WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici today applauded the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change’s unanimous vote to pass their Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2019.
“It’s outrageous that in the year 2019, asbestos is still allowed in the United States,” said Merkley. “While the EPA fiddles, Americans are dying. More than 60 other nations have already recognized asbestos as the deadly substance it is, and acted to protect their citizens with the obvious response: A ban on asbestos. It’s time for us to catch up to the rest of the developed world, and end this dangerous public health threat once and for all.”
“Today, on National Mesothelioma Awareness Day, the House Energy and Commerce Committee took the critical first step of passing my bill, the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act, through a subcommittee,” said Rep. Suzanne Bonamici. “I commend Chairmen Pallone and Tonko and Ranking Members Walden and Shimkus for their clear commitment to working in a bipartisan manner to get this legislation through the full committee and passed in the House. It is long past time to protect workers and communities by banning asbestos once and for all, and I look forward to working with the Senate and getting this bill across the finish line.”
The Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2019 would ban the mining, importation, use, and distribution in commerce of asbestos—a known carcinogen—and any asbestos-containing mixtures in the United States of America. The bill is named after Alan Reinstein, who passed away in 2006 at the age of 66 from mesothelioma, a disease caused by exposure to asbestos. Alan’s wife, Linda, co-founded the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) in 2004.
“Today’s markup is yet another landmark step toward passing the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2019,” said Linda Reinstein, co-founder of ADAO. “It was especially powerful to see the bipartisan support for advancing the bill on Mesothelioma Awareness Day. I’m grateful to Senator Merkley, Congresswoman Bonamici, and Chairman Pallone for their hard work to move this bill forward, and I look forward to continuing to partner with them to get this bill over the finish line.”