Why You Should Care About The READ Act
The READ Act is being proposed by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and will seek to update Ronald Reagan’s Asbestos Information Act of 1988.
At this year’s Environmental Working Group (EWG) Senate Briefing entitled “Asbestos: Still Legal. Still Everywhere.” in Washington, D.C., a promising new bill was introduced by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). If passed, this bill will require all businesses affected by The Asbestos Information Act of 1988 to resubmit their information to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
A little background history on this Act. In 1988 President Ronald Reagan signed the Asbestos Information Act (AIA) into law. This Act required companies producing materials containing asbestos to report their information to the EPA. The downfall to this Act was that it only included a one-time reporting requirement. Since it pre-dated the Internet, this information was filed in the Federal Register and has never been easily accessible to the average American.
Senator Durbin, along with many other Senators and organizations, believe this information should be public knowledge and stored in a digital database. He is introducing the Reducing Exposure to Asbestos Database (READ) Act, which would modernize the requirements of the Asbestos Information Act.
Why should you care? Well, the passage of the READ Act would ensure all Americans could easily access up-to-date information about the identities and known locations of asbestos-containing products and materials. This Act would require that all companies known to manufacture, import or handle asbestos-containing products to annually report information to the EPA about their products and any public location where these products have been present. This information would be saved to an online database available to anyone with internet access.