For Immediate Release: July 17, 2014
ADAO’s Sixth Congressional Staff Briefing Calls for Congress to Take Action to End Asbestos Exposure
Leading Medical, Industrial, and Environmental Experts Educate Senate Staffers on the Need for Meaningful Asbestos Reform Legislation
Washington, DC – July 17, 2014 – The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), the largest independent non-profit organization in the U.S. which combines education, advocacy, and community to help ensure justice for asbestos victims, will be conducting its sixth congressional briefing today in Washington, DC. Held from 12:00 – 1:00 pm EDT in the U.S. Senate Dirksen Building, the briefing will include well known asbestos experts from the medical, industrial, and environmental communities –
providing more than one hundred years of knowledge within a highly educational hour.
The briefing, “Asbestos: The Impact on Public Health and the Environment”, underscores the need for meaningful asbestos reform legislation, and points to the fatal flaws in current Senate Bills: “Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013” (S. 1009) – a TSCA reform measure, and the “Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act of 2014” (S. 2319), neither of which address asbestos dangers nor protect asbestos victims. The briefing will cover the latest information on the asbestos crisis, and will include experts in the field and messages from constituents.
Mesothelioma and other asbestos-caused diseases claim the lives of more than 10,000 Americans each year and imports continue. Most Americans unfortunately do not know how to recognize asbestos and do not realize that its dangers continue, even in their own homes, schools, and public buildings. In 1984, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated there were asbestos containing materials in most of the nation’s approximately 107,000 primary and secondary schools and 733,000 public and commercial buildings. During the briefing, ADAO will also call on Congress to investigate continued asbestos imports and initiate a new study to evaluate the risk of vermiculate insulation in millions of homes.
“Although many people—perhaps even Members of Congress—mistakenly believe that asbestos is a declining threat, the recent asbestos emergency within the halls of Congress should serve as a sobering reminder that this man-made disaster continues to plague unsuspecting Americans in homes, schools, and workplaces,” stated ADAO Co-Founder and President Linda Reinstein. “Both chambers of Congress have unveiled legislation to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA), which governs the use of asbestos and thousands of other chemicals. Unfortunately, instead of banning known killers like asbestos, these bills as drafted do nothing to protect the public from toxic substances and even weaken and eliminate existing safety measures. In addition, the so-called FACT Act allows liable asbestos related companies to delay recovery and deny compensation for victims, in addition to violating victims’ privacy. It is time for legislation with true asbestos reform and justice for victims, and for the additional research and education needed to protect Americans from the dangers of asbestos. Americans can’t identify asbestos or manage the risk and ADAO feels it is imperative that Congress investigates the present dangers of asbestos, especially Libby Vermiculite Insulation, which was widely used throughout our country. Enough is enough; it is time for action.”
Briefing Presenters and Topics Include:
- Asbestos: History, Facts, and Stats – Barry Castleman, ScD, Environmental Consultant
- Diagnosing and Treating Asbestos-Related Diseases – Christine Oliver, MD, MPH, MS, FACPM
- Asbestos Exposures in Homes, Schools, and Workplaces – Tony Rich, Industrial Hygienist
- Asbestos Took My Son Away – Sandra Neuenschwander, Mesothelioma Victim
- Asbestos Impact: Medically, Legally, and TSCA Reform – Linda Reinstein, President, Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
Despite its known dangers, there is still no global ban on asbestos, and it continues to claim lives. Exposure to asbestos, a human carcinogen, can cause mesothelioma, lung, gastrointestinal, laryngeal, and ovarian cancers; as well as non-malignant lung and pleural disorders. The World Health Organization estimates that 107,000 workers around the world will die every year of an asbestos-related disease, equaling 300 deaths per day.
About the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) was founded by asbestos victims and their families in 2004. ADAO is the largest non-profit in the U.S. dedicated to providing asbestos victims and concerned citizens with a united voice through our education, advocacy, and community initiatives. ADAO seeks to raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure, advocate for an asbestos ban, and protect asbestos victims’ civil rights. For more information, visit www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org.
Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO)