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EWG Applauds Senate Passage of Landmark Legislation Banning Asbestos

For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, October 10, 2007

WASHINGTON – Environmental Working Group (EWG) Executive Director Richard Wiles issued the following statement thanking United States Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) after the Senate unanimously passed landmark anti-asbestos legislation the two lawmakers introduced back in March of this year. Senator Murray was the bill’s author, and Boxer was an original co-sponsor, who as Chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee was instrumental in its passage.

“Asbestos kills at least 10,000 Americans a year, claiming the lives of men, women and children throughout the country. It is a tragic example of the frailty of our nation’s environmental laws that it took congressional action to ban asbestos, one of the most potent cancer causing substances known to man. We commend Senators Murray and Boxer for showing strong leadership on this issue, and the Senate, which unanimously passed Senator Murray's landmark Legislation. With the Senate's action, we are a step closer to that day when families are no longer exposed to a substance that has caused so much suffering," said Wiles.

In 2004, a six-month EWG investigation into asbestos in America uncovered an epidemic of asbestos disease and mortality that affects every state and virtually every community in the country. Asbestos kills 10,000 Americans each year, 2,500 more than skin cancer.

The Murray legislation – the Ban Asbestos in America Act of 2007 (S.742) – would not only ban the deadly chemical from being used, it would invest substantial federal resources into research and treatment.

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EWG is a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, DC that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment. The group’s research on asbestos is available online at http://www.ewg.org/content/report/231

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