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Asbestos No More: Historic Asbestos Ban Passage Imminent
Date:10/4/2007

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Asbestos in the U.S. may be breathing its last gasps, as the Senate today passed the Ban Asbestos in America Act. Passage in the House is expected to be imminent. Championed by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) for the past six years, this legislation would finally ban asbestos, invest federal funding in development of effective treatment for asbestos' most deadly cancer, mesothelioma (meso), and other asbestos-related diseases, and launch a public education campaign. With bipartisan support provided by Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), the bill was approved unanimously by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, chaired by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), on August 2, and passed by the full Senate late this afternoon.

Not coincidentally, The International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma, sponsored by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation), began today in Washington, D.C. One hundred and twenty Meso Foundation advocates from 26 states converged on the Capitol to meet individually with their Senators and Congressional representatives, educate them about the tragic toll of meso, urge them to finally ban asbestos, and most importantly ask Congress to invest the federal research funding necessary to develop effective treatments for meso. The advocates included patients, family members, individuals who had lost a loved one to meso, and a handful of expert meso researchers and clinicians. In comments to the group immediately following the legislation's passage in the Senate, Senator Murray thanked the Meso Foundation for its work, and credited the advocates for their key role in the passage of this historic legislation.

"Today marks the first time this constituency is on the steps of Capitol Hill as an entire community," said Chris Hahn, Executive Director of The Meso Foundation. "We believe the human tragedy of mesothelioma must be addressed urgently."

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SOURCE Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
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