The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) commends the efforts of Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) for the introduction of S. 2072, the “Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Act of 2017,” legislation to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to require the Environmental Protection Agency to identify and assess known uses of and exposure to all forms of asbestos.
It is well known scientifically that malignant mesothelioma is a neoplasm primarily associated with occupational and environmental inhalation exposure to asbestos fibers.
The latency period from first causative exposure to malignant mesothelioma development typically ranges from 20 to 40 years but can be as long as 71 years. Hazardous occupational exposures to asbestos fibers occurred in a variety of industrial operations, including mining and milling, manufacturing, shipbuilding and repair, and construction. Former Navy personnel are also at heightened risk. Current exposures to commercial asbestos in the United States occur predominantly during maintenance operations and remediation of older buildings containing asbestos.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 1999-2015 a total of 45,221 deaths were reported in the United States with malignant mesothelioma mentioned on the death certificate as the underlying or contributing cause of death. More alarming, in March 2017 the CDC reported that despite regulatory actions and decline in asbestos use, the annual number of malignant mesothelioma deaths remains substantial.
Contrary to past projections, the number of malignant mesothelioma deaths has been rising. With no decline in mesothelioma deaths – particularly among younger populations – the CDC underscores the urgent need for maintaining efforts to prevent exposure to asbestos, as well as the need for ongoing surveillance to monitor temporal trends in deaths from malignant mesothelioma.
For these reasons, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation applauds this legislation and all efforts that seek to eliminate human exposure to asbestos.
The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (formerly known as MARF) is the only nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to ending mesothelioma by funding research, providing education and support for patients and their families, and by advocating for federal funding of mesothelioma research.