The United States is one of the few developed countries in the world that does not ban asbestos outright, and in recent years, the E.P.A. has even taken additional steps to roll back asbestos protections. That may soon change, however: The U.S. House of Representatives recently allowed a major piece of anti-asbestos legislation to move into the full committee stage for markup.
Dubbed the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2019 (ARBAN), the bill proposes immediate action to halt the flow of asbestos imports – and decrease the safety risks for many American workers and consumers. Because more than 40,000 Americans die from asbestos-related illnesses and injuries each year, it’s crucial for Congress to take swift action on this issue and limit uses of this known carcinogen.
After passing a subcommittee vote in the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, ARBAN passed into the next stage of deliberation and will soon be reviewed by the entire Congressional committee. Public health advocates at the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) applauded this move, and thanked the bipartisan representatives who were instrumental in moving the bill forward.
Introduced by a group of Democratic senators and representatives back in May, ARBAN proposes a sweeping ban on asbestos use and imports, without any of the commercial exemptions that have been allowed in the past. If it becomes law, ARBAN would make substantive changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and prohibit manufacturers from using mixtures and solutions that contain dangerous amounts of asbestos.
ARBAN was named in honor of Alan Reinstein, a man who died from mesothelioma in 2006 at the age of 66. After Alan passed away, his wife Linda co-founded the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, and since then, she has continued to push for greater regulatory oversight on this toxic substance. In the ADAO press release on ARBAN’s move through the legislature, Linda noted that “Asbestos remains legal and lethal in the United States – it is past time we join the nearly 70 countries around the globe that have banned it to protect public health.”
Here at Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC, we support the goals of ARBAN and the ADAO, and we wish them success as the U.S. House of Representatives reviews the bill. We also have an entire division dedicated to mesothelioma litigation – and we’ve gained a reputation as one of the premier asbestos injury law firms in Texas and across the nation.
Our philosophy is simple: Employers and landlords who fail to address the known threat of asbestos should be held accountable when other people become seriously ill as a result. Because we have worked on mesothelioma cases for decades, we know exactly how to formulate a strong case strategy and secure fair compensation for asbestos exposure victims. If you need assistance with an asbestos claim, we’ll stand by your side throughout the process and seek justice on your behalf.
We want to hear your story. Call us for a free consultation.