ALTON, Ill. (Dec. 5, 2016) – Simmons Hanly Conroy, a leading national law firm that represents mesothelioma patients and their families, applauds this week’s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision to immediately evaluate asbestos for human health and environmental risks under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which could lead to a U.S. ban on the toxic substance.
The EPA’s naming of asbestos as among the first 10 chemicals it will evaluate for their potential risks under TSCA reform is a major victory for asbestos victims, says Simmons Hanly Conroy Chairman John Simmons.
“As attorneys dedicated to helping victims and families whose lives have been devastated by mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, we are thankful to all of the citizens, groups and elected officials who fought to pass the TSCA reforms that will help protect the public from this deadly carcinogen,” Simmons said.
In June of this year, President Obama signed into law The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act that reforms the TSCA, in part, by giving the EPA more power to ban and regulate toxic chemicals like asbestos.
“Under the new law, we now have the power to require safety reviews of all chemicals in the marketplace,” Jim Jones, assistant administrator of the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, said in the EPA’s news release announcing the first 10 chemicals to be evaluated. “We can ensure the public that we will deliver on the promise to better protect public health and the environment.”
The first group of chemicals that the EPA will evaluate under the new law was selected from among a list of 90 chemicals with potential for high hazard and exposure, as well as other considerations. The law requires risk evaluations to be completed within three years and for the EPA to subsequently mitigate within two years any unreasonable risk that these chemicals are found to present.
The EPA’s action on asbestos also marks a milestone for the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), which collaborates with various national and international organizations to promote public health and advocate for an end to asbestos.
“This is landmark step forward for asbestos victims,” said Linda Reinstein, co-founder of ADAO along with Doug Larkin, who both have lost loved ones to mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure. “For over a century asbestos has been known to causes painful and deadly diseases. The EPA’s prioritization of asbestos signals the end to imports and use. ADAO will remain a dedicated stakeholder to end the asbestos man-made disaster and to protect asbestos victims’ civil rights.”
According to the EPA’s 2014 TSCA Work Plan, asbestos is described as a “known human carcinogen (with) acute and chronic toxicity from inhalation exposures.”
About Simmons Hanly Conroy, LLC
Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC is one of the nation’s largest mass tort law firms and has recovered more than $5 billion in verdicts and settlements for plaintiffs. Primary areas of litigation include asbestos and mesothelioma, pharmaceutical, consumer protection, environmental and personal injury. The firm’s attorneys have been appointed to leadership in numerous national multidistrict litigations, including Vioxx, Yaz and Toyota Unintended Acceleration. The firm also represents small and mid-size corporations, inventors and entrepreneurs in matters involving business litigation. Offices are located in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Alton, Ill. Read more at www.simmonsfirm.com.