Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI)

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is pleased to announce the introduction of legislation by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) to protect children and families from asbestos.

Dingell’s bill, H.R. 4964, introduced on February 7, 2018, amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require that children’s cosmetics containing talc include an appropriate warning label to signal that the product is free of asbestos. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), “the bill will also update methods to test cosmetics for the presence of asbestos.”

This important legislation emerges after recent reports of asbestos in cosmetics sold by popular tween retailers, Claire’s and Justice. This wasn’t the first time and, unfortunately, likely not the last, that everyday products containing talc tested positive for asbestos. When you consider that talc, in its most basic form, can be found near amphibole asbestos, these instances should come as no surprise. Luckily, Dingell’s legislation serves to prevent these carcinogenic exposures from occurring to children.

Congresswoman Dingell has been a champion for prevention, cancer, and public health throughout her career. Dingell, Co-Chair of the Congressional Cancer Prevention Caucus, joined in on the advocacy at Less Cancer’s National Cancer Prevention Day conference. On February 7, 2018, the same day as the bill’s introduction, the Congresswoman joined nearly 100 people in-person and over 1,000 on the web, including Team ADAO, in the U.S. House of Representatives to support cancer prevention and advocate for a ban on asbestos-contaminated products.

ADAO was delighted to join Less Cancer supporters at the National Cancer Prevention Day conference to discuss the threats that asbestos still pose to people every day. “Over 50 percent of cancers are preventable. The time is now to seek solutions together.” said Bill Couzens, founder of Less Cancer. “We are impressed by the tireless work of ADAO to ban asbestos, their role in National Cancer Prevention Day and its workshop.”

Speaking at the United States Congressional Cancer Prevention Caucus (Linda Reinstein far left, Less Cancer board members Tom Sherman, MD and Jann Balmer, Phd ) Photo by Missy Janes

As I shared with EWG, “It is difficult to believe that decades after the threats of asbestos had been established, it is still putting people, especially young children, at risk. Rep. Dingell’s bill should pass with unanimous support among her colleagues in Congress, and every parent should applaud her efforts to keep kids safe from something as lethal as asbestos.”

Read EWG’s full statement: “EWG Applauds Bill to Warn of Asbestos in Cosmetics.”

You might be feeling as frustrated as we are. Take this moment to prevent future asbestos-caused diseases — SIGN and SHARE ADAO’s Petition to the U.S. EPA to Ban Asbestos Without Loopholes or Exemptions!

Enough is enough — it’s time for a ban once and for all!

Linda Reinstein