If you keep up with asbestos news, you might have already heard that two bills introduced to the United States Senate aim to substantially reform the outdated Toxic Substance Control Act, enacted in 1976. Almost 40 years have passed with no change to the regulation of dangerous, toxic chemicals, and no ban on asbestos – one of the most dangerous toxic substances out there.
The Toxic Chemical Protection Act (S.725)
The Toxic Chemical Protection Act, introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Edward Markey (D-MA), aims to dramatically revise the laws and regulations put in place with the Toxic Substance Control Act. The bill aims to:
- Protects children and vulnerable populations from harmful toxins
- Provides stronger safety standards and quicker safety reviews of chemicals
- Ensures exposure from chemical spills and leaks are addressed
- Requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to act quickly to consider a ban on asbestos
- Maintains states’ rights to protect people from dangerous toxic chemicals
The Reducing Exposure to Asbestos Database (READ) Act (S.700)
Introduced by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), the Reducing Exposure to Asbestos Database (READ) Act aims to:
- provide Americans with transparent, accessible, and current information about known locations of asbestos-containing products;
- amend the Asbestos Information Act to require those who manufacture, import, or otherwise handle asbestos-containing products to annually report product location-specific information to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- and make this information publicly available through the EPA on a searchable internet database.
If asbestos is not banned in America, citizens need to be made aware of the dangers they face when handling the substance, even in small amounts. No amount of asbestos exposure is safe.
Also keep up with the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization for more info!