Posted on July 12, 2019
ADAO is excited to share our latest advocacy video, a poignant summary of the ‘ban asbestos’ movement at present day. By showcasing the testimony of experts, important & irrefutable facts, and the historical context that led us to our current crisis, we hope to communicate one message loudly and clearly: the United States needs the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act without-exemptions or -loopholes.
One of the experts featured is Dr. Boris Lushniak, who served as Acting Attorney General of the United States from 2013 to 2014. “The asbestos issue is not a thing of the past,” he explains, addressing the lack of public awareness surrounding this carcinogen. “It continues to this day.”
Dr. Barry Castleman, an ADAO Science Advisory Board Member who has dedicated his 40-year career to educating the world on asbestos, states “the EPA should also investigate the imports of asbestos.”
Also important, Senator Jeff Merkley and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, both sponsors to ARBAN, discuss the need to ban asbestos and how asbestos can be found in many kids’ products including Claire’s makeup and Playskool crayons.
“The owners of big asbestos, also had important positions in the government … They were in charge of [their own] deregulation,” shared Dr. Raja Flores, the Chairman for the Department of Thoracic Surgery at Mt. Sinai Medical Center and an established pioneer in the treatment of mesothelioma. Government oversight in terms of the asbestos industry has perhaps never been more inadequate than it is today. President Donald Trump’s well-documented affinity for asbestos, the dysfunction of an Environmental Protection Agency run by chemical industry lobbyists, and surging asbestos imports have all contributed to a regulatory climate that is both unmistakably pro-industry and shamelessly anti-public health.
Robert Sussman, a legal expert and former Deputy Administrator of the EPA, spells the situation out clearly when he says: “the EPA is not on track to ban asbestos.”
The lack of legislative action on this issue is perhaps best voiced in the video by comedian and political commentator Jon Stewart, who is shown recently testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives. “Behind me [is] a filled room of 9/11 first-responders,” Stewart said during his statement, alluding to a group of public servants who, as a result of their work at Ground Zero, have well-documented and disproportionate rates of asbestos-linked disease. “In front of me, a nearly empty Congress… [The responders] did their jobs with courage, grace, tenacity, and humility.”
With public officials coming up short, ADAO is leading the charge to keep Americans safe from asbestos-linked diseases. As Dr. Richard Lemen describes in the video, asbestos is the cause of several diseases, including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. ADAO is fighting to stop these cases before they start.
Today, we released the EPA’s Failure to Ban Asbestos: The Impact from 1989 – 2019 on Public Health, Environment, and the Economy report. The reports shows that tragically, from 1989 – 2019, more than 1,000,000 lives have been lost in the pursuit of asbestos profits. Within the report comes a powerful new infographic laying out the history of asbestos regulation in the United States.
The bicameral Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act (ARBAN) of 2019 seeks to halt all imports of this deadly mineral, assess and examines all present-day asbestos exposure threats, and – most importantly – leaves no loopholes for continued use.
Momentum is building and there are more than 50 co-sponsors in support of a ban. Plus, on Friday, June 12, eighteen Attorneys General sent a letter to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee leadership, Reps. Frank Pallone, Greg Walden, Paul Tonko, and John Shimkus, in support of the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2019 (ARBAN).
ADAO urges you to call your Members of Congress at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to support ARBAN.
Together, we can make change possible!