|[February 28, 2014]
ADAO Voices Grave Concerns about the "Chemicals in Commerce Act" Discussion Draft
WASHINGTON --(Business Wire)--
Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), the largest independent
non-profit organization in the U.S. which combines education, advocacy,
and community to help ensure justice for asbestos victims, is voicing
grave concerns with House Energy and Commerce Environment and the
Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus' (R-IL) "Chemicals in
Commerce Act" Discussion Draft.
Since 2010, ADAO has been actively engaged in stakeholder meetings,
testifying at Congressional hearings, and writing
letters to ensure Congress passes meaningful TSCA reform to protect
the public from dangerous chemicals, such as asbestos. At the present
time, the only two ways to eliminate environmental and occupational
asbestos-caused diseases are prevention and a cure.
While ADAO is encouraged by efforts to overhaul the outdated and
Substances Control Act (TSCA) from 1976, neither the Chemical Safety
Improvement Act of 2013 (S. 1009) nor "Chemicals in Commerce Act"
Discussion Draft represents progress in chemical risk management and
Linda Reinstein, mesothelioma widow and Asbestos Disease Awareness
Organization Co-founder issued the folowing statement:
"Americans have lost confidence in the chemical industries' ability
to protect us from toxins. Asbestos has caused one of the largest
man-made disasters in history. More than 30 Americans die each
day from preventable asbestos-caused disease, yet Congress allows for
imports to continue. ADAO has seen the robust chemical industry
propaganda to lobby Congress and fool Americans. Enough is enough. TSCA
reform must empower and enable the EPA to ban asbestos and other known
toxins. Without responsibility, accountability, and transparency, no one
The "Chemicals in Commerce Act" Discussion Draft has the following flaws:
Next to Impossible to Phase Out or Ban Harmful Chemicals. The
"Chemicals in Commerce Act" Discussion Draft would make it impossible
for EPA (the Environmental Protection Agency) to ban or phase out the
worst of the worst toxic chemicals on the market.
Grossly Inadequate Safety Standard. The "Chemicals in Commerce Act"
Discussion Draft's safety standard would place a heavy burden on EPA
to find that a chemical such as asbestos is unsafe, rather than
shifting the burden to chemical companies to show chemicals are safe.
Lack of Deadlines to Ensure Safety. The "Chemicals in Commerce Act"
Discussion Draft is virtually devoid of any deadlines that would
require EPA to act quickly to assess and restrict the use of harmful
chemicals such as asbestos.
Unworkable Standard of Court Review. The "Chemicals in Commerce Act"
Discussion Draft would retain the unworkable standard of court review
found in TSCA, which ultimately prevented EPA from being able to ban
asbestos in 1989.
Freeze on State Efforts to Protect People from Chemicals. The
"Chemicals in Commerce Act" Discussion Draft contains far-reaching
language that would paralyze states from being able to enforce
existing laws or pass new ones, to increase protections against
harmful chemicals such as asbestos.
The problems discussed above represent just a handful of the ways that
the "Chemicals in Commerce Act" Discussion Draft would fail to deliver
meaningful reform. Congress must stand up to the chemical industry on
behalf of asbestos victims and pass a bill that would do more to protect
the American people from exposure to harmful chemicals.
Despite its known dangers, there is still no global ban on asbestos, and
it continues to claim lives. Exposure to asbestos, a human carcinogen,
can cause mesothelioma, lung, gastrointestinal, laryngeal, and ovarian
cancers; as well as non-malignant lung and pleural disorders. The
World Health Organization estimates that 107,000 workers around the
world will die every year of an asbestos-related disease, equaling
300 deaths per day.
About the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) was founded by
asbestos victims and their families in 2004. ADAO is the largest
non-profit in the U.S. dedicated to providing asbestos victims and
concerned citizens with a united voice through our education, advocacy,
and community initiatives. ADAO seeks to raise public awareness about
the dangers of asbestos exposure, advocate for an asbestos ban, and
protect asbestos victims' civil rights. For more information, visit www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org.
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