EPA: ‘Legacy’ asbestos poses health risks

By Ellie Borst | 04/16/2024 01:31 PM EDT

Types of asbestos that have been phased out still pose broad cancer risks, the agency’s draft “part 2” asbestos risk evaluation says.

A sign warning of asbestos.

A sign warning of asbestos is shown. Peter Macdiarmid/AFP via Getty Images

“Legacy” uses of asbestos found in building insulation, pipes, tiles and other construction materials can still cause serious illnesses, but typically only when disturbed, according to a new EPA report.

According to EPA’s draft risk evaluation, all types of asbestos overall pose an unreasonable risk to human health.

Five of the six types of asbestos fibers were phased out decades ago but still linger in buildings constructed before 1978 and as trace amounts in products like talc, which is used to make baby powders.


Last month, EPA banned all ongoing uses of chrysotile asbestos, the only type of asbestos still imported and used in the U.S.