Days after ProPublica detailed dangerous working conditions at a chlorine plant that used asbestos until it closed last year, public health advocates and two U.S. lawmakers are renewing calls for Congress to ban the carcinogen.
“American workers are dying from asbestos. It is way past time to end its use,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat from Oregon. “This ProPublica report confirms our worst fears: workers dealing with asbestos are often left vulnerable to this deadly, dangerous substance.”
Merkley and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., are sponsoring the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act, which would permanently ban the importing and use of asbestos. The proposed legislation is named after Alan Reinstein, who died in 2006 from mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos. Alan’s wife, Linda, co-founded the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, one of the leading nonprofits that has advocated for protecting the public from the dangers of asbestos.