Tester, Daines Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Recognizing National Asbestos Awareness Week

Senators’ bipartisan resolution designates April 1-7 National Asbestos Awareness Week

Montana U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines introduced a bipartisan resolution to declare April 1-7 as the 19th annual National Asbestos Awareness Week. The resolution aims to raise awareness of the ongoing effects of asbestos and directs the U.S. Surgeon General to issue a warning to all Americans about the dangers of asbestos exposure.

“Asbestos has a long, troubling history in the state of Montana and exposure to this dangerous substance is tragically still all too common,” said Tester. “Communities across our state like Libby and Troy have been hit especially hard, and those folks deserve the resources to get their communities cleaned up and made whole. On top of resources, it’s critically important we arm folks with up-to-date information on how to keep our communities safe, which is why I was proud to introduce this resolution to shed light on the ongoing crisis and finally make asbestos a thing of the past.”

“Too many Montanans have suffered from asbestos exposure and the related health impacts that can take years to appear,” said Daines. “As we continue to raise awareness around the risks of asbestos, we also must continue to help clean up communities like Libby and Troy and help protect the health and wellbeing of Montanans everywhere.”

“The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) extends heartfelt gratitude to Senators Tester and Daines for their unwavering leadership and dedication to raising asbestos awareness and advancing prevention efforts with the 19th Resolution,” said Linda Reinstein, co-founder, and President of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO).“The stark reality that 40,000 Americans lose their lives annually to asbestos-related diseases highlights a critical, ongoing challenge. Asbestos continues to pose a hidden threat in our homes, schools, and workplaces, underscoring the importance of vigilant protection for our communities against this lethal hazard. During Asbestos Awareness Week from April 1 to 7, we reaffirm our commitment not only to raising awareness but also to ensuring the health and well-being of future generations.”

“Occupational cancer is the number one killer of fire fighters, and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) is steadfastly committed to removing every known human carcinogen from the fireground,” said Dr. Danny Whu, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF). “The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies asbestos as a Group 1, Known Human Carcinogen. As such, the commercialization of asbestos must be discontinued immediately. Not only is this product contributing to an unnecessary higher mortality in fire fighters, but in all exposed Americans alike – from the very young to the very old. The IAFF applauds and stands in support of Senator Tester, Senator Daines, and all organizations that are working toward eliminating this killer from continuing to be imported, sold, and used in commerce.”

Since W.R. Grace closed its Libby vermiculite mine in 1990, more than 200 residents have died and thousands more are still 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.

The full text of Tester and Daines’ resolution is available HERE.


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