Tester, Daines Resolution to Recognize National Asbestos Awareness Week Passes Senate

Senators’ bipartisan resolution designating April 1-7 National Asbestos Awareness Week passes the Senate unanimously

The U.S. Senate this week unanimously passed Montana U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines’ resolution to declare April 1-7 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.

“The unfortunate truth is that too many folks in rural America are still suffering from the effects of deadly asbestos exposure,” said Tester. “Montana communities like Libby and Troy have been hit especially hard, and while we work on getting those communities cleaned up and made whole, we’ve got to make sure folks have the information they need to keep themselves safe. That’s why I introduced this bipartisan resolution to shed light on the dangers of asbestos exposure and keep the pressure on folks in Washington to address the ongoing asbestos crisis.”

“Asbestos-related illnesses have tragically claimed the lives of far too many Montanans,” said Daines. “We must continue to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos, and prevent what happened in Libby and Troy from occurring again.”

“40,000 Americans die each year from asbestos-caused diseases, It is critical that we continue to educate the public about the dangers of asbestos exposure. Too many people wrongly believe asbestos is no longer a threat —but it is still imported and used in the United States every day,” said Linda Reinstein, co-founder, and President of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO). “Asbestos lurks in our homes, schools, workplaces and in consumer products. We need to be vigilant about keeping people safe from this deadly chemical and continue to educate every American about how to prevent asbestos exposure.”

“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. 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,” said Dr. Danny Whu, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF).

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.


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