Senators Introduce Ban Asbestos Bill
A group of concerned senators whose constituents have been greatly touched by the continued use of asbestos in the United States have joined together to introduce legislation to eliminate the toxin.
Late last week, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) in introducing the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2017.
The bill is named after a man who died of mesothelioma in 2006 at the age of 66. His wife, Linda, is the co-founder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), which she established in 2004 while her husband was dying from the aggressive cancer, which was caused by his consistent exposure to asbestos on the job.
“ADAO is extremely thankful to Senator Merkley for championing the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act (ARBAN) of 2017,” said Linda Reinstein. “With the increase in asbestos imports and more than 15,000 Americans dying each year from asbestos exposure, the timing of the bill is critical.”
“Nearly forty years have passed since the EPA tried to ban asbestos with the overwhelming scientific evidence reaffirming that asbestos is a carcinogen and there is no safe or controlled use,” she added. “Moving forward to ban asbestos will save dollars and lives. It’s time to make asbestos a thing of the past in this nation once and for all.”
“Delays in banning asbestos mean as many as 15,000 Americans die each year,” offered Senator Feinstein, who has been a ban advocate for many years. “Despite knowing the health risks for decades, asbestos is still used in a wide variety of construction materials that the public unwittingly comes in contact with every day. We can no longer afford to wait, Congress must ban asbestos now.”
“It’s outrageous that in the year 2017, asbestos is still allowed in the United States,” added Senator Merkley. “It’s time for us to catch up to the rest of the developed world, and ban this dangerous public health threat once and for all.”
“There’s no excuse for the fact that asbestos is still legal in the US, even though we know how unsafe it is,” said Senator Booker. “Breathing clean air shouldn’t be a luxury – it’s a right. This common-sense bill will ban asbestos once and for all.”
Residents in all U.S. states have been affected by asbestos exposure, but those states with the heaviest industry have been most impacted.
Additional politicians plan to back the bill, which is running contrary to what the current administration is pushing. President Trump and his supporters have continuously denied the dangers of asbestos and have rallied to shoot down any attempts to ban the mineral.