When talking about asbestos, mold, lead and other environmental issues, many different government agencies and programs come up. In other blogs we have mentioned the CDC, EPA OSHA, & AHERA. There are differences in all of these agencies, some are related, others are not.
In relation to all environmental agencies, the EPA is the one government agency to know about. EPA stands for Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA came to be on December 7, 1970 by President Richard Nixon in response to concerns about air and water pollution. In fact, part of these concerns came from astronauts providing photos of Earth from space, showing the effects of pollution.
With the establishment of the EPA, several committees, laws and regulations have been introduced in relation to environmental laws over the last few decades. One set of those laws is AHERA. AHERA stands for “Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act”. AHERA came to be in 1986 to help protect students, faculty, staff and employees against asbestos exposure on school property. The reason why AHERA came to be was to put regulations in place for asbestos management in public schools, K-12 and higher education.
Additionally, there is OSHA, the organization mentioned most in these blog posts. OSHA stands for “Occupational Safety and Health Administration”. OSHA came to be in 1971 by President Richard Nixon. The purpose of OSHA is to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers by setting and enforcing standards and also by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.
Finally, we have the CDC. The CDC being the Center of Disease Control. In 1946, Joseph Walter Mountin who was a physician and United States Public Health Service officer became the founder of the CDC. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the CDC was founded to address diseases such as malaria.
In order to properly understand where asbestos environmental or asbestos laws and regulations come from, you need to know where they started. Whether it be OSHA, AHERA, CDC or the EPA, knowing what these governmental entities are and what they entail matters.