Nearly 70 countries have total asbestos bans in place when it comes to what products can be made and sold to consumers — but the United States isn’t among them.
A bipartisan bill called the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now (ARBAN) Act of 2021, also known as H.R. 1603, could bring a long-needed change.
Why asbestos needs to be banned from the United States
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been trying to ban the majority of asbestos-containing products since 1989, at least. However, it has been thwarted on a number of levels. Without a ban, asbestos will continue to be used in both domestic and imported products like:
- Beverage filters
- Brake linings and pads
- Ceiling tiles and texture
- Ductwork insulation
- Fire blankets
- Fire doors
- Gardening products
- Vinyl floor tiles and sheeting
- Wall panels
- Window glazing
The ARBAN Act has the enthusiastic support of numerous public interest research groups (PIRGs). In the words of an advocate for the U.S. PIRG’s Zero Out Toxics, “We have known for decades that exposure to this toxin causes serious illness and disease but have failed to act. With thousands of American deaths happening each year because of asbestos, Congress must urgently pass the ARBAN Act.”
It’s estimated that asbestos exposure costs up to 15,000 people in this country their lives every year, and public health unions, scientists and labor unions alike would like to see it finally eliminated. While asbestos is a naturally fire-retardant substance, there’s simply no safe level of exposure to the product — knowledge that has already come too late for many.
If you or your loved one suffers from an asbestos-related disease, find out more about the compensation that may be available to help meet your needs.