WASHINGTON - Legislation before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Hazardous Materials would go a long way toward ending the scourge of asbestos disease and mortality in the U.S. by effectively banning most uses of the cancer causing material.
“We applaud this Committee’s efforts to ban asbestos. If this bill passes, it will mark the beginning of the end of an epidemic of asbestos death and disease that has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans,” said Richard Wiles, Executive Director of Environmental Working Group. “It will send a clear signal to the rest of the world that the United States will not tolerate the senseless loss of life that the asbestos industry has inflicted on hard working Americans for the past 60 years.”
Asbestos kills an estimated 10,000 people per year, and that figure is increasing, yet the EPA has given up trying to control its use under the feeble regulatory authority it has under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Because TSCA is so weak, it will take an act of Congress to ban what is probably the most potent cancer causing material ever introduced into commerce.
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 https://www.ewg.org/node/26066.