EWG research showed that 10,000 people die each year of asbestos-related diseases and unearthed documents showing that corporate executives concealed for decades the dangers of making or handling asbestos-containing materials.
Environmental Working Group (EWG) Executive Director Richard Wiles issued the following statement thanking United States Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) after the Senate unanimously passed landmark anti-asbestos legislation the two lawmakers introduced back in March of this year. Senator Murray was the bill’s author, and Boxer was an original co-sponsor, who as Chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee was instrumental in its passage.Read More
Eighteen years after the Environmental Protection Agency unsuccessfully attempted to ban asbestos, one of the world’s most deadly substances, a Senate panel voted this week to ban the use of the microscopic fibers.Read More
Over two decades, W.R. Grace & Co. slowly killed hundreds of workers at its Libby, Mont. asbestos mine. It's one of the most notorious cases in the annals of environmental crime – but Grace may escape punishment through loopholes opened by the same justice system that's trying to convict the company.Read More
EWG is disturbed to learn that Dennis C. Paustenbach is on the "Short List" of potential appointees to the Asbestos Panel of the EPA Science Advisory Board. EPA's Ispecifies that appointees to the Panel should display "absence of financial conflicts of interest" and "absence of an appearance of a lack of impartiality." Based on evidence of his work for defendant corporations in lawsuits over asbestos exposure, his studies that consistently aim to refute or minimize the scientifically established risks of asbestos exposure, and other evidence detailed below of a lack of adherence to scientific and professional ethics, it is clear that Dr. Paustenbach is unfit to serve on the Panel.Read More
OSHA scientist Ira Wainless is facing unpaid suspension for standing by his assertion that mechanics should be warned of possible asbestos exposure from brake pads. Most people, including mechanics, assume that the import of asbestos-containing products has been banned in the U.S. as it has in most other countries. Think again. The Baltimore Sun reports an 83% increase in asbestos-laden imported brakes in the last decade.Read More
Multiple articles from recent news.Read More
Several articles from recent news.Read More
Newly uncovered, never-before-released documents from W.R. Grace show that workers in at least 14 W.R. Grace insulation factories around the country labored under inhumane conditions where the amount of lethal asbestos dust in the air was equal to or greater than the deadly levels recorded at the notorious Grace-owned Libby mine [Freeman v. W.R. Grace 1990].Read More
W.R. Grace has taken the power of positive thinking too far, attempting to cure the Libby, Mont., residents the company knowingly poisoned for decades with toxic vermiculite just by saying it isn't so.Read More
More and more groups are examining the Senate asbestos bill called FAIR and finding it doesn’t keep its promises – to anyone. Environmental Working Group’s research has shown that the Senate’s answer to the asbestos epidemic is inadequate for the millions who will suffer from exposure to this toxic mineral.Read More
Asarco, a subsidiary of mining conglomerate Grupo Mexico, filed for bankruptcy Wednesday, leaving taxpayers holding the bag on an estimated $1 billion in environmental cleanups in a dozen states that the company has dragged its feet on for more than a decade. The copper mining company has also been implicated in 95,000 personal-injury asbestos lawsuits.Read More
Judge Edward Becker of the U.S. Circuit Court in Philadelphia was asked by Senate leaders to oversee negotiations around a compromise asbestos trust fund bill.Read More
More than 10,000 people a year die from asbestos disease, 5,000 of them from asbestos-caused lung cancer. It is precisely people like these, those most seriously harmed and dying from asbestos disease, that the Senate leadership has claimed to be helping with its series of asbestos trust fund bills. Few proposals have lived up to that claim, but the current proposal is perhaps the cruelest of all to date.
The Specter-Leahy Asbestos Bill allows residents of Libby, Montana, home of the notorious W.R. Grace vermiculite mine to sidestep the Byzantine criteria for assistance in the bill, and receive a guaranteed award of $400,000. The provision is notable, not so much for its special attention to the people of Libby, who by all accounts deserve the assistance, but in the absence of such care for any of the hundreds of communities around the country that received and processed thousands of tons of asbestos contaminated Libby vermiculite for decades.
An EWG Action Fund analysis of the Specter/Leahy asbestos bill before the Senate Judiciary Committee today finds that the legislation delivers unusually harsh treatment to people dying of asbestos-caused lung cancer.Read More
The U.S. Senate's latest scheme to limit the liability of asbestos makers would cut benefits dramatically to people dying of the fatal asbestos cancer, mesothelioma, and pre-empt laws in 12 states, and court customs in at least 8 more, that guarantee a speedy trial to terminally ill plaintiffs. Younger victims, who are more likely to have dependent children, huge medical bills, and substantial wage loss are hit hardest by the cuts in compensation. Everyone dying of mesothelioma, some 2,500 people in 2002, would have their cases thrown out of court and be forced to wait for nine months before they could restart their cases or file a claim with the national asbestos trust. Many hundreds of these people would die waiting.