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Ban Asbestos in America Act of 2007

On October 4, 2007 the United States Senate passed the "Ban Asbestos in America Act of 2007" (S. 742). It was a unanimous voice vote and the bill now goes to the House of Representatives. This bill stops distribution of asbestos-containing materials including brake pads and roofing items that contain asbestos.

The federal government would also expand research into diseases caused by asbestos exposure, particularly mesothelioma, asbestosis, and pleural injuries. The new law, if passed as written, amends the Toxic Substances Control Act and forces dispoase of asbestos-containing products within two years.

TSCA was the legal basis for the EPA’s ban of asbestos in 1989 – a ban that was overturned by a court. The government would also start an asbestos-related disease registry.

This bill addresses new uses of asbestos, not the legacy of decades of use and millions of tons of asbestos still in buildings.

Washington Senator Patty Murray has been working for an asbestos ban for years. There were many cosponsors of the bill, including Barbara Boxer, chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee. Similar bills (HR 3285 and HR 3339) were introduced in August and are sitting in the Committee on Energy and Commerce.