National Asbestos Awareness Week Reminds the Public of Exposure Hazards
The U.S. Senate agreed to passage of a bipartisan resolution that designates the first week of April 2015 as National Asbestos Awareness Week. The resolution also urges the Surgeon General of the United States to warn and educate people about the public health issue of asbestos exposure, which may be hazardous to their health. National Asbestos Awareness Week is intended to raise awareness of asbestos and prevent asbestos-related disease, and involves collaboration amongst organizations and leading experts.
Senate Resolution 125 has been applauded by public health advocates who work to protect the American public from the dangers associated with exposure to asbestos. In the past, asbestos was added to many common building materials. Although many people think that the use of asbestos has been banned in the U.S., there are still products that can legally contain the material. In 1989, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule under Section 6 of Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) banning most asbestos-containing products. However, in 1991, this rule was vacated and remanded by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. As a result, most of the original ban on the manufacture, importation, processing or distribution in commerce for the majority of the asbestos-containing products originally covered in the 1989 final rule was overturned. It is not commonly known that currently 55 countries have banned asbestos, but the U.S. and Canada have not.
Although the use of asbestos is banned in some products due to regulations such as TSCA, the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the Consumer Product Safety Act, many older residential and commercial properties still contain asbestos-containing materials used decades ago. As these materials age, they can become friable and pose a health risk to building occupants when disturbed. Exposure to asbestos fibers can cause mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer. These conditions may not develop until years after exposure.
For over three decades, EMSL Analytical, Inc., the world’s largest commercial asbestos testing laboratory, has been at the forefront of providing routine and specialized testing services to help identify materials and environmental samples that contain asbestos. These services have contributed to the protection of environmental and occupational exposures to asbestos as well as to protect building occupants and workers involved in the demolition, construction and remodeling industries.
To learn more about EMSL’s asbestos or other hazardous material and indoor air quality testing services, please visit www.AsbestosTestingLab.com or www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
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