U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester championed legislation to designate April 1-7, 2019 “National Asbestos Awareness Week” as part of their ongoing efforts to combat the dangers of asbestos exposure.
The bipartisan resolution raises awareness about asbestos-caused diseases and urges the U.S. Surgeon General to teach Americans about the substance’s risks.
“Asbestos caused diseases have tragically claimed the lives of far too many Montanans,” Daines said. “By shedding light on the dangers of asbestos exposure, we can work to protect the health of Montanans state wide and ensure that what happened in Libby and Troy never happen again.”
“We have tragically lost too many Montanans to diseases caused by asbestos,” Tester said. “As clean up continues in places like Libby and Troy, we’ve got to ensure that folks understand the dangers of asbestos so we can reduce exposure risks.”
Since W.R. Grace closed its Libby vermiculite mine in 1990, more than 200 residents have died and thousands more are suffering from asbestos-related diseases. Clean up efforts began in 2002 when Libby, Troy, and surrounding communities were placed on the EPA’s Superfund National Priorities List.
It can take anywhere from 10 to 50 years to develop symptoms of asbestos-related diseases, which continue to kill thousands of Americans each year.
“We would like to thank both of Montana’s Senators who have, once again, taken a stand to support asbestos awareness,” said Dr. Brad Black of the Libby CARD Clinic. “Asbestos is not a problem of the past, it is a problem that has not yet been resolved, so ensuring ongoing public awareness is a step in the right direction to protect human health.”
“For the fifteenth year in a row, the Senate has taken an important stand for public health. We are immensely grateful to Senator Tester and the twelve original cosponsors for the passage of the Resolution,” said Linda Reinstein, co-founder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization.“Each year, up to 40,000 Americans die from preventable asbestos-caused diseases while imports and use continue. Undoubtedly, the Resolution’s momentum and U.S. Surgeon General’s asbestos warning will raise awareness and increase prevention efforts.”