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Asbestos

EWG research showed that 10,000 people die each year of asbestos-related diseases and unearthed documents showing that corporate executives concealed for decades the dangers of making or handling asbestos-containing materials.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Key Issues:
Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Wednesday, October 10, 2007

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October 10, 2007

The Honorable Patty Murray
United States Senate - Washington
Washington, DC 20510

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Wednesday, October 10, 2007

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.

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News Release
Thursday, August 2, 2007

Eighteen years after the Environmental Protection Agency unsuccessfully attempted to ban asbestos, one of the world’s most deadly substances, a Senate panel voted this week to ban the use of the microscopic fibers.

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News Release
Saturday, June 30, 2007

Download this letter as a PDF.

The Honorable Barbara Boxer

United States Senate

Committee on Environment and Public Works

Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Friday, June 8, 2007

Over two decades, W.R. Grace & Co. slowly killed hundreds of workers at its Libby, Mont. asbestos mine. It's one of the most notorious cases in the annals of environmental crime – but Grace may escape punishment through loopholes opened by the same justice system that's trying to convict the company.

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News and Analysis
Article
Thursday, May 17, 2007

 

EWG is disturbed to learn that Dennis C. Paustenbach is on the "Short List" of potential appointees to the Asbestos Panel of the EPA Science Advisory Board. EPA's Ispecifies that appointees to the Panel should display "absence of financial conflicts of interest" and "absence of an appearance of a lack of impartiality." Based on evidence of his work for defendant corporations in lawsuits over asbestos exposure, his studies that consistently aim to refute or minimize the scientifically established risks of asbestos exposure, and other evidence detailed below of a lack of adherence to scientific and professional ethics, it is clear that Dr. Paustenbach is unfit to serve on the Panel.

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Key Issues:
Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Tuesday, November 21, 2006

OSHA scientist Ira Wainless is facing unpaid suspension for standing by his assertion that mechanics should be warned of possible asbestos exposure from brake pads. Most people, including mechanics, assume that the import of asbestos-containing products has been banned in the U.S. as it has in most other countries. Think again. The Baltimore Sun reports an 83% increase in asbestos-laden imported brakes in the last decade.

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News and Analysis
Article
Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Multiple articles from recent news.

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News and Analysis
Article
Friday, July 28, 2006

Several articles from recent news.

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News and Analysis
Article
Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Newly uncovered, never-before-released documents from W.R. Grace show that workers in at least 14 W.R. Grace insulation factories around the country labored under inhumane conditions where the amount of lethal asbestos dust in the air was equal to or greater than the deadly levels recorded at the notorious Grace-owned Libby mine [Freeman v. W.R. Grace 1990].

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Friday, October 21, 2005

As if enough weren't wrong with Harriet Miers' Supreme Court nomination, Reuters reports that Miers spoke to several groups last spring to garner support for Sens. Specter and Leahy's ailing asbestos trust fund bill.

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News and Analysis
Article
Wednesday, October 5, 2005

W.R. Grace strikes again, the Dallas Morning News reports, with news that up to 450 employees of the company's West Dallas plant and their families are at risk from asbestos-related illnesses.

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News and Analysis
Article
Tuesday, September 27, 2005

W.R. Grace has taken the power of positive thinking too far, attempting to cure the Libby, Mont., residents the company knowingly poisoned for decades with toxic vermiculite just by saying it isn't so.

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News and Analysis
Article
Wednesday, September 21, 2005

More and more groups are examining the Senate asbestos bill called FAIR and finding it doesn’t keep its promises – to anyone. Environmental Working Group’s research has shown that the Senate’s answer to the asbestos epidemic is inadequate for the millions who will suffer from exposure to this toxic mineral.

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News and Analysis
Article
Thursday, August 11, 2005

Asarco, a subsidiary of mining conglomerate Grupo Mexico, filed for bankruptcy Wednesday, leaving taxpayers holding the bag on an estimated $1 billion in environmental cleanups in a dozen states that the company has dragged its feet on for more than a decade. The copper mining company has also been implicated in 95,000 personal-injury asbestos lawsuits.

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News and Analysis
Article
Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Judge Edward Becker of the U.S. Circuit Court in Philadelphia was asked by Senate leaders to oversee negotiations around a compromise asbestos trust fund bill.

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Monday, May 9, 2005

More than 10,000 people a year die from asbestos disease, 5,000 of them from asbestos-caused lung cancer. It is precisely people like these, those most seriously harmed and dying from asbestos disease, that the Senate leadership has claimed to be helping with its series of asbestos trust fund bills. Few proposals have lived up to that claim, but the current proposal is perhaps the cruelest of all to date.

 
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Reports & Consumer Guides
Monday, May 9, 2005

The Specter-Leahy Asbestos Bill allows residents of Libby, Montana, home of the notorious W.R. Grace vermiculite mine to sidestep the Byzantine criteria for assistance in the bill, and receive a guaranteed award of $400,000. The provision is notable, not so much for its special attention to the people of Libby, who by all accounts deserve the assistance, but in the absence of such care for any of the hundreds of communities around the country that received and processed thousands of tons of asbestos contaminated Libby vermiculite for decades.

 
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Reports & Consumer Guides
Tuesday, April 26, 2005

An EWG Action Fund analysis of the Specter/Leahy asbestos bill before the Senate Judiciary Committee today finds that the legislation delivers unusually harsh treatment to people dying of asbestos-caused lung cancer.

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News Release

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