Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Vento Ban Asbestos and Prevent Mesothelioma Act’

Asking for support of mesothelioma funding, asbestos ban

25 Jun 2009 by under News

meso at brights 100x100 Asking for support of mesothelioma funding, asbestos banToday was busy with meetings at Capitol Hill, asking legislators to support a total ban of asbestos in the United States, funding for mesothelioma research, and that they designate September 26 as Mesothelioma Awareness Day.

The day began with a briefing from Chris Hahn, the executive director of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF), with latest numbers about federal funding for meso research (WAY below every other cancer) and information about goals for new legislation. A bill to ban asbestos and fund meso research has been before the Senate for the past SEVEN YEARS. In 2008, S774, more commonly known as the , passed the Senate, and in 2008 its companion, HR3339/6903, made it to committee in the House of Representatives, but never made it to the floor. It died in committee when the session ended and we now have to start all over.

Beginning at 11 a.m., I met with aides from ‘s office, as well as the offices of Senators Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions. I was disappointed that I was unable to meet with any of the legislators personally, but two of the aides were particularly enthusiastic about our efforts, and the third was amenable, so I have high hopes. Now I will simply begin to pester people until we finally see some legislation! I left copies of our petition in support of these efforts with each of the Congressional offices, so I hope they will listen to our voices!

Tomorrow the sixth annual International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma will address the latest topics in mesothelioma research and treatment. 170 people attended the Advocacy Day today, and 230 people will attend the conference tomorrow and Saturday, the largest number yet.

Chris Hahn told us, “The way that we’re going to cure this disease is through community. On Advocacy Day, each person’s voice makes a real difference, and each of you speak for hundreds who could not be here.”

I hope our legislature is listening.

Update on ban asbestos bill

24 Sep 2008 by under Legal, News

We have been encouraging everyone to support the Bruce Vento Ban Asbestos and Prevent Act of 2007, which was introduced in the House of Representatives last August, and which has been in the House Subcommittee on Health since that time. This is H.R. 3339. However, last week, on Sept. 15, a new bill was introduced, H.R. 6903, which has taken the place of the earlier bill.

H.R. 6903, which was sponsored by Rep. Raymond Green (D-TX), is being called the of 2008. Its purpose is stated as “to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to reduce the health risks posed by asbestos-containing products, and for other purposes.” It is co-sponsored by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MIN), who sponsored the 2007 version of the bill.

The new legislation has the support of organizations including the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. It has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, of which Rep. Green is a member.

You can read the full text of the bill online.

It is vital that this legislation not be allowed to linger in committee for another year, as more people continue to be exposed to asbestos and die from mesothelioma. Please contact your Representative TODAY and ask them to support the Bruce Vento Ban Asbestos legislation.

Don’t let Vento asbestos, meso bill die in committee

15 Sep 2008 by under Legal, News

Despite a lot of hard work and lobbying on Capitol Hill, the Bruce Vento Ban Asbestos and Prevent Mesothelioma Act of 2007, H.R. 3339, is still in the House Committee on Energy in Commerce. It’s been stuck there since August 2007!

Next Friday, Sept. 26, is National Mesothelioma Awareness Day. That sounds like the perfect time for those who support the complete ban of asbestos in the United States, and who support research funding for mesothelioma, to petition their Representative to finally move this bill forward.

Asbestos-banning legislation has been brought before the Senate and the House of Representatives numerous times in the past decade, but has never been able to get to a final vote of both houses and reach the President to be signed into law.

This bill is strong, and would require the federal government to take action ot address asbestos and its harmful effect. It would require the disposal of asbestos-containing materials within two years, and would prohibit the importing, manufacturing, processing or distributing of asbestos-containing materials (except for specific exemptions for the and NASA).

H.R. 3339 also would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish a plan to increase awareness of the danger of asbestos-containing materials in homes and workplaces, and would encourage reserach and treatment of asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma.

Contact your Representative NOW. It’s easy. Just click on this link to visit the House of Representatives online. Find the Rep for your Congressional District and email him or her and ask for this bill’s passage. If your Representative serves on the House Committee on Energy, it’s even more important that you let him or her know that you want to see this bill passed. Please help!

Let’s do more than acknowledge mesothelioma this Sept. 26. Let’s make a stand to eliminate this unecessary killer.

We’ve added a Ban Asbestos Bill tracker on our home page to help you keep up with this bill’s status.

Why is EPA proposing relaxed asbestos rules?

6 Aug 2008 by under News, Organizations

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) Asbestos Committee held public meetings July 21 and 22 in Washington, D.C., to discuss changes in the way it measures the risk posed by inhalation exposure to asbestos. Results of this meeting are coming under fire, as environmental groups, labor safety leaders, physicians, scientists and politicians object to the EPA’s proposed revised evaluation standards.

According to recent report in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, there were 20 experts appointed to the SAB’s asbestos panel, charged with evaluating the validity of the EPA’s plan to change how the toxicity of the six types of asbestos regulated by the government differ in danger. Its findings would be submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget ().

According to the PI report, scientific advisors say the EPA used the asbestos panel to submit new studies that contradict longstanding research into the dangers of asbestos. The new studies say chrysolite, in particular, the most common type of asbestos, isn’t dangerous and doesn’t cause mesothelioma.

PI quotes Dr. David Egilman, an occupational medicine specialist, who testified at the public meeting, as saying the new study was financed by mining and other asbestos-related industries, and said the studies have no scientific credibility.

Another vocal spokesperson at the hearing was Sen. Patty Murray, who sponsored S. 742, the Ban Asbestos in America Act of 2007, which passed the Senate on Oct. 4, 2007. Currently, it is the companion bill to H.R. 3339, the Bruce Vento Ban Asbestos and Prevent Mesothelioma Act, sponsored by Rep. Betty McCollum, which currently is in committee in the House of Representatives.

Sen. Murray has long been an advocate for a total asbestos ban, calling for better worker protection. The PI quotes Sen. Murray as telling the committee, “I’d like the political appointees at the EPA to look into the eyes of a mesothelioma patient and say that asbestos isn’t dangerous. It appears that this administration is once again putting politics before public health.” Murray is currently chairwoman of the Senate Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee.

The EPA asserts the new system is needed to improve how asbestos-contaminated Superfund sites are evaluated. The organization can move forward with its proposal without approval from the OMB or the SAB, if it so chooses.

Asbestos, mesothelioma bill still in committee

16 Jul 2008 by under Events, News

This is a reminder to those who haven’t yet contacted their representative in U.S. Congress about H.R. 3339, the Bruce Vento Ban Asbestos and Prevent Mesothelioma Act. Please take the time to do this right now! It’s very important to let your Representative on Capitol Hill know that you support this measure to finally ban asbestos in the U.S. and provide funding for research.

The bill is currently in committee, with the . Even if your district’s representative is not on this committee, it is important to let him or her know that you support the bill so that they know how to vote. The more voices they hear from their constituency, the better chance they will pay attention when this finally comes to the House floor.

If your representative IS a member of this committee, it is even more important. Many bills “die” in committee, never making it to a vote of the full House or Senate. Please make sure your representative helps get this bill approved in committee and to the floor for its vote.

My representative, Terry Everett (2nd District, Alabama), acknowledged his receipt of my request with a letter, in which he said he will keep my thoughts in mind should the bill make it to the floor, although he is not a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

According to information provided by Everett’s office, H.R. 3339 would require several actions to be taken by the federal government in addressing asbestos and its harmful effects. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would establish a plan to increase awareness of the dangers posed by asbestos-containing materials in homes and workplaces and encourage participation in research and treatment endeavors of asbestos-related disease patients.

The bill also would require the disposal of asbestos-containing materials within two years and the prohibition on the importing, manufacturing, processing or distributing of asbestos-containing materials, except for specific exemptions sought by the Department of Defense and National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

If you are not sure of the representative for your Congressional District, visit the House of Representatives online. You can also find out here if your representative is a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Please take the time to do this today. Your one voice is SO important. Let it join thousands of others to finally make a real difference.

Action alert for Ban Asbestos and Prevent Mesothelioma Act

20 May 2008 by under Events, Legal

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) has issued an “action alert” urging its constituents to call on their House Representative this week to support prompt passage of The Bruce Vento Ban Asbestos and Prevent Mesothelioma Act of 2007 (H.R. 3339), sponsored by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN).

In October 2007, the Senate companion bill, sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), passed. The House bill toughened the legislation, under the direction of the Environment and Hazardous Material Subcommittee of the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee, eliminating an exception for asbestos present at 1 percent or less by weight, making the ban a matter of federal statute rather than EPA regulation, and adding enforcement provisions.

The Meso Foundation reports the critically needed medical funding provisions from Sen. Murray’s and Congresswoman McCollum’s legislation have not yet been added to the Committee Print.

In a statement released yesterday in support of including the research funding, the Meso Foundation said, “for the sake of all those already exposed, those now sick, and those who will be exposed in the future to asbestos already in place, we call on the Health Subcommittee to follow Sen. Murray and Congresswoman McCollum in recognizing the necessity of a robust asbestos disease research program, and to adopt the research funding provisions included in their legislation.”

Read the full story about this important legislation at Yahoo! News.

Supporters are urged to contact their Representative in Washington, DC, to urge inclusion of the research funding and swift passage of the complete bill once the funding is in place.

In Alabama, House Representatives are Robert Aderholt (4th Congressional District), Jo Bonner (1st), (3rd), Spencer Bachus (6th), Robert E. “Bud” Cramer (5th) and Terry Everett (2nd). If you are not sure which is your congressional district, to locate contact information for your representative or to locate the representative for your state, visit the United States House of Representatives online, and click on your state for a list of your representatives.

Please contact your Representative NOW to let them know you support this legislation and to ask for their support. Please email me if you’d like any help!

Mesothelioma and Asbestos

22 Feb 2008 by under