United
States, today issued a statement from President and CEO Linda Reinstein
about the comments ADAO filed today on the Environmental Protection
Agency's (EPA) Problem
Formulation Document
for asbestos, the latest step in its tragically
incomplete risk evaluation for this deadly substance.

"It is now clearer than ever that EPA is turning a blind eye to the
overwhelming threat that asbestos poses to the health of the US
population. This problem formulation completes the single-minded effort
of the ‘Trump EPA' to narrow the asbestos risk evaluation to the point
of ignoring nearly all the risks of asbestos in American workplaces,
residences, schools and commercial buildings-- undoing the decision of
the ‘Obama EPA' to use the reformed Toxic Substances Control Act to
finally impose a much-delayed ban on asbestos use in the U.S., which now
is virtually unregulated. ADAO's Problem Formulation Document comments
provide EPA with additional evidence that there is no safe or controlled
level of use or exposure to asbestos. In our comments, ADAO outlines the
many deadly exclusions from the EPA risk evaluation that make it
essentially irrelevant to protection of public health, including: EPA's
failure to examine the dangers of asbestos' pervasive ongoing presence
in the built environment due to legacy products; its refusal to consider
Libby Amphibole, a deadly form of asbestos once mined in the U.S. that
is causing death and disease in communities near mining sites and
putting at risk residents of homes with vermiculite attic insulation;
its unwillingness to use TSCA to ban discontinued products permanently
so that they do not return to commerce; its failure to take into account
the known asbestos-related exposures and deaths from ovarian and
laryngeal cancers, and asbestosis, and its refusal to consider risks of
air emissions and asbestos waste, notwithstanding the 25.6
million pounds of asbestos
that are disposed in landfills throughout
the nation.

"Asbestos is a known carcinogen, but imports continue. As Occidental
Chemical Corporation
reported, ‘Annually, the American Chemistry
Council's Chlorine Chemistry Division (CCD) member companies use an
average of 440 tons of dry chrysotile asbestos to maintain diaphragm
production at nine diaphragm- technology locations in the United
States.' The American Chemistry Council (ACC) touts that the Chlorine
Industry has a "long history of safe use" however they exclude mining,
importation, distribution, and disposal
.

"ADAO isn't alone. Last week there was national and international
outrage as seen in the nearly 500 public comments regarding EPA's
proposed Significant
New Use Rule
(SNUR). In addition, more than 20,000 people have
signed ADAO's
petition
on this important topic.

"We continue to build momentum to ban asbestos without any loopholes or
exemptions and urge the EPA to stand up to the Chlor-Alkali
industry
who continue to import and use hundreds of tons for raw
asbestos. The world is watching to see if President Trump's EPA will do
their job and finally ban asbestos."

About the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
The
Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) was founded by asbestos
victims and their families in 2004. ADAO is the largest non-profit in
the U.S. dedicated to providing asbestos victims and concerned citizens
with a united voice through our education, advocacy, and community
initiatives. ADAO seeks to raise public awareness about the dangers of
asbestos exposure, advocate for an asbestos ban, and protect asbestos
victims' civil rights. For more information, visit www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org.

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