Posted on March 15, 2015
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) applauded Congressional efforts to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976 with the “Alan Reinstein and Trevor Schaefer Toxic Chemical Protection Act” (S.725) in our recent Press Release. The bill, introduced by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and long time ADAO partner, and Edward Markey (D-MA), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight, will ensure substantial reform of the dated TSCA Bill and protect Americans from exposure to harmful chemicals, including asbestos.
TSCA was originally designed to grant the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority “to regulate chemical substances and mixtures which present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment, and to take action with respect to chemical substances and mixtures which are imminent hazards.” Unfortunately, the grossly outdated TSCA of 1976 fails to protect Americans from 80,000 harmful and dangerous chemicals, which are often found in homes, schools, consumer products, and workplaces to name a few.
The irrefutable facts about asbestos, a known carcinogen, show that it remains legal and lethal in the U.S. More than 10,000 Americans die every year from preventable asbestos caused diseases, yet asbestos imports continue.
On March 11, Sens. David Vitter (R-La.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) introduced the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (S. 697), the “Chemical Industry Bill”, would reduce the EPA‘s ability to regulate chemicals such as asbestos. The Vitter/Udall bill doesn’t even mention the word “asbestos” and would be worse than current law.
In swift reaction to this, the next day, Senators Boxer and Markey introduced the “Alan Reinstein and Trevor Schaefer Toxic Chemical Protection Act” (S.725) with expedited action to ban asbestos and empower the EPA to regulate toxic chemicals. Unlike the Vitter-Udall bill, the “Alan Reinstein and Trevor Schaefer Toxic Chemical Protection Act” (S.725) empowers the EPA greater power to assess and regulate toxic chemicals. Named after my late husband, Alan, and Trevor, a victim of toxic exposure and a brain cancer survivor. Alan represents past, present, and future asbestos victims and their families horrifically impacted by asbestos.
The “Alan Reinstein and Trevor Schaefer Toxic Chemical Protection Act” (S.725) will reform the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), with these key these key provisions:
- Protects children and vulnerable populations from harmful toxins
- Provides stronger safety standards and quicker safety reviews of chemicals
- Ensures exposure from chemical spills and leaks are addressed
- Requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to act quickly to consider a ban on asbestos
- Maintains states’ rights to protect people from dangerous toxic chemicals
ADAO supports Senator Boxer’s bill. As Mrs. Boxer remarked in her official press release “The Boxer-Markey bill protects the health and safety of our families from dangerous toxic chemicals in our communities…Our citizens deserve nothing less than a bill that protects them – not chemical companies.”
ADAO stands with hundreds of public health, environmental, and business groups working towards reforming the regulation of chemicals and substances used in the United States. Join the fight and help us end this man-made disaster by calling your Senators today and urge them to co-sponsor Boxer-Markey’s “Alan Reinstein and Trevor Schaefer Toxic Chemical Protection Act” (S.725) to enact meaningful TSCA reform.