Murray Re-Introduces Asbestos Bill

U.S. Sen. Patricia Murray, D-Wash., re-introduced a bill that would ban the importation, manufacture, processing and distribution of products containing asbestos.

The measure – titled the Ban Asbestos in America Act of 2007 – also calls for the creation of a $50 million asbestos-related disease research and treatment network and a public awareness campaign highlighting the dangers posed by asbestos-containing products.

“How many more Americans have to die before our government finally does the right thing and bans asbestos?” Murray asked at a March 1 hearing that she convened. Murray is the chairwoman of the Senate Health, Employment, Labor and Pension (HELP) Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety. “We have to do the right thing, and we have to do it now.”

According to Murray, up to 10,000 Americans have died from asbestos exposure.

“I've been at this for 6 years,” Murray said of her efforts to ban asbestos. “This is my third bill, and I know we cannot wait another year to fix this problem.”

Bill Supported By Senators, ADAO

Murray asserted that her bill has the support of more than a dozen senators, including Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee. Boxer's committee would have jurisdiction over Murray's bill.”

Other supporters of the bill include Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., John Kerry, D-Mass. and Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. In addition, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) applauded Murray's measure.

“We commend Sen. Murray for all of her efforts to ban asbestos in the United States,” said Linda Reinstein, executive director and co-founder of ADAO. “Sen. Murray has shown great strength and leadership as she leads the fight to have this deadly substance banned forever – which will save thousands of lives by preventing asbestos-related illnesses and paving the road to recovery for victims and their families.”

According to ADAO, studies estimate that during the next decade 100,000 victims in the United States will die of an asbestos-related disease – equaling 30 deaths per day.

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