The U.S. EPA is currently reviewing and updating its recently published draft risk assessment for asbestos. As part of this process, EPA requested its Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) to peer review the document in a virtual meeting held June 8-11, 2020.

A group of associations and law firms (later the group) had submitted a letter on June 2, 2020 to EPA taking strong objection to three of the members on EPA’s SACC by alleging their bias since that had received compensation for participation on behalf of plaintiffs in asbestos litigation cases and also taking strong exception to some activities by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO). Further, the group requests that the SACC be restructured to include asbestos defendant experts in order for the committee to be balanced while conducting its peer review. The group’s letter is herewith as attachment 1.

As a follow-up to the group’s letter, ADAO submitted a letter to EPA on June 29, 2020 challenging the allegations of the 11 associations and law firms. ADAO’s letter is herewith as attachment 2. ADAO argued that EPA should reject the group’s baseless challenge and “allow the SACC as currently constituted to complete its review of the asbestos risk assessment.”

Notwithstanding as to how EPA will respond to the group’s challenge of SACC’s membership, the current plan by the agency is to develop a final risk assessment for asbestos in the next 60-90 days, followed by a 30-day public comment period and a proposed rule in 2021 with a final rule in 2022.

It is worth and necessary for ICA to give to all readers accurate information on this matter. ILO and WHO have never called for a worldwide ban of asbestos use. Such position has been taken by some anti-asbestos activists working for ILO and WHO. But the official position is truly different and DO NOT REQUEST a total ban. ILO official is contained in ILO International Convention 162. The safety in the use is the official position. For WHO, the sole authority, the governing body WHA (World Health Assembly) on May 23, 2007 adopted a crystal-clear position:

“Its activities will include global campaigns for elimination of asbestos-related diseases bearing in mind a differentiated approach to the two forms of asbestos – in the line with international legal instruments and the latest evidence for effective interventions and…”

Chrysotile Association 

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