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Potential revision to Toxic Substances Control Act re asbestos

Some substances are so carcinogenic that they should not be used under any circumstances. Anyone here in Georgia (or anywhere else for that matter) who has ever contracted a disease related to asbestos exposure would more than likely agree that this toxic substance should be completely banned. Some members of the U.S. Senate agree as well.

A new bill -- called the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2017 -- seeks to make changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act to not just limit potential exposure to asbestos, but to eliminate it. The bill is named after a 66-year-old man who died of mesothelioma in 2006. If this amendment to the TSCA happens, it would force the EPA to do what it was not required to do by a 2016 amendment to the law that called for assessments of certain chemicals, including asbestos, before any further action. The problem is that the assessments were never done.

If the new bill passes into law, it would require the Environmental Protection Agency to identify all sources in use. The agency would then have 12 months to halt all further manufacturing, distributing and processing of products containing asbestos. The EPA would then have 18 months to impose further restrictions on its use.

Of course, this bill, and any subsequent bans, would come too late for hundreds of thousands of people who already lost their lives to asbestos-related diseases, along with those who recently contracted (or will contract in the future) these illnesses. Many of them could be Georgia residents. Each of them may benefit from discussing their situations with an attorney since receiving restitution for the financial losses that occur due to such illnesses may be possible.

Source: safetyandhealthmagazine.com, "Senate bill aims to ban asbestos", Nov. 16 2017

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