Despite the uproar over asbestos and the serious diseases it causes, you’d think that there would be a total ban on asbestos?

Not so.

According to this EPA clarification statement, under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the following product categories are not banned:

  • asbestos-cement corrugated sheet
  • asbestos-cement flat sheet
  • asbestos clothing, pipeline wrap
  • roofing felt
  • vinyl-asbestos floor tile
  • asbestos-cement shingle
  • millboard
  • asbestos-cement pipe
  • automatic transmission components
  • clutch facings
  • friction materials
  • disc brake pads
  • drum brake linings
  • brake blocks
  • gaskets
  • non-roofing coatings
  • roof coatings

Furthermore, the Clean Air Act (CAA) still allows, “on equipment and machinery, spray-on application of materials that contain more than 1% asbestos where the asbestos fibers in the materials are encapsulated with a bituminous or resinous binder during spraying and the materials are not friable after drying; or for friable materials, where either no visible emissions are discharged to the outside air from spray-on application, or specified methods are used to clean emissions containing particulate asbestos material before they escape to, or are vented to, the outside air“.

And while we’re on the subject, the EPA also provide a list of past and present uses of asbestos.

I’d be interested to know what the likelihood of people catching diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma are with current regulations the way they are.