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Pallone Applauds Committee Passage of His Bill Banning Asbestos

November 19, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (N-06) released the following statement after his legislation to completely ban asbestos was favorably reported, as amended, to the full House of Representatives. The Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2019 would ban the production, use and importation of asbestos. Pallone’s bill also implements a complete ban on the toxic substance one year after the bill’s passage. The EPA began the process of banning asbestos 40 years ago, but asbestos is still being imported and used in this country even though it has been banned in more than 60 other developed countries.

“It’s been more than 40 years since the Environmental Protection Agency began its work to ban asbestos, and today this Committee took a major, bipartisan step to do just that.  The Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act finally bans the manufacture, import, processing and distribution of asbestos.  I am proud that we were able to come to a bipartisan agreement to advance this bill out of Committee with overwhelming support, and look forward to bringing it to the House floor soon.  It’s time we ban asbestos for good.”

Asbestos in all forms is known to be a leading cause of mesothelioma, lung cancer and other chronic respiratory diseases. According to a 2015 report, New Jersey has the eighth highest asbestos-related deaths. From 1999 to 2013, the same report estimated 128,000 to 160,000 people in the United States died from asbestos exposure, including 9,395 in New Jersey. Last year a new report found that those figures were low, and in fact nearly 40,000 Americans die from asbestos exposure every year.

The legislation would:

  • Amend the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to direct EPA, within one year after the date of enactment of the bill, to ban the manufacturing, processing, use, and distribution in commerce of asbestos and any mixture or article containing asbestos.
  • Require within 120 days of enactment any person or entity that has manufactured, processed, or distributed in commerce asbestos or any mixture containing asbestos in the last three years to submit to the EPA a detailed report regarding the description of the activity; the quantity, quality, and concentration of asbestos; and reasonable estimates of the number of individuals that have been or will be exposed to asbestos due to the activity.
  • Require EPA to consult with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor to submit to Congress within 18 months a report assessing the legacy presence of asbestos in residential, commercial, industrial, public, and school buildings, and the extent of exposure and risk to human health associated with the asbestos present in those buildings.