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New Law Requires Asbestos Labeling

Caution_blank.pngThis product contains ASBESTOS which is known to cause cancer and lung disease. Avoid creating dust. Intentionally removing or tampering with this label is a violation of state law.

That is the minimum that must be stated in the warning label that must be applied to ALL asbestos containing building materials.

Earlier this month, legislators in Washington State House of Representatives passed a law requiring that all products containing asbestos meant to be sold in the United States must be clearly labeled.

Additionally, a bill proposed by Washington State Senators Biling, Ranker, Kohl-Welles, and Kline was also passed 65 – 28. The bill requires that:

A label must be placed in a prominent location adjacent to the product name or description on the exterior of the wrapping and packaging in which the asbestos-containing building material is placed for storage, shipment, and sale.

Effective January 1, 2014, the appropriate labels must be affixed to the designated products. Failure to comply will, at first, likely only result in a warning and the chance to rectify the problem. Subsequent infractions may result in up to a $10,000 .00 fine.

Many consumers are unaware that asbestos containing products are still a major part of the construction industry. Although asbestos is no longer mined in the United States, asbestos is imported, sold and widely used. Asbestos can be found in nearly 3,000 products such as roofing shingles, tiles and siding, spackles and joint compounds, plaster, flooring and insulation…and many more.

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals that, when made airborne and then inhaled, become toxic. Warning the consumer and any subsequent users of the potential hazards should not only be the law…It should be considered common sense. Every year tens of thousands of people are afflicted with and die from asbestos related diseases. These include (but are not limited to) malignancies of the respiratory and digestive systems as well as non-malignant diseases. The respiratory system malignancies include cancers of the throat (laryngeal & pharyngeal), the lung, and mesothelioma. Malignancies of the digestive system include cancers of the stomach and colon. Non-malignant asbestos related conditions include asbestosis and pleural disease. By 2029, approximately a half million asbestos related deaths (preventable deaths) are anticipated in the United States alone.

medical reference books.jpgREFERENCES:

SENATE BILL 5458 – 63rd Legislature

Asbestos labeling passes House

The Colombian: Washington Senate approves asbestos-labeling legislation
MCCLATCHY: Asbestos’ U.S. legacy may be half-million deaths