Asbestos As An Environmental Health Issues By Senator Murray Of Washington State Essay Sample

Asbestos As An Environmental Health Issues By Senator Murray Of Washington State Essay Sample


More that 10,000 Americans die everyday from asbestos complications. Many countries have now passed a ban on the use of substances which contain asbestos but the United States has remained adamant on enforcing that ban (Asbestos, 2009a).  Asbestos is therefore an issue of public health concern but the government has done nothing to deal with the issue. While some individuals in the private sector have taken an initiative to stop marketing products like toys which contain asbestos, others have remained spectators with their commercial interests put before the concern in the public health (Asbestos, 2009b). One bold Americans who have put up a fight on asbestos is Senator Murray of Washington State. Murray has put up her fight against the government and industrial players who have remained silent while the epidemic claim millions of lives.

In this paper, we are going to address the  issue of asbestos in the environment and the effort of Senator Murray to see the end to have the  congress pass the Asbestos law which would seen  a ban on the use of asbestos and increased compensation for the  victims of asbestos.


 Patty Murray never thought that one day she would be a major player in the political scene of the United States but today she is in her third term as senator representing Washington. She is a member of the democratic leadership. Murray has successfully changed her career from a classroom teach to the congress and she is a known advocate for Washington working families. (US Senate, 2008c)

Murray was originally known for her complain on children and education matter but since she joined the senate, Murray has become an  advocate for  on matters concerning transportation, border and port security, healthcare, veteran issues, and the general social and economic development.

The first time women representative of Washington, Murray has brought new voice for Washington in  the senate. She is well known among her colleagues for her down-to-earth determination to have every of her voice listened and considered by others.  The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has regarded her as an “a workhorse, not a show horse” for her constant lobbying behind the scenes in order to have her job completed.  As a daughter to the daughter of the disabled World War II veteran, Murray has been known for her constant lobbying for the right of 670,000 veterans and others throughout the country.

Although she has brought many bills to the floor of the senate, one of her most applauded work is her constant fight to have the senate pass the asbestos bill. She has been lobbying for intense support from the public and from her senate member in order to have the congress pass the asbestos bill. (US Senate, 2008c)


Murray asbestos bill has been based on the effects of asbestos on the wider population. As a part of her environmental campaign, Senator Murray has worked hand in hand with the environmental working group to educate the public and reveal the industrial conspiracy on the dangers posed by the continued use of asbestos.

Senator Murray’s legislations which have been brought to the floor of 107th congress have called for further studies in order to determine the commercial products which have asbestos. It has also called for increased funding for patients who have been diagnosed with asbestos related complication and establishment of a national Mesothelioma registry which would assist the public health professional in tracking the disease.

While commenting on the bill, Senator Murray argued that’

“It is unconscionable that so many innocent victims in our state have died because they were exposed to a product that they were told was safe. But it is even more disturbing that our government continues to allow asbestos to be imported into this country and used in everyday products today. While more than 30 other countries have banned asbestos and protected their citizens, the United States still has not. The time for Congress to ban asbestos is long overdue. Until we take the steps to ban this deadly substance, we will continue to put innocent lives at risk” (US Senate, 2008a).

According to Senator Murray, United States government has lagged behind in protecting its citizens from the deadly effect of the Asbestos. She argued that while more than 30 countries have recognized the public health threat posed by Asbestos, United States has lagged in banning the asbestos to protect the health of its citizens.

She is particularly concerned with the high level of conspiracy between the industrial players to hide from the public the dangerous effects of asbestos. The innocent public has suffered a lot because they were exposed to dangerous effect of a substance that they are not aware whether it is safe or not.   More disturbing has been the fact that  the government ahs allowed asbestos to be imported in the country  with full knowledge of the adverse effects which are associated with it. (US Senate, 2008b)

She comments that the ban on asbestos is long overdue and it is time the government take measures to protect the public by banning asbestos.  Unless the government takes up steps and ban the use of asbestos, Murray argue that the innocent lives will continue to be lost while industrial players reap profit from their operations.


Asbestos bill has a number of subtitles which are aimed at introducing the basic concepts and cases related to asbestos and   offer solutions which should be implemented in order to deal with the issue.   The first part is a short title which recognizes that Act can be referred to as Bruce Vento Ban Asbestos and prevents Mesothelioma Act of 2007. There is also finding subtitles which recognize the case of those who have died from asbestos related complications. The next subtitle recognizes asbestos containing products. The following are the main subtitles of the bill. (The library of Congress, 2009)

Subtitle A – General provisions

This subtitle contains definition, national instate for occupational safety and health studies, public education program, definition of distribute in commerce, and prohibition of asbestos containing materials.

Subtitle B – Asbestos containing products

This section defines all the materials which may contain asbestos

Subtitle C – Prohibition on Asbestos containing materials

This subtitle contains important sections which deal with importation of asbestos containing materials. Section a (2) prohibits importation of asbestos containing materials two years from the enactment. This subtitle also contain a section on dumping of asbestos materials


The case on asbestos is one of the most important cases which can explain our real nature of capitalism. The findings on the dangers exposed to the public through continued use of asbestos are a clear indication of the industrial conspiracy to hide from the public the dangerous effects of asbestos while they maximize their profit. It also illustrates lack of concern by the government especially on an issue like this which affects many people. (Asbestos, 2009b; McDonald, 1993) There are no reasons why 10,000 Americans have been losing their life every year due in order to serve the interest of few businessmen who are out to make maximum profit by risking the life of the public.  In deed, this is a true nature of American capitalism where there is more focus on maximizing profits at the expense of the public. (Rohl, 2002; Dodson et al., 1994)

Asbestos bill is one of the most important pro-public health bills that have been passed on this country. This bill is important for different reasons. First, it is in the interest of the general public which may not have powers to recognize the dangers which are associated with asbestos. Second, the bill   lays down a structure for empowering the public in order to have knowledge regarding the adverse effect of asbestos. Third, the bill bans importation of asbestos related products which protects the public from further effects of asbestos. Senator Murray should therefore be applauded for having pushed the passing of the bill and we can now recognize her real servant hood to the Americans.


Asbestos is one of the dangerous materials which pose a great danger to public health. There are more than 10,000 Americans who lose their lives everyday from asbestos related complications. Senator Murray, who is the first woman senator in Washington and now in her third term, has consistently pushed the senate to pass the asbestos bill. This bill contain different subtitles which  offers enough knowledge to public regarding the dangers of asbestos, recognition of asbestos contain products and ban  on importation of asbestos related products. The asbestos bill is one of the most important legislations to be passed by the senate which protects the public from adverse effect from the products they use everyday.


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Dodson, R., Greenberg, D., Williams, G., Corn, J., O’Sullivan, F., & Hurst, A.

 (1994). Asbestos Content in Lungs of Occupationally and Nonoccupationally Exposed Individuals. JAMA 252: 68-71.

McDonald, C. (1993) Mesothelioma: Is There a Background? European Respiratory Review, Vol. 3: 71-73

Rohl, L.  (2002). Characterization and identification of asbestos materials in human tissues. Pergamon  Press, New York

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US  Senate (2008c). About Patty. Retrieved 13th December 2008 from