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Assessing and Managing Chemicals under TSCA

Risk Evaluation for Asbestos

EPA evaluated asbestos under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and completed the final risk evaluation for asbestos, part 1: chrysotile asbestos in December 2020. The next step in the process required by TSCA is addressing these risks. EPA will now begin the process of developing ways to address the unreasonable risks identified and has one year to propose and take public comments on any risk management actions.

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Background on/Uses of Asbestos

Although there are several known types of asbestos, the only form of asbestos known to be imported, processed, or distributed for use in the United States at the posting of this draft risk evaluation is chrysotile. Raw chrysotile asbestos currently imported into the U.S. is used exclusively by the chlor-alkali industry. Based on 2019 data, the total amount of raw asbestos imported into the U.S. was 100 metric tons. Certain asbestos-containing products, like sheet gaskets, brake blocks, aftermarket automotive brakes/linings, other vehicle friction products, and other gaskets are also imported into the U.S.

Risk Evaluation of Asbestos, Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos Under Amended TSCA

In December 2020, EPA released part 1 of the final risk evaluation for asbestos. Part 1 of the final risk evaluation shows that there are unreasonable risks to workers, occupational non-users, consumers, and bystanders from 16 out of 32 conditions of use. EPA found no unreasonable risks to the environment. As with any chemical product, EPA strongly recommends that users carefully follow all instructions on the product’s label.

In March 2020, EPA released the draft risk evaluation for asbestos for public comment and peer review. 

In June 2017, EPA released the scope document for asbestos which included the hazards, exposures, conditions of use, and the potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations EPA expected to consider in its risk evaluation of asbestos conducted pursuant to TSCA section 6(b). In June 2018, EPA released the problem formulation for asbestos which refined the scope of the asbestos risk evaluation by clarifying the chemical conditions of use that EPA expected to evaluate and describing how EPA expected to conduct the evaluation.

After releasing the scope documents for each of the first 10 chemicals undergoing risk evaluation under TSCA, the dockets for each of these first 10 chemicals were open for public comments. Read EPA’s Responses to Public Comments Received on the Scope Documents for the First Ten Chemicals for Risk Evaluation under TSCA. This document addresses cross-cutting public comments received in response to the scope document.