WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), which serves as a global leader in ending asbestos exposure through awareness, prevention, and policy, issued the following statement from President and Co-Founder Linda Reinstein in response to the final TSCA reform bill:
“For too long, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976 has failed to protect American families from harmful and deadly toxins, including asbestos. As a result of TSCA’s failure, asbestos remains legal and lethal in the United States, and as many as 15,000 Americans die every year from asbestos-caused diseases. It is clear that TSCA reform is long overdue.
“After countless hours of negotiations and numerous hearings in which ADAO presented the deadly and devastating impact asbestos has on American families, our voices and our stories were heard. Under this legislation, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the clear authority to ban asbestos, a known human carcinogen for which there is no safe level of exposure.
“While this is a landmark step forward, the fight is far from over, and more can and should be done to ensure the end of exposure to this deadly substance. Under this legislation, the EPA may take as long as seven years to assess, regulate, and ban asbestos in America. To the chemical industry, this unnecessary delay is about maximizing dollars and cents, but as the ADAO community knows all too well, the true cost of delay will be measured in lives. An estimated 100,000 Americans will lose their lives to asbestos-related diseases during that 7-year timeline and countless more could be needlessly exposed to asbestos.
“Asbestos has been the poster child for TSCA reform and will be the litmus test for the efficacy of this bill. The EPA must limit delay by including asbestos in the list of the first chemicals it evaluates and quickly exercising its authority under this legislation to ban asbestos. Until a complete ban is in place, asbestos will be found in construction materials, automobile parts, and even children’s toys.
“It is also essential that laws enacted to reduce asbestos exposure must be enforced, and the asbestos industry must be transparent about where the asbestos is in our country. Most Americans cannot identify this nearly invisible, lethal fiber or manage the risk in our homes, schools, and workplaces.
“ADAO sincerely thanks every member of Congress who fought to protect Americans from asbestos and other toxic chemicals. We praise public health champion, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), whose leadership ensured that we are on the road to a final ban on asbestos. Without her unyielding commitment to public health and safety, we would surely face legislation that placed the chemical industry’s profits over people.
“We urge President Obama to sign the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act into law as quickly as possible and to ensure the EPA acts expeditiously to ban asbestos. We can’t afford to wait another year, another month, another day.”
About the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is a global leader in combining education, advocacy, and community initiatives to prevent and end asbestos exposure. ADAO seeks to raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos, advocate for an asbestos ban, and protect asbestos victims’ civil rights. ADAO, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, does not make legal referrals. For more information, visit www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org.