Senator Patty Murray of Washington has introduced legislation that would essentially ban asbestos in the United States by 2005. The bill, S 2641, would revisit the EPA attempt back in 1989 to ban the substance, according to the American Industrial Hygiene Association.

EPA's attempt was overturned by a Court of Appeals in 1991. While new uses of asbestos were banned, existing ones were not. This legislation would ban all future uses of asbestos.

AIHA says this legislation will be controversial if there is time for debate. Time is running out on Capitol Hill for action this year, but Senator Murray probably will hold hearings on the issue and will re-introduce the legislation early next year.