Washington State Senate Passes Asbestos Labeling Bill

In March 2013, a proposal by a Spokane, Washington senator mandating the labeling of all products containing asbestos sold in Washington breezed through Washington's senate with a 47-2 vote. Future purchasers of asbestos-containing products will now be better aware that the materials they're purchasing contain a hazardous mineral that could potentially cause them to contract the terminal cancer mesothelioma.

The idea for the bill originated with the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency staff, an organization responsible for inspecting demolition sites to determine that any asbestos left behind isn't becoming airborne, where it could be inhaled.

Buildings constructed throughout much of the 20th century are filled with various materials that contain asbestos, which has fire-resistant properties and was used to enhance the strength of some other building materials.

Contrary to what many Americans may believe, certain common home construction products still include asbestos today. In many cases, it's listed as "mineral fiber" or as "chrysotile", a form of asbestos sometimes known as "white asbestos." Until recently, chrysotile asbestos was abundantly mined in Canada, especially in the Province of Quebec. Asbestos is a known carcinogen, proven to cause the development of lung diseases including mesothelioma.