In a bid to reduce asbestos dust, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued guidelines that require employers to test for asbestos hazards in workplace environments, as well as in homes.
These guidelines, which are voluntary and not required by federal law, aim to reduce the spread of the disease and protect the health of workers.
The EPA also issued guidance last year that required employers to adopt an asbestos-free work environment.
The agency also says that employers should provide employees with a “healthy” work environment to help reduce the risk of developing respiratory and other health conditions, and to protect the public.
The agency’s new guidelines include a list of eight types of hazards that employers must take into account when assessing the potential for asbestos exposure, including air pollution, airway obstruction, respiratory distress, and respiratory irritation.
Employers must also determine whether an employer has a risk management plan for the workplace.
“We are concerned that this voluntary guidance may be viewed by some employers as an imposition on employers to be more accommodating to asbestos workers, or a way to avoid liability,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a statement.
“We will continue to look for ways to help protect our air and our environment, and continue to work with the industry to develop and enforce safe workplace practices.”
The new guidelines, along with previous ones, have been criticized by some workers and the medical community as not enough, and some states have taken action to limit their use.
New York state recently banned workplaces from using asbestos-containing products.
According to a survey of about 200 people who work in a small asbestos mine in Wyoming, one in five said they believe asbestos is safe for their work.
The survey, conducted by the Wyoming Association of Occupational Safety and Health (WAOSHA), was conducted in December and released in early January.
“When you’re exposed to asbestos, it can cause lung cancer, it may cause death, and it can be very toxic,” said Jessica Krasner, WAOSHA’s director.
“So it’s something that you have to be very aware of when you’re out there and you’re working in that environment.”
The survey found that 60 percent of workers who responded said they believed asbestos is not harmful, and that just one-quarter said it was.
Another 15 percent said they were unsure.
The WAOSHAs research was conducted from January to March.
It’s the first time that WAOSSHA has asked people about their occupational exposures.
The state has not yet published the results of its survey, which has been conducted online and has been open for a few months.
The survey also found that 41 percent of respondents believed that they had never been exposed to the disease, compared to 33 percent who said they had.
But the WAOSHIAs study found that one in four respondents had been exposed and had not yet reported it.
Krasner says that the survey showed that employers need to be prepared for a rise in asbestos-related cancers and that the industry needs to work on ways to reduce exposure.
“These are not isolated incidents.
These are very systemic problems that have been happening in this industry for a very long time,” Krascher said.
“There needs to be a lot of education and awareness around the hazards that we have.”
The EPA’s new regulations are not expected to be effective immediately, as the agency is still working with companies to update the guidelines and implement them.
However, McCarthy said that the agency has begun preparing a draft of the rules.
“The EPA is working very closely with the industries we’re talking to on what we need to do to ensure that we are addressing all of the concerns that we’re hearing and we’re seeing,” she said.