When it comes to asbestos cancer risks, should workers be treated differently
than the general population? That is the question posed in a recent blog
opinion published by the
Environmental Defense Fund. Unfortunately, the
EPA’s recently proposed rule to manage the risk from chrysotile asbestos,
discriminates against what is an acceptable risk for workers compared
to everyone else from its use of a consumer product.
The EPA states that “cancer risk from chrysotile asbestos of less
than one in 10,000 is generally acceptable for workers. If finalized,
this would allow for 100 times less protection for workers. The threshold
for everyone else is one in one million. As we know, there is no safe
level of exposure to asbestos.
As stated by the EDF’s blog author:
“Treating the risks faced by workers equitably is not the trade-off in jobs
it may have been 50 years ago. So why does EPA buy into the belief that
you sign up for a higher risk of cancer when you cash your first paycheck?
[…] Risks that are considered unreasonable risks for the general
population should not be considered reasonable for workers. We encourage
EPA to change their approach to cancer benchmarks so that risks faced
by workers are considered equitably.”
To read the entire blog, please click