Posted on October 16, 2020

Delayed, but not dead. 

Since the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act (ARBAN) (H.R. 1603) was introduced in March 2019, we have had numerous landmark steps bringing us closer to a ban than ever before. On September 29, H.R. 1603 was scheduled for floor consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives under suspension of the rules. Unfortunately, the bill was withdrawn from the Floor schedule without a vote after differences due to new language that was added to the September 25 ARBAN Amendment.

Although ADAO and ARBAN Stakeholders are disappointed, we know that with the bipartisan support we witnessed when the Committee on Energy and Commerce voted 47-1 to report the November 2019 Manager’s Amendment to the full house, we can move the bill forward. 

ADAO and ARBAN stakeholders are still pushing Congress to pass H.R. 1603. Here’s why:  

  • This bill is vital to the safety of American public health—nearly 40,000 Americans die each year from asbestos-caused diseases, yet asbestos imports and use continue.
  • Without a ban on asbestos, millions of Americans will  continue to be exposed to this deadly carcinogen and lives will continue to be lost.
  • ARBAN is the most comprehensive asbestos ban bill to amend the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in 30 years. 

We are so close and we are not giving up. On October 16th, ADAO sent a letter to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Leadership respectfully urging them to resolve the new opposition and concerns in efforts to find a path forward so that H.R. 1603 can return to the House Floor after the election.

We will continue to work on prevention and policy to ensure Congress can ban asbestos, study legacy asbestos, and improve the Chemical Data Reporting rule. Many Warriors have gone to D.C. to share their story in support of banning asbestos; we must fight on for Alan, Paul, Mike, Annamarie, Michael, and many more who have been silenced by asbestos and their families. 

ADAO would like to thank the ARBAN Champions: Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), Ranking Member Greg Walden, Chairman Paul Tonko (R-NY), Ranking Member John Shimkus (R-IL), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and their staff, for their hard work and dedication to protecting Americans from asbestos.

Together, we can make a difference and give all Americans an asbestos-free future. 

Linda Reinstein
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Read more about the journey of H.R. 1603: 

ARBAN Supporters
Attorneys General of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia: AFL-CIO; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); American Federation of Teachers (AFT); American Public Health Association; APHA state affiliates: Georgia Public Health Association; Louisiana Public Health Association: Missouri Public Health Association: Montana Public Health Association, Oregon Public Health Association; Beautycounter; Breast Cancer Prevention Partners; Center for Environmental Health; Environmental Protection Network; Canadian Environmental Law Association; Collegium Ramazzini; Environmental Health Strategy Center; Environmental Information Association; Environmental Working Group; The Fealgood Foundation; Global Ban Asbestos Network; GO 2 Foundation for Lung Cancer; Hazards: International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers; International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF); Less Cancer; Natural Resources Defense Council; OK International; Public Citizen; Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families; Toxic-Free Future; Union of Concerned Scientists; United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry; United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW); United States Public Interest Research Groups; and Internationally, Associação Brasileira dos Expostos ao Amianto.