Posted on September 7, 2020
Before you start your Labor Day BBQ and enjoy a day of rest, I encourage you to take a minute to reflect on workers’ sacrifices, achievements, and the unions who fight for them. Established more than a century ago, this holiday was born amid violence and unrest over oppressive working conditions.
Thanks to unions and NGOs, asbestos imports and use has diminished, but asbestos-caused diseases remain a leading workplace killer.
Although asbestos consumption in the U.S. continues to decline from 1973’s record high of 803,000 metric tons, imports and deaths continue. It is reprehensible that our country continues to allow asbestos to cross our borders to meet so-called “manufacturing needs.” Asbestos takes nearly 40,000 American lives annually.
Not only does asbestos take thousands of lives each year, it also causes lung cancer, mesothelioma, cancer of the larynx and ovary, and asbestosis (fibrosis of the lungs). It is outrageous that we continue to put our workers at risk, while they are out serving the publics’ needs. For more asbestos facts, please click here.
But there is good news for the future of American laborers and the public: We have never been closer to banning asbestos. Thanks to our incredible community of donors, volunteers, and supporters, ADAO has been able to stay on the front lines of legislative reform, helping advance the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act through congress. The bill empowers the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take federal regulatory action against asbestos. Now, we’re keeping the pressure high to ensure the EPA uses their power to finally put a stop to the imports, processing, and distribution of the deadly material.
Similarly, we are extremely grateful to have that ARBAN has the support of the AFL-CIO; American Federation of State, American Federation of Teachers; International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers; International Association of Fire Fighters; United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry; and United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America. These unions work extremely hard to protect the health and safety of their workers, especially keeping them safe from lethal carcinogens such as asbestos.
We invite you to light a candle with us in memory of workers who have lost their lives due to asbestos-related diseases and in support of courageous Mesothelioma Warriors who were exposed to asbestos in the workplace and from take-home exposure.
Help us by joining nearly 150,000 people and signing our petition telling the EPA to ban asbestos without any loopholes or exemptions.
As we say — together, change is possible.