Washington, DC – The bicameral Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2019 (ARBAN) will be voted on by the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday, September 29. ‘This bill will stop hundreds of metric tons of asbestos from entering the United States each year and will protect Americans from being exposed to the deadly threat of asbestos found in homes, schools, workplaces, and on consumer shelves,” said Linda Reinstein, President of ADAO and widow to the bill’s namesake. “As we saw in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, we expect a strong vote in the House. We then expect the Senate to affirm that it is past time for the U.S. to join the nearly 70 countries that have already banned asbestos to protect their citizens from this known carcinogen.”
HR 1603 would accomplish several critical public health objectives:
- It would ban the importation and use of asbestos, and asbestos containing products within one year of enactment.
- Chlor-alkali plants using asbestos diaphragms would need to eliminate the use of asbestos and convert to non-asbestos technology following a ten-year transition period.
- The bill would establish a new Right-to-Know program to require current importers, processors, and distributors to report and disclose to the public how much asbestos is in U.S. commerce, where and how it is used, and who is exposed.
- The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) would conduct a comprehensive study of risks presented by “legacy” asbestos used in building construction decades ago but still present in millions of residences, businesses, factories, public buildings, and schools.
- The presence of asbestos contaminants in consumer products and construction materials would be stringently controlled.
- The hazardous Libby Amphibole form of asbestos, found in attic insulation in millions of homes, would be covered by the ban.