Ban asbestos legislation likely dead for this session

October 18, 2008

Despite concerted efforts by advocates for a ban on asbestos, the House’s companion bill to its Senate ban counterpart never made it out of subcommittee. Now that Congress has adjourned and the session is over, the only chance for the bill’s resurrection is a lame duck session by Congress, which neither looks likely nor, even if it happens, expected to get the ban bill back on track.

Advocates hope that when Congress reconvenes in 2009, hopefully with a crushing Democratic majority in the House and a bulletproof, veto-proof majority in the Senate led by a charismatic Democratic president, the legislation will be brought back from the dead.

After more than 19 years of waiting, it’s more than time–it’s a tragedy.


Paul Zygielbaum letter to Congress regarding Ban Asbestos Act

April 3, 2008

Advocate, mesothelioma survivor, and businessman Paul Zygielbaum’s fax to the House Subcommittee on Environment and Hazardous Materials. Click here to read the Zygielbaum Letter to Congress.

Need for federal mesothelioma research dollars more dire than ever

April 3, 2008

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty says he doesn’t approve of the funding source for research on mesothelioma among Iron Range workers. Iron Range lawmakers lobbied for and authored a bill that would take $4.9 million dollars out of the Worker’s Compensation Fund, for the studies. Pawlenty wants the money to come from Iron Range Resources. Range lawmakers said they plan on moving forward, with their version. This is another example of how delegating research funding to the states results in complications and political roadblocks that inhibit research to find better treatment and a cure for mesothelioma. The draft House legislation addressing an asbestos ban will also include research provisions to overcome these problems.

South Africa bans asbestos–why can’t the U.S.?

March 27, 2008

Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk has announced that the use, manufacture and processing of asbestos will be prohibited in South Africa with immediate effect. Read the entire story here.

As the rest of the world closes ranks against one of the worst public health catastrophes in history with nations like South Africa leading the way, Canada and the U.S.A. have so far failed to get in line with medical and scientific research that shows asbestos is a lethal killer. Mesothelioma and asbestosis are just two of the diseases caused by asbestos. With no cure for either illness, asbestos has no place in modern society.