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Senator Barbara Boxer Introduces Proposed Ban on Asbestos

Continuing her ongoing fight to protect asbestos victims across the United States, California Senator Barbara Boxer introduced the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2016, co-sponsored by Montana Senator Jon Tester, to the Senate on September 28. The act was named after Alan Howard Reinstein, a California resident who died of plural mesothelioma on May 22, 2006. If passed, this act would[1]:

“[A]mend the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to require the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take action to eliminate human exposure to asbestos, and for other purposes.”

The Administrator would then have 90 days to begin identifying and assessing the currently anticipated importation, distribution, use, and exposure to asbestos in the United States for the purpose of publishing their findings.

Within 18 months of the passage of this act, the Administrator will be required to impose restrictions, prohibitions, and other conditions that include prohibitions on the distribution, disposal, use, processing, and manufacture of asbestos and other articles or mixtures that contain asbestos in order to eliminate environmental or human exposure.

One year after the implementation of these prohibitions, unless otherwise permitted by the President through an exemption listed under SEC. 702. (d), titled ‘Exemption for National Security Reasons,’ no one will be permitted to distribute, dispose, use, process, or manufacture any form of asbestos or any article or mixture containing any form of asbestos unless specifically permitted by the prohibitions set by the Administrator the year before.

This act will hopefully build on the success of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act that was passed in June of this year, and amended the TSCA to give the EPA new oversight powers to determine how safe certain chemical products are, and whether or not they should have their use restricted or outright banned.

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