People whose lives have been impacted by malignant mesothelioma and other related diseases have long pushed for a ban on asbestos, the carcinogenic mineral that causes these deadly conditions. Despite previously having strong bipartisan backing, a scheduled vote on a ban has been delayed in the House of Representatives after two separate issues have caused complications.
Asbestos Causes Malignant Mesothelioma, Asbestosis and Other Illnesses
It has long been known that asbestos causes malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of cancer that appears decades after an individual has been exposed to asbestos. The material also causes other cancers and serious conditions that scar the lungs. It has been banned by almost 70 countries around the world, and this week the House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on H.R. 1603 (116), the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act. But the vote did not take place due to two new policy fights that need to be resolved.
Lobbyists Raise Potential Roadblocks to Passage of Bill
Though the science about asbestos’ role in mesothelioma is clear, lobbyists for the American chemical industry have managed to stand in the way of a national ban for decades. Now ARBAN has been stalled over a new provision addressing private lawsuits over asbestos-contaminated talc powder and its scientific definition of what is and is not asbestos. Regarding the first issue, there are concerns that the bill would create confusion and open “additional paths for litigation,” while regarding the second issue the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association fears that common minerals that don’t pose health risks might end up being banned or increase costs.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, the importance of preventing others from suffering in the same way is personal. For help navigating your mesothelioma journey, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.