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Washington's Asbestos Labeling Law

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Washington's Asbestos Product Labeling Law

The 2013 Legislature passed a law requiring labeling for certain building materials that contain asbestos.

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring min­eral fiber. Because of its strength and heat resistance, asbestos has been used in a variety of building construction materials. Today, asbestos-containing building materials are still imported, sold, and used in the United States. 

Who does the law affect? 

The new law applies to manufactur­ers, wholesalers, or distributors of asbestos-containing building materials. 

Retailers/Wholesalers/Distributors: If you have questions regarding this labeling rule and how it will be implemented locally, refer to the policy linked below, then call Spokane Clean Air at (509) 477-4727, if you still have questions/concerns.

Spokane Clean Air's Asbestos Labeling Enforcement Policy 


What does the law require?

Effective January 1, 2014, the market­ers of products described above must prominently label both the product and packaging for the following building materials: 

 Any building material naturally containing more than one percent asbestos.

 Any building material that has any amount of asbestos added to it.
 

Where to put the label

In a prominent location near the prod­uct name or description on the exterior wrapping or packaging in which the product is stored, shipped, and sold.

On the exterior surface of the asbestos-containing building material itself, unless it is sold as a liquid or paste or unless it is sand or gravel.
 

What the label should say

At a minimum, the label must read:

CAUTION! This product contains ASBESTOS, which is known to cause cancer and lung disease. Avoid creat­ing dust. Intentionally removing or tampering with this label is a violation of state law.
 

Exemptions - The labeling require­ment does not apply to: 

 

Building materials - The term “build­ing materials” does not include prod­ucts designed for automobiles, recre­ational vehicles, boats or other mobile means of transportation.

Retailers/Wholesalers/Distributors: 

If you have questions regarding this labeling rule and how it will be implemented locally, refer to the enforcement policy, then call Spokane Clean Air at (509) 477-4727, if you still have questions/concerns.


Myth: Asbestos has been banned from products.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began regulating asbestos in 1973 and banned most use of asbestos in 1989. However, that rule was overturned a few years later.

Asbestos causes painful, premature death due to asbestosis, mesothe­lioma, lung and gastrointestinal can­cers, and other diseases and cancers.

Because few regulations exist re­quiring the disclosure of asbestos in building materials, people can unknowingly be exposed to asbestos.

The purpose of this law is to allow people to make informed decisions about whether to purchase or use building materials containing as­bestos.



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