The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has submitted formal comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in opposition to its proposed Significant New Use Rule, which would allow for new asbestos products to be considered for future manufacturing, processing, and importing.
In addition to the formal comments, AIA 2018 President Carl Elefante, FAIA, issued the following statement in response to the EPA’s proposal:
“The AIA strongly opposes the EPA’s proposed rule. Asbestos can cause significant and irreversible risks—including cancer, mesothelioma, and other diseases—to those who come into direct contact with friable and airborne asbestos fibers. This is especially concerning for contractors, builders, architects, and homeowners who could be exposed to dislodged asbestos fibers during the demolition and building process if they are unaware of its presence. The EPA has offered no compelling reason for considering new products using asbestos, especially when the consequences are well known and have tragically affected the lives of so many people. The EPA should be doing everything possible to curtail asbestos in the United States and beyond—not providing new pathways that expose the public to its dangers.”
According to the EPA, the proposed Significant New Use Rule aims to regulate certain uses of asbestos, including products that contain asbestos, by requiring “manufacturers and importers to receive EPA approval before starting or resuming manufacturing, and importing or processing of asbestos.”
Without this proposed rule, according to the EPA, “the importing or processing of asbestos (including as part of an article) for the significant new uses proposed in this rule may begin at any time, without prior notice to EPA.”
To read the AIA’s submitted comments to the EPA, click here.