EPA Issues Final Rule on Discontinued Uses of Asbestos

Source: france68 - 123RF

The EPA has issued a final rule that strengthens the Agency’s ability to rigorously review an expansive list of asbestos products that are no longer on the market before they could be sold again in the United States.

This action gives EPA the authority to prohibit the use of these products or put in place restrictions to protect public health.

Under this final rule:

  • The public is protected from uses of asbestos that are no longer on the market and are not covered under any other laws or regulations. Products like certain asbestos vinyl floor tiles, insulation, and other building materials, as well as clothing and manufacturing products, are prohibited from being produced and sold before EPA reviews them and puts in place any necessary restrictions or prohibits use;
  • EPA is not allowing new uses of asbestos. Persons subject to the rule are required to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing any manufacturing, importing, or processing of asbestos or asbestos-containing products covered under the rule. These uses are prohibited until EPA conducts a thorough review of the notice and puts in place any necessary restrictions, including prohibiting use; and
  • Uses of asbestos covered under the partial 1989 ban will remain banned. This rule keeps these prohibitions in place and would not amend them in any way. In other words, this action does not provide a means by which these prohibited products could return to the marketplace.

Examples of products prohibited from entering the market under this rule include the following. View a full list of products covered under this final rule.

  • Adhesives, sealants, roof and non-roof coatings
  • Arc chutes
  • Beater-add gaskets
  • Cement products
  • Extruded sealant tape and other tape
  • Filler for acetylene cylinders
  • Friction materials
  • High grade electrical paper
  • Millboard
  • Missile liner
  • Packings
  • Pipeline wrap
  • Reinforced plastics
  • Roofing felt
  • Separators in fuel cells and batteries
  • Vinyl-asbestos floor tile
  • Woven products
  • Other building products

The final rule is effective on June 24, 2019.