Murray to Congress: Ban Asbestos Now

Mar 04 2004

Disturbing new report highlights need for Sen. Murray’s legislation

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray said that today’s release of a new report by the Environmental Working Group on the dangers of asbestos exposure further underscores the need to enact her bill to ban asbestos in America immediately.

The report details the numbers of deaths across the country that have been caused by exposure to asbestos. King County has the fourth-highest number of deaths related to asbestos in the country – three other counties – Kitsap (24th), Pierce (28th) and Snohomish (52nd) all rank in the top 100 for asbestos-related deaths. Washington state ranks eighth overall.

“It is unconscionable that so many innocent victims in our state have died because they were exposed to a product that they were told was safe. But it is even more disturbing that our government continues to allow asbestos to be imported into this country and used in everyday products today.

While more than 30 other countries have banned asbestos and protected their citizens, the United States still has not. The time for Congress to ban asbestos is long overdue. Until we take the steps to ban this deadly substance, we will continue to put innocent lives at risk.”

Last year, Senator Murray was successful in attaching her asbestos ban to asbestos liability legislation in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The asbestos liability legislation is expected to come to the Senate floor later this month.

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