Advocates Push for Total Asbestos Ban to Prevent Mesothelioma

Firefighter with ban asbestos now text overlay

In honor of National Cancer Prevention Month, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) united to renew their calls for a complete ban on asbestos.

For much of the 20th century, asbestos was used in thousands of products. Now recognized as a carcinogen that causes mesothelioma and other diseases, this toxic mineral claims tens of thousands of lives every year.

“Asbestos remains a killer. This is not just an awareness campaign; it's a rallying cry for legislative action.”
– Linda Reinstein, ADAO Co-Founder and President

Unfortunately, firefighters are among the most at-risk occupations for asbestos exposure. In fact, these heroes are twice as likely to suffer from mesothelioma and other cancers, according to the IAFF.

The association, which represents 343,000 firefighters and first responders, agrees with the ADAO that the only way to prevent future generations from developing asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma is to ban asbestos now.

As a national mesothelioma law firm, Sokolove Law has helped thousands of families across the country who have been harmed by asbestos get justice. We’re proud to support the push for an asbestos ban and fight for affected families.

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What Is the Ban Asbestos Now Campaign?

From February 1 to February 14, the ADAO and IAFF displayed a billboard with a powerful message in New York’s Times Square: Ban Asbestos Now. With the dangerous conditions firefighters face on display, the billboard encourages viewers to contact Congress to support the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now (ARBAN) Act.

Reintroduced to Congress last year, the ARBAN Act calls for a total ban on asbestos. Many believe the bill is crucial to preventing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cancers.

More than 21 Million people were projected to have seen the billboard over its 2-week installation.

“Every person who sees this billboard and sends a letter is another voice against asbestos, another ally in our fight for health and safety," said Linda Reinstein about the campaign.

At the same time, the ADAO and IAFF pushed for change in several meetings with local, state, and federal officials. This isn’t the first time the two organizations have come together.

In September 2023, the IAFF met with Congress, urging them to take “decisive measures” to ban asbestos and pass the ARBAN Act to protect future generations of firefighters from exposure.

The Importance of the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act

Despite the dangers of asbestos exposure being commonly known now, the U.S. still doesn’t have a ban of asbestos. Meanwhile, more than 70 other countries have already banned this toxic mineral.

In the late 1980s, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned nearly all uses of asbestos in the country. However, asbestos product manufacturers lobbied to have the ban overturned in court in 1991.

As long as asbestos is imported and used in the U.S., more and more people are put at risk of developing serious diseases. There is no safe level of exposure, meaning that even one exposure can cause irreversible damage to the body.

After losing her husband to mesothelioma in 2006, Linda Reinstein decided to channel her anger into action. She worked closely with lawmakers to draft the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act in honor of her late husband.

“I hope our advocacy work can result in eliminating asbestos diseases completely by banning asbestos in all its uses so no one else has to feel the same grief I have felt,” Linda shared.

The ARBAN Act is the first piece of legislation to call for a complete ban on asbestos since the EPA’s asbestos regulations were overturned over three decades ago.

While the bill reached Congress in 2019, it fell off the voting schedule in 2020. Linda refused to give up, and the bill was reintroduced to Congress in 2023. It has since received bipartisan support and the steadfast backing of advocacy groups like the IAFF.

Get Involved: How You Can Help Ban Asbestos Now

Throughout this month, you can contribute to the efforts to ban asbestos and prevent devastating asbestos-related cancers, regardless of where you are in the U.S.

You can help ban asbestos now by:

  1. Adding your name to the petition to ban asbestos now with no loopholes
  2. Joining the conversation on social media by sharing videos and other posts from the ADAO
  3. Sending a message to Congress to support the ARBAN Act

With these small efforts, you are joining an important movement to protect thousands, which can hopefully improve public health and save thousands if not millions of people from asbestos.

Let Our Asbestos Attorneys Fight for You

For over 45 years, Sokolove Law has fought for justice on behalf of mesothelioma patients and their families, successfully handling over 8,600 asbestos cases.

We have asbestos attorneys across the country who may be able to help you:

  • Understand your mesothelioma legal options
  • Figure out how you were exposed to asbestos
  • Hold the companies responsible for your illness accountable
  • Secure compensation that can provide financial peace of mind

If you or a loved one has an asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma or lung cancer, contact Sokolove Law now. It costs nothing to speak with us.

Author:
Sokolove Law Team

Contributing Authors

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of wrongdoing and their families.

Last modified: June 11, 2024

  1. Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. “Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization & International Association of Fire Fighters United for Change: The Fight Against Asbestos Continues in New York City.” Retrieved from: https://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org/newsroom/blogs/asbestos-disease-awareness-organization-international-association-of-fire-fighters-united-for-change-the-fight-against-asbestos-continues-in-new-york-city/. Accessed on February 5, 2024.
  2. Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. “Press Release: Times Square Billboard Shines Light on Asbestos Crisis: ADAO and IAFF Call on Congress to Act.” Retrieved from: https://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org/newsroom/blogs/press-release-times-square-billboard-shines-light-on-asbestos-crisis-adao-and-iaff-call-on-congress-to-act/. Accessed on February 5, 2024.