There was encouraging news on Capitol Hill yesterday. The “Bruce Vento Ban Asbestos and Prevent Mesothelioma Act of 2008” was introduced in the House by the Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Environment and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee.

The legislation would prohibit the import, manufacture, processing and sale of asbestos-containing products, thus protecting American consumers and workers from asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.

The occurrence of asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis, continues to increase. Studies estimate that during the next decade, 100,000 victims in the United States will die of an asbestos-related disease — equaling 30 deaths per day.

Linda Reinstein, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, had this to say: “A ban on asbestos in the United States is long overdue, and we applaud Chairman Green and other members of the committee for taking such a strong leadership role in enabling the introduction of this critical bill.”

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation also approved of the progress. Rob Grayson of the Foundation writes this in an email: “The Meso Foundation is encouraging all patients, family members, researchers and advocates to contact their House Representative to ensure support of H.R. 6903 and to insist that asbestos disease research funds are included in this landmark legislation.”

We encourage everyone to visit the Meso Community ACTION CENTER to contact your representative. Please spread the word on this important asbestos legislation.