As we just recently observed National Mesothelioma Awareness Day, there is perhaps no better time than now for Congress to take formal action to finally and officially ban the use of asbestos across the country once and for all. While federal legislation dating back to the 1970s effectively banned asbestos for many uses, the substance is still not officially outlawed in the United States, which potentially puts thousands of innocent Americans at risk still for developing serious asbestos-related health conditions.
However, there is one piece of legislation making its way through the House of Representatives that would finally ban the importation of asbestos into the United States, the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act (ARBAN). In 2019, the bill passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee by a vote of 47 to 1 and is now poised to come before an up or down vote on the floor of the House of Representatives.
“This bill will stop hundreds of metric tons of asbestos from entering the United States each year and will protect Americans from the daily threat . . . found in homes, schools, workplaces and on consumer shelves,” said Linda Reinstein, president of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, to a local Montana media outlet. The bill before Congress is named after her late husband, Alan, who passed away from mesothelioma.
The bill would address several critical public health objectives, including banning the importation of asbestos and asbestos-containing products; chlor-alkali plants that use asbestos diaphragms would need to convert to using non-asbestos technology; create a Right-to-Know program that would require asbestos companies to disclose how widespread asbestos is used in U.S. commerce; commission the National Academy of Sciences to study the effects of “legacy” asbestos in buildings; stringently control the presence of asbestos contaminants in consumer products and construction materials; ban the use of amphibole asbestos which is found in attic insulation in millions of homes.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was once used in a variety of industrial, commercial, and military applications for its heat resistant properties. However, exposure to asbestos fibers is directly linked to developing mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer that commonly affects the thin linings of tissue surrounding the lungs, heart, and abdomen.
Asbestos is also found next to deposits of talc, which is used by millions of Americans in cosmetics products, including popular makeups and talc-based body powders. Over the past several years, juries in state courts have awarded victims of asbestos exposure from talc-based products billions of dollars in compensation for their mesothelioma and other asbestos-related health conditions.
Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.