FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
ASBESTOS BILL WINS BIPARTISAN APPROVAL IN HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
Bicameral Bill to Ban Asbestos Importation and Use Within One Year of EnactmentAdvances to House Floor
WASHINGTON, DC – The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) applauds the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the U. S. House of Representatives, for its bipartisan vote (47-1) to approve the bicameral Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2019 (ARBAN). The bill now moves to the floor of the House of Representatives for passage and then to the Senate for its consideration.
“This comprehensive bill will protect workers, consumers, and children from being exposed to the deadly threat of asbestos and stop hundreds of tons of asbestos from entering the United States,” said Linda Reinstein, President of ADAO and widow to the bill’s namesake. “It is past time for the U.S. to join the nearly 70 countries that have banned asbestos to protect public health and future generations from this known carcinogen.”
“ARBAN heads to the House floor with bipartisan support and we look forward to its swift passage. We anticipate strong support in the Senate,” Reinstein shared.
As approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on November 19, 2019, H.R. 1603 would accomplish several critical public health objectives:
- It would ban importation and use of asbestos and asbestos containing products within one year of enactment.
Chlor-alkali plants using asbestos diaphragms would need to eliminate the use of asbestos and convert to non-asbestos technology following a transition period.
- The bill would establish a new Right-to-Know program to require anyone who has imported, processed and distributed asbestos to report and disclose to the public how much asbestos has been in U.S. commerce, where and how it has been used, and who has been exposed.
- The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) would conduct a comprehensive study of risks presented by “legacy” asbestos used in buildings constructed decades ago but still present in millions of residences, businesses, factories, public buildings, and schools.
- The presence of asbestos contaminants in consumer products and construction materials would be stringently controlled.
- The hazardous Libby Amphibole form of asbestos, found in attic insulation in millions of homes, would be covered by the ban.
Each year, nearly forty-thousand Americans die from preventable asbestos-caused diseases, including mesothelioma, and cancers of the lung, larynx, and ovaries.
ADAO sincerely thanks Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR) Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko (D-NY), and Ranking Member John Shimkus (R-IL); along with Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), and many others, for their hard work and commitment to advance ARBAN on a bipartisan basis.
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About the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is a global leader in combining education, advocacy, and community initiatives to prevent and end asbestos exposure. ADAO seeks to raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos, advocate for an asbestos ban, and protect asbestos victims’ civil rights. ADAO, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, does not make legal referrals. For more information, visit www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org.
Kim Cecchini, (202) 391-5205
Tracy Russo, (202) 556-1631