Daines, Tester stand with Libby residents by raising awareness about asbestos

Senators sponsor National Asbestos Awareness Week Resolution

(MONTANA) – Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines are standing with Libby residents by sponsoring and helping pass a resolution to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos.

The resolution – which passed the Senate unanimously – designatesthe first week in April as “National Asbestos Awareness Week.”

Specifically mentioning the town in northwest Montana, the resolution states, “Whereas people in the small community of Libby, Montana, suffer from asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma, at a significantly higher rate than people in the United States as a whole…be it resolved that the Senate designates the first week of April 2015 as National Asbestos Awareness Week.”

“The fatal effects of asbestos have forever changed the community of Libby.  This resolution helps raise awareness about the dangers and prevention efforts associated with this silent killer,” Tester said. “Despite the harmful effects of asbestos exposure, cleanup efforts are moving the community of Libby toward a healthier future. We must ensure these efforts continue to be successful.”

“Too many Libby families have suffered from the deadly effects of asbestos exposure,” Daines stated. “National Asbestos Awareness Week will help save lives by raising awareness and in turn reduce exposure to this fatal carcinogen. We must stay vigilant and ensure that the asbestos contamination in Libby is removed to create a safer community for all Montanans.”

“We are extremely pleased to have such strong bipartisan backing of this critical resolution once again so that we can continue our concerted efforts to educate the public on the dangers of asbestos and build a legacy of hope for victims of asbestos each year,” said Linda Reinstein, President and Co-Founder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. “Most Americans can’t identify asbestos or manage the risk during associated repairs, renovation, construction, or disasters.  Since 1900, the USA has consumed 31 million metric tons of asbestos, which has caused one of the largest man-made disasters.  Each year, 10,000 Americans die from preventable asbestos-caused diseases.”

The town of Libby, Montana was declared a Public Health Emergency in 2009 after years of widespread death and illness was linked to asbestos exposure at the now shuttered W.R. Grace & Co. mine. 

The National Asbestos Awareness Week Resolution is available online.