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PIRG calls for a complete ban on asbestos in the U.S.

Oct 21, 2021 | Asbestos

The United States Public Interest Group (U.S. PIRG), a national nonprofit organization focused on effectuating change in Washington, D.C., announced their efforts to convince lawmakers to support a bill that would finally fully ban the use of asbestos in the U.S. They note that they sent over a letter to Congress asking them to support the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2021 (ARBAN) on Sept. 24. 

In the letter, U.S. PIRG asked the congressional body to ban asbestos from manufacturing and other common uses completely. U.S. PIRG reemphasized that asbestos is a known carcinogen. Their call to action reminded lawmakers that asbestos has resulted in thousands of Americans dying since its widespread use up until the 1970s.

What would the bill do?

The act calls for a complete ban on asbestos, including its distribution, processing, and manufacturing. They argue that manufacturers still use trace amounts of this toxin when manufacturing (or formerly used it to produce):

  • Consumer products: This includes oven mitts, makeup formulated using talcum powder, hairdryers, potting soil, ironing board covers and crockpots
  • Construction materials: This includes cement pipes, vinyl floor and ceiling tiles, caulk, roof shingles, insulation and siding
  • Auto parts: Drum and disc brakes and their pads, shoes and linings, transmission plates and clutch linings and facings 

Past information that has been circulated has centered around the dangers shipbuilders face as they work on water vessels constructed using asbestos fibers too. A good rule of thumb is that the older something is, the more likely that it has been contaminated with asbestos fibers.

Asbestos has long been completely banned in many parts of Europe. The expectation is that the U.S. will finally get on board and do the same. 

If you are suffering from a debilitating asbestos-related illness, then you might be able to hold the asbestos-laden product’s manufacturer or your employer liable for your current and future medical costs and associated damages. You may also be able to tap into an asbestos trust fund if one of those parties is no longer in business. You deserve the highest degree of care possible as you fight your debilitating illness. Seek compensation while you can.