Health advocates and environmental groups have long favored banning asbestos, the mineral responsible for malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Despite decades of efforts to that end, the powerful chemical industry lobby has successfully fought any type of significant controls being taken, but now the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee has advanced the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2019 to the full House. If passed, it would amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to effectively ban the carcinogenic material in the United States.
The bill’s progress through the House of Representatives has generated significant interest from mesothelioma victims, who understand better than almost anybody how dangerous exposure to asbestos is. The bill would stop the manufacture, processing and distribution of asbestos, as well as asbestos-containing products one year after its passage, though certain exemptions would be allowed for the purpose of national security. Additionally, the bill would make the Environmental Protection Agency to identify and assess all known exposures to asbestos within 18 months.
The bill has significant support in the house with 26 sponsors, and has already advanced past the Energy and Commerce subcommittee dedicated to Environment and Climate Change. Only one member of the full committee voted against its passage, and now the full House will be presented with the information and given the opportunity to vote.
Speaking on the importance of the bill, Linda Reinstein, the president of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) said, “This comprehensive bill will protect workers, consumers, and children from being exposed to the deadly threat of asbestos and stop hundreds of tons of asbestos from entering the United States.” Mrs. Reinstein’s husband Alan died of mesothelioma in 2008, and the House bill is named in his memory. She expects strong support in the Senate and is hoping for its passage.
The House of Representatives’ actions reflect a growing level of knowledge and concern about asbestos and the risk of malignant mesothelioma. If you or someone you love has been affected by this dangerous substance, we can help. Call us today at 1-800-966-2244.