Presidents Message – Regarding Proposed SNUR by the EPA

August 15, 2018

A Message from the AIANJ President

Regarding the EPA and Asbestos

AIA New Jersey opposes the use of asbestos in building materials and urges the federal government to prioritize and take all necessary steps to completely and permanently ban its use.  Regarding the Asbestos Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on June 11, 2018, I offer the following:

  • We thank the EPA for reiterating the numerous health and safety concerns regarding asbestos. 
  • We acknowledge the intention of the SNUR regarding asbestos in that it closes a loophole that would otherwise allow previously abandoned products to be reintroduced without EPA approval, however we feel it does not go far enough to prohibit its use.  
  • We understand that the 1989 intended phased-out prohibition of asbestos was overturned by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1991, which prohibits a blanket ban on asbestos containing products.  Rather than allow a pathway, however narrow it may be, to reintroduce previously abandoned products, we urge the EPA to consider making a rule which prohibits such a reintroduction.

Asbestos is a dangerous material that has resulted in unnecessary loss of life and handicap of people.  As architects, we are responsible for protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Part of that responsibility includes specifying the use of safe materials.  Anything that allows the potential for dangerous materials, such as asbestos, to enter any part of the construction chain not only poses a risk to the public, but also unnecessarily increases the liability and cost of the design professional’s work.  Therefore, there is no justifiable reason to include asbestos in the marketplace of today or tomorrow. 

AIA New Jersey is proud to join with AIA and AIA 2018 President Carl Elefante, FAIA, in taking a stand against any use of asbestos. 


Verity Frizzell, FAIA, LEED AP

2018 President
AIA New Jersey


Additional references for additional information can be found at the following links:


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One response to “Presidents Message – Regarding Proposed SNUR by the EPA”

  1. John Teets says:

    Architects are supposed to be purely objective professionals who do not latch onto every bandwagon. Smoking is about 25 times as dangerous as asbestos and the interactions are severe with many with asbestos issues also being smokers. Also, in the rush to demonize asbestos, the dangers of substitutes such as fiberglass have been ignored. There is credible research that it is the size and shape of the fibers more than the chemical composition. Check out We have have to suffer through some architects pontificating on global warming due to political bias rather than investigating the issue and seeing the outright fraud that has pervaded that movement. Architects must not be simple political operatives, but scientific persons who weigh the benefits and liabilities of various materials and make intelligent decisions for the best interests of their clients.



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