The White Lung Association stands in opposition to the Specter Bill (S.852)
This legislation intends to substitute a Fund for the Constitutionally protected legal rights now enjoyed by citizens of the United States. We oppose this legislation, a crude and mean spirited piece, because it undermines the health and safety of all citizens and particularly discriminates against those with asbestos related diseases.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets the asbestos fiber exposure limit in US worksites at a maximum of approximately 100,000 fibers an hour. The worker is to be protected after exposure exceeds this amount. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also concedes that some workers will get sick and die working at conditions below 100,000 fibers per hour. The Specter Bill would standardize a group of workers who get disease but would be excluded from compensation or any legal rights. Millions could be excluded from compensation.
When the Specter Bill standardizes a group of workers who can be exposed, get disease and yet have no legal recourse, the Bill is actually laying the ground work for the return of asbestos use.
There are over 30 countries, most of Europe, who have joined in the global Ban of Asbestos. The Specter Bill moves the United States away from the Ban and toward more asbestos use within our borders. Specter provides a safe zone for asbestos use.
The Specter Bill ignores the vast network of medical and corporate personalities and businesses who hid the dangers of asbestos use. A public health epidemic was created and the cause is ignored by this legislation. All elements of corporate wrong doing are to be eliminated as common law rights, which reveal them to the public, are taken away. The Specter Bill turns truth upside down by making sick worker fraud the only fraud discussed.
By eliminating most disease from environmental or non-occupational exposure as disease that can not be compensated, the Specter Bill could encourage the spread of asbestos waste. This legislation will eliminate legal recourse for those people who are exposed to asbestos dumps, asbestos exposure from buildings and processed asbestos.
The Specter Bill puts the person who is sick from asbestos in front of an Administrator chosen by President Bush. This administrator can 1) Make all the Rules, 2) Judge the sick person fraudulent, 3) Fine the sick person $10,000 for fraud, 4) Change the amount that was agreed to pay the sick person, 5) Allow companies to quit paying claims, 6) Stretch out the payments to sick persons over several years, 7) Cancel payments to sick persons.