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U.S. Federal Bans on Asbestos

Banned products and uses

Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): Banned Manufacture, Importation, Processing and Distribution in Commerce of Certain Asbestos-containing Products

  • Corrugated paper
  • Rollboard
  • Commercial paper
  • Specialty paper
  • Flooring felt
  • New commercial uses that begin after August 25, 1989

Under the Clean Air Act (CAA): Banned Asbestos-containing Uses

  • Asbestos pipe insulation and asbestos block insulation on facility components, such as boilers and hot water tanks, if the materials are either pre-formed (molded) and friable or wet-applied and friable after drying.
  • Spray-applied surfacing asbestos-containing materials
    Spray-on application of materials containing more than 1% asbestos to buildings, structures, pipes, and conduits unless certain conditions specified under 40 CFR 61, Subpart M are met.

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Under the Consumer Product Safety Act (Consumer Product Safety Commission): Banned Products

  • Asbestos in artificial fireplace embers and wall patching compounds

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Examples of asbestos-containing products not banned

The manufacture, importation, processing and distribution in commerce of the following products, as well as some others not listed, are not banned. However, in June 2018 EPA took action by proposing a significant new use rule (SNUR) that would prohibit these uses. View the proposed SNUR.

  • Cement corrugated sheet
  • Cement flat sheet
  • Clothing
  • Pipeline wrap
  • Roofing felt
  • Vinyl floor tile
  • Cement shingle
  • Millboard
  • Cement pipe
  • Automatic transmission components
  • Clutch facings
  • Friction materials
  • Disk brake pads
  • Drum brake linings
  • Brake blocks
  • Gaskets
  • Non-roofing coatings
  • Roof coatings

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Regulatory history of asbestos bans

  • In 1973, EPA banned spray-applied surfacing asbestos-containing material for fireproofing/insulating purposes. See National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) at 40 CFR Part 61, Subpart M
  • In 1975, EPA banned installation of asbestos pipe insulation and asbestos block insulation on facility components, such as boilers and hot water tanks, if the materials are either pre-formed (molded) and friable or wet-applied and friable after drying. See National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) at 40 CFR Part 61, Subpart M
  • In 1977, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned the use of asbestos in artificial fireplace embers and wall patching compounds. (See 16 CFR Part 1305 and 16 CFR 1304)
  • In 1978, EPA banned spray-applied surfacing materials for purposes not already banned. See National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) at 40 CFR Part 61, Subpart M
  • In 1989, EPA attempted to ban most asbestos-containing products by issuing a final rule under Section 6 of Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). However, most of the original ban on the manufacture, importation, processing, or distribution in commerce for the majority of the asbestos-containing products originally covered in the 1989 final rule was overturned in 1991 by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. As a result, the 1989 asbestos regulation only bans new uses of asbestos in products that would be initiated for the first time after 1989 and bans 5 other specific product types. See 40 CFR 763 Subpart I. Learn more about the 1989 asbestos ban and phase-out.
  • In 1990, EPA prohibited spray-on application of materials containing more than 1% asbestos to buildings, structures, pipes, and conduits unless certain conditions specified. See National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) at 40 CFR 61, Subpart M are met.
  • In 2018, EPA proposed a SNUR for certain uses of asbestos that are no longer ongoing. EPA is proposing to ensure that the manufacture, import, or processing for the currently unregulated new uses of asbestos identified in the rule are prohibited unless reviewed and approved by EPA. This proposed SNUR broadens EPA’s 1989 restrictions on asbestos products. In the absence of this proposed rule, 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. View the proposed rule.

In addition to the regulatory actions listed above, asbestos is one of the first 10 chemicals EPA is reviewing under amended TSCA. The problem formulation document for asbestos issued in May 2018 focuses the scope of the risk evaluation on those exposure pathways associated with TSCA uses that are not subject to other regulatory regimes where exposures are effectively managed, such as the NESHAP, including current and prospective uses for which manufacture, processing, or distribution in commerce is intended, known or reasonably foreseen. EPA intends to finalize the risk evaluation by December 2019. If through its evaluation EPA determines that any of these conditions of use present unreasonable risks, EPA will take prompt action under the statute to address those risks.