When Paul Zygielbaum heard that the Ban Asbestos in America Act unanimously passed in the U.S. Senate in 2007, he and victims all over the country began to celebrate. When those same victims, their families, and other advocates of the bill read the fine print, they were horrified.
The bill ended up being a “betrayal” to Zygielbaum, and others. A watered-down version was passed through the senate, with small changes making big differences in the end. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, in particular, a one-word change – from asbestos-containing “product” to asbestos-containing “material” – gutted the proposed ban. It is believed that industry lobbyist were responsible for the amendments that made it through in the bill.
Diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2003, Paul Zygielbaum continues to fight for the rights of asbestos victims today. Working alongside Senators Patty Murray and Barbara Boxer, Zygielbaum is “looking forward to seeing asbestos banned.” A Santa Rosa, California resident and twelve-year mesothelioma warrior, “he’s fighting for medical research into new treatments; for the rights of patients, victims and their families; and to make asbestos illegal.”
Mesothelioma is a fatal form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Asbestos a naturally-occurring mineral found within our earth. Fibers from asbestos are present in many older homes, schools, and commercial buildings in America, putting hundreds of thousands of individuals at risk for exposure every day. If you are one of the many who would like to see asbestos banned in America, share your story with us in a comment below. Together, we can make a difference.