Many people mistakenly believe that asbestos was banned with the creation of OSHA in the early 1970’s. Unfortunately, however, the United States is actually one of the few industrialized nations in the world which has NOT acted to ban asbestos entirely.

Over 60 countries have banned the use of asbestos including Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, Iceland, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Hungary, Greece, United Kingdom and most of the European Union. In fact, countries all over the world have begun to recognize the devastating impact of asbestos.

In the United States, however, asbestos continues to be used in products and materials such as gaskets, friction products, roofing materials, fireproofing materials and various other consumer products in varying degrees.

Senator Patty Murray of Washington State introduced a bill proposing the total ban of asbestos in October of 2007. Although the “Ban Asbestos in America” bill was passed by the Senate it has yet to pass the House of Representatives.

The “Ban Asbestos in America” bill has three main components:

  1. Banning all uses of asbestos in the United States and prohibiting the importation, manufacturing, processing and distribution within the United States of products containing asbestos. Please note, this provision includes all known types of asbestos, as well as other harmful fibers with a similar structure.
  2. Upon passage of the “Ban Asbestos in America” bill the Environmental Protection Agency will issue rules resulting in the removal of almost all asbestos products currently being marketed within in the United States. This provision calls for a two (2) year removal enforcement ban subsequent to the bill’s enactment.
  3. Funding for asbestos research.

Full text of the “Ban Asbestos in America” bill, can be found at: http://www.mesothelioma.com/ebooks/ban-asbestos-in-america-2007.pdf.

Please consider contacting your senator and/or Senator Murray to show your support for the “Ban Asbestos in America” bill: http://murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactme.