October 22, 2022 ADAO Letter to Chairman Carper, Ranking Member Capito, Chairman Pallone, and Ranking Member Rodgers in Support for the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now (ARBAN) Act of 2022 during the Lame Duck Session
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2022
The following statement is from Linda Reinstein, President and Co-Founder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), an independent nonprofit dedicated to preventing asbestos exposure through education, advocacy, and community initiatives in response to ProPublica’s detailed investigative report, “The U.S. Never Banned Asbestos. These Workers Are Paying the Price” that recounts how OxyChem workers were repeatedly exposed to lethal asbestos fibers for decades, putting them and their families at risk of deadly asbestos-caused disease.
“A meaningful asbestos ban is decades overdue. Opposition has consistently come from a single source: the Chlor-alkali industry, whose reliance on this outdated technology at a handful of plants is the reason thousands of tons of raw asbestos continue to be imported and used in the United States. This puts workers, their families, and the surrounding communities at risk for deadly disease and death from asbestos exposure, which as ProPublica detailed, is sickeningly frequent, widespread, and without consequences for the companies that allow it to continue.
“This has to stop. Congress must move forward the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act (ARBAN) which will put an end to unnecessary and life-threatening asbestos use, hold the Chlor-alkali industry accountable, and end this nightmare. These companies must stop delaying the inevitable. Since 2016, the Chlor-alkali industry has decreased the number of plants that rely on asbestos diaphragms from 16 to 8, a transition that demonstrates non-asbestos technology is not only possible but profitable. The Olin, OxyChem and Westlake corporations are already transitioning away from asbestos; it’s time to finish the job. They must join us and propose a credible timeline for converting all plants to non-asbestos technology.
“We are once again calling on Congress to move expeditiously. We will be sharing this important reporting which details the true conditions workers face at these Chlor-alkali plants with all members of Congress as we renew our call to support ARBAN.”
There is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a known human carcinogen, it is still not banned in the U.S., and kills more than 40,000 American lives each year.
Read the full article from ProPublica: “The U.S. Never Banned Asbestos. These Workers Are Paying the Price.”
Founded in 2004, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is the largest independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the U.S. dedicated to preventing asbestos exposure to eliminate asbestos-related diseases through education, advocacy and community initiatives. The 2021 Conference Sponsors are: Platinum Sponsor Simmons Hanly Conroy, Gold Sponsor The Gori Law Firm, and Silver Sponsors: Bailey & Glasser LLP and Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen.