California, Massachusetts lead coalition urging EPA to issue new 'asbestos reporting rule'

By Marian Johns | Feb 5, 2019

SACRAMENTO — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Massachusetts Attorney Maura Healey are leading a 15-state coalition urging the federal government to issue a new "asbestos reporting rule" that would take away exemptions relating to asbestos in the Chemical Data Reporting Rule. 

In a petition sent to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the coalition states that the new rule would ensure more accurate reporting which the EPA is required to do per the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), according to the California Attorney General's Office. 

“It is widely known that asbestos is one of the most harmful chemicals known to humankind,” Becerra said in a statement.  “There is no excuse to continue allowing any amounts of toxic asbestos to pass into our community, especially into the lungs of workers and children, when we know the danger it presents. We call on acting administrator Andrew Wheeler to begin the process of eliminating exemptions that allow this unsafe chemical to continue to harm tens of thousands of people each year.”

“Each year tens of thousands die from exposure to asbestos,” Healey added. “We urge Wheeler to issue a rule that will protect the lives of thousands of workers, families and children in Massachusetts and across the country.”

According to Becerra's office, asbestos has been associated with life-threatening diseases such as mesothelioma, fibrosis, lung cancer and gastrointestinal cancer and it kills 15,000 people each year.

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