As Asbestos Continues to Kill, Merkley to Chair Hearing on Asbestos Ban

Washington, D.C. – Today, Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s Subcommittee on Chemical Safety, Waste Management, Environmental Justice, and Regulatory Oversight, announced he will hold a hearing on the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2022 on Thursday, June 9, at 10:00 am Eastern in Dirksen Senate Office Building Room 406 in Washington, D.C. 

“We’ve known for generations that asbestos is lethal, yet some industries’ profits have been valued over the lives of firefighters, construction workers, and other Americans exposed to this toxic substance,” said Chairman Merkley. “Other developed nations have long ago acted to protect their citizens from this deadly substance by banning asbestos. Why has America not done the same? Too many Americans have sat at the bedside watching helplessly as their loved ones die from asbestos. This is totally avoidable if America just bans it.”

The hearing will consider the first-ever federal ban on the manufacturing, processing, use, and distribution in commerce of commercial asbestos in the United States. Asbestos has long been known to cause cancer and recent data shows that asbestos-related diseases killed 40,000 Americans in 2019 alone.

Witnesses will include Linda Reinstein, President and Cofounder of Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization; Danny Whu, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of International Association of Fire Fighters; David Lee Boone, General Manager of Copiah Water Association; and Robert J. Simmon, Vice President for Chemical Products & Technology Division of American Chemistry Council.

Live video of the hearing will be available at