The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) has started a petition to ban asbestos now. Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma. The EPA has plans to review and regulate asbestos sometime in the next few years, but budget cuts may impact their plans. The ADAO is tired of uncertainty and wants the EPA to bypass protocol and completely ban asbestos as soon as possible.
The Petition to Ban Asbestos Now
The petition is titled “Ban Asbestos in the US Now, Without Loopholes or Exceptions.” The petition claims that the EPA could ban asbestos now by using existing research. The ADAO hopes for an all out ban on asbestos that will prevent any companies from finding a way to use it.
Asbestos use has declined since the 1900s when it was widely used but it is still used in the United States. Asbestos related deaths are still an issue in modern day. The only way to prevent future deaths is to reduce asbestos exposure.
Last year, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act was passed into law to help the EPA regulate toxic substances like asbestos. Although the act is a big improvement from previous legislation, it still could be up to 5 years before asbestos is regulated. The goal of the petition is to urge the EPA to regulate asbestos immediately.
Timeline of Asbestos Legislation in the U.S.
- 1976 – Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) becomes law, allowing the EPA to review and regulate chemical substances but also grandfathering in over 60,000 chemicals.
- 1989 – Asbestos is briefly banned by the EPA.
- 1991 – EPA asbestos ban is overturned after appeals from manufacturers, in part because the EPA didn’t consider the cost of the ban.
- 1991-2016 – No toxic substances are regulated by the EPA after the asbestos ban is overturned.
- 2016 (June) – The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act is signed into law to update the TSCA. The EPA is given more power to regulate and no longer needs to account for cost.
- 2016 (November) – The EPA includes asbestos on a list of first 10 chemicals to review under the new law. These reviews may take several years.
- 2017 – A bill called The Regulatory Accountability Act is being reviewed by congress. The bill would require the EPA to once again consider cost when regulating substances.
About the ADAO
The ADAO is an advocacy group for victims of asbestos exposure. Linda Reinstein and Doug Larkin founded the organization in 2004 after each of them had a loved one diagnosed with mesothelioma.
The organization has 3 goals:
- 1Education: Spreading information about asbestos exposure and asbestos diseases to the public.
- 2Advocacy: Working with public health organizations and petitioning the U.S. government for an asbestos ban.
- 3Community: Helping patients and families affected by asbestos exposure communicate and feel less isolated.
- Asbestos Timeline. Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO). Retrieved from: http://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org/education/timeline. Accessed: 6/6/17.
- Malignant Mesothelioma Mortality — United States, 1999–2015. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6608a3.htm. Accessed: 6/6/17.
- Toxic Substances Will Now Be Somewhat Regulated. The Atlantic. Retrieved from: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/05/toxic-substances-control-act/484280/. Accessed: 6/7/17.
- The bizarre way the U.S. regulates chemicals — letting them on the market first, then maybe studying them. The Washington Post. Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/03/19/our-broken-congresss-latest-effort-to-fix-our-broken-toxic-chemicals-law/?utm_term=.426e1035de99. Accessed: 6/7/17.
- Administration has no position on Udall-Vitter bill, EPA says. The Hill. Retrieved from: http://thehill.com/regulation/236091-administration-has-no-position-on-udall-vitter-bill-epa-says. Accessed: 6/7/17.
- H.R.5 - Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017. Congress.gov. Retrieved from: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/5. Accessed: 6/7/17.
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