Bill to Ban Asbestos Introduced to U.S. Senate
On November 2, 2017, The Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act (ARBAN) was
introduced in the United States Senate. If passed, the bill will expedite
the EPA’s current asbestos evaluation and regulation standards and
would also enact steps to ban asbestos within 18 months.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), a senior senator who is on the Environment and
Public Works Committee, first introduced the bill. It was co-sponsored
by Cory Booker (D-NJ), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ed
Markey (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Sheldon Whitehouse
(D-RI). So far, the bill has received strong support from Senators.
The proposed bill will not only save lives, but will also save the EPA
a significant amount of time and money. More importantly, ARBAN would
prevent harmful exemptions that allow the chloralkali industry to continue
its dangerous use of asbestos. In fact, it is estimated that more than
15,000 Americans die each year from exposure to asbestos.
ARBAN sponsor Sen. Merkley stated, “It’s outrageous that in
the year 2017, asbestos is still allowed in the United States. It’s
time for us to catch up to the rest of the developed world, and ban this
dangerous public health threat once and for all.” If passed, ARBAN
would be a significant step towards improving the public’s health
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) has expressed its gratitude
to the Senators who are championing this bill. Without their dedication
and generous efforts, the bill would never have been introduced and we
would not be as close as we are to an asbestos-free future.
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