House bill calls for asbestos database

Though bills to reform the nation’s toxic chemical laws have been introduced in both the House and Senate, Democratic lawmakers want to better protect people from being exposed to asbestos now.

Reps. Suzan DelBeneSuzan Kay DelBeneModerate Democratic lawmakers back privacy bill favored by businesses The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Association of Manufacturers - Trump, Congress draw battle lines on impeachment Lawmakers beat Capitol Police in Congressional Football Game MORE (D-Wash.) and Gene GreenRaymond (Gene) Eugene GreenTexas New Members 2019 Two Democrats become first Texas Latinas to serve in Congress Latina Leaders to Watch 2018 MORE (D-Texas) introduced the Reducing Exposure to Asbestos Database (READ) Act on Monday. The bill, which has been introduced in the Senate by Sens. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinTrump judicial nominee delayed amid GOP pushback Schumer seeks focus on health care amid impeachment fever Senators take fundraising efforts to Nats playoff games MORE (D-Ill.) and Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs Senate confirms Trump's Air Force secretary pick Democratic senators condemn Trump for calling on China to investigate Bidens MORE (D-Mass.), would update the Asbestos Information Act signed by President Reagan in 1988 and direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to maintain a publicly searchable online database of products and locations that contain asbestos. 

Asbestos is a known carcinogen that’s responsible for as many as 10,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.

The bill would also force companies manufacturing, importing or handling asbestos-containing products to annually report information to the EPA about their products and any publicly accessible location in which the products have been known to be in the past year. 

"Thousands of Americans fall victim to asbestos-related illnesses each year,” Green said in a news release. “These tragedies might have been prevented with greater public knowledge of where asbestos is located.”