Posted on June 1, 2022
The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Chemical Safety, Waste Management, Environmental Justice, and Regulatory Oversight will hold a hearing entitled, “A Legislative Hearing on S. 4244, Legislation to Prohibit the Manufacture, Processing, and Distribution in Commerce of Asbestos” on June 9, 2022. ADAO is honored to be asked to testify at this important legislative hearing to advance prevention efforts to protect public health from asbestos.
The Committee, which is chaired by Chairman Jeff Merkley and Ranking Member Roger Wicker, will discuss the newly introduced Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now (ARBAN) Act of 2022.
· Linda Reinstein, President/CEO & Co-Founder, Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
· Danny Whu, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, International Association of Fire Fighters
· David Lee Boone, General Manager, Copiah Water Association
· Robert J. Simon, Vice President for Chemical Products & Technology Division, American Chemistry Council
Live video of the hearing will be provided on the EPW Website, Twitter, and YouTube.
The Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act (S. 4244, H.R. 7810) is comprehensive legislation that will:
- Prohibit the importation and commercial use of all six asbestos fibers (chrysotile, crocidolite (riebeckite), amosite (cummingtonite-grunerite), anthophyllite, tremolite, and actinolite) as well as Libby Amphibole, winchite, and richerite.
- Transition plants in the chlor-alkali industry using asbestos diaphragms to non-asbestos technology within two years.
- Establish mandatory asbestos reporting obligations for companies importing and using asbestos.
- Develop an educational outreach program to support full compliance with ARBAN.
Top Ten Asbestos and Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now (ARBAN) Act of 2022 Facts are:
- An estimated 40,000 Americans die each year from preventable asbestos-caused diseases.
- There is no safe level of asbestos exposure.
- Nearly 70 countries have banned asbestos. It’s time the United States did the same.
- In the first quarter of 2022, raw asbestos imports exceeded the total amount of asbestos imported in 2021, 114 metric ton and 100 metric tons respectively.
- The chlor-alkali industry is the only importer and user of raw chrysotile asbestos, which they use to manufacture chlorine and caustic soda. More than 75 percent of the industry’s plants in the US use non-asbestos. technology, which confirms they can, have, and continue to transition to safer and more sustainable methods.
- EPA’s Part 1 risk evaluation for chrysotile asbestos finds that chlor-alkali asbestos diaphragms and five other ongoing conditions of use pose an unreasonable risk to human health.
- EPA’s Part 1 proposed rule will only ban one fiber, chrysotile asbestos, for six conditions of use. There are five other deadly fibers, and other conditions of use are ongoing or may be introduced. ARBAN would impose a comprehensive ban on all fibers and uses.
- ARBAN only applies to commercially mined and used asbestos, not asbestos contaminants in other mineral formations, and would not impact the US mining industry.
- As an amendment to the Toxic Substances Control Act, ARBAN’s scope extends only to TSCA-regulated chemical substances, not personal care products or cosmetics within the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration.
- As an act of Congress, ARBAN will avoid time-consuming and unproductive litigation that could delay EPA’s pending Part 1 rulemaking. Legislation is the only way to fully and permanently prevent unnecessary exposure and deaths from asbestos.