Key House Panel Adopts Legislative Package To Protect Public From Asbestos, PFAS Chemicals

WASHINGTON – The House Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change of the Committee on Energy and Commerce passed a series of bills today that would safeguard the public from exposure to deadly asbestos and the highly toxic fluorinated chemicals called PFAS.

The subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), marked up 15 bills, including the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2019 and 13 pieces of legislation that would begin cleaning up the growing PFAS contamination crisis.

EWG Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Scott Faber praised the committee’s action today.

We applaud Chairman Tonko for advancing legislation to finally ban asbestos and to take critical steps to address the PFAS contamination crisis. Every year, thousands of Americans die from diseases caused by exposure to asbestos. Millions of Americans are drinking water contaminated with PFAS, which has been linked to cancer and other diseases. It’s long past time for America to join more than 50 other nations by banning asbestos. The steps taken today by the subcommittee – in combination with the historic PFAS reforms included in the House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act – will significantly reduce ongoing sources of PFAS pollution and clean up legacy contamination.

House and Senate negotiators will soon decide whether to include the critical PFAS amendments in the final NDAA bill.


The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.

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