Posted on November 1, 2018
On October 29th, the New Jersey State Assembly unanimously passed a bill banning the sale and distribution of products containing asbestos.
We congratulate and thank the Assembly for passing this legislation, which could set a precedent for other states and put pressure on the federal government to institute a ban on the deadly chemical.
While the bill is a good start, it still has to pass the state Senate – the upper house in New Jersey – and Governor Phil Murphy, a Democrat, must sign it into law.
Sponsored by Assemblymembers Lisa Swain , Robert Krabinchak, and Britnee Timberlake, the bill, A.4416, would prohibit the sale or distribution of products containing asbestos in New Jersey.
If passed, anyone who violates the law would be subject to a fine of up to $2,500. The bill would also allow the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to seek an injunction against the violator.
While state legislatures around the country propose and debate asbestos-ban bills, it is critically important that we keep the pressure on the federal government.
Although more than 40,000 Americans are dying each year from asbestos-related diseases, President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)– filled with former corporate polluters– have seen fit to ignore the risk of this carcinogen and allow imports and use to continue.
The majority of Americans are not aware of the risks of asbestos, and many believe that construction workers are the only victims of these terrible diseases.
The truth is that asbestos is often found in schools, homes and communities – a fact that inhabitants are usually unaware of.
Scientific literature confirms asbestos is deadly and there is no safe or controlled use. This is not a partisan issue–it is an American issue. Democrats and Republicans are dying from asbestos. Asbestos-related diseases don’t discriminate.
In the last few months, our petition to ban asbestos in the United States has received over 100,000 signatures, which shows the issue is widespread. But it must continue: We must continue to spread awareness, so the American people can fully understand the dangers of asbestos.
While New Jersey’s bill is a start, the fight must go on.