The Toxic Control Substances Act of 1976 (TCSA) regulates new and previously existing chemicals & compounds. The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response was added to the TCSA in 1986 to specifically address asbestos. The 1986 clause allowed the EPA to set standards and regulations for many uses of asbestos.
As of 2019, the EPA has been evaluating the risks associated with asbestos covered in the TSCA. The current use of recycled asbestos and the risk to the public from existing asbestos has become a major concern.
EPA Evaluation of the TSCA
Understanding the health risks of asbestos and the importance of protecting the public from these risks, asbestos was one of the first ten chemicals selected by EPA to undergo risk evaluation under TSCA. EPA’s risk evaluation of asbestos, part 1: chrysotile asbestos includes the limited ongoing uses of chrysotile asbestos in the U.S:
- Asbestos diaphragms
- Sheet gaskets
- Oilfield Brake Blocks
- Aftermarket Automotive brakes/linings
- Other vehicle friction products
- Other gaskets
In December 2020, EPA issued a final TSCA risk evaluation for asbestos, part 1: chrysotile asbestos. The final risk evaluation for part 1 shows that there are unreasonable risks to workers, occupational non-users, consumers, and bystanders.
EPA found no unreasonable risks to the environment. EPA is moving immediately to risk management for the 16 chrysotile asbestos conditions of use where EPA found unreasonable risk and will work as quickly as possible to propose and finalize actions to protect against the unreasonable risks for chrysotile asbestos.
Ongoing TSCA Evaluations
As a result of the November 2019 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Safer Chemicals Healthy Families v. EPA, the Agency will also evaluate legacy asbestos uses and associated disposals of asbestos in a supplemental effort that will be the focus of part 2 of the risk evaluation for asbestos.
Legacy uses and associated disposals of asbestos are conditions of use for which manufacture (including import), processing and distribution in commerce no longer occur, but where use and disposal are still known, intended, or reasonably foreseen to occur (e.g., asbestos in older buildings).
Illinois Environmental Contractors Association Resources
For more information on finding a local contractor to assist with asbestos information, remediation, or removal check the resources below:
- Illinois Environmental Contractors Association Members
- IECA Common Questions & Answers
- Illinois Environmental Organizations & Related Agencies
EPA Policies & Regulations