House committee advances bill to ban asbestos

House committee advances bill to ban asbestos
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The House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced a bill Tuesday that would restrict the use of asbestos.

The bill bans the production, use and importation of asbestos, implementing a complete ban on the substance within a year of the bill’s passage.

The asbestos legislation follows a recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule that critics say could reintroduce asbestos use. The EPA hailed the rule as the first significant action taken on the mesothelioma-causing substance in 30 years, requiring better documentation of use of asbestos to ensure it doesn’t enter the marketplace.

But the agency was later sued by states that argued the regulation wasn’t tough enough.

The bill cements Democrats' interest in banning asbestos, something they argued the EPA should have done outright with its new rule.