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"I Lost My Lung to Asbestos. I Fear What Trump Will do to America's Health"

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"I Lost My Lung to Asbestos. I Fear What Trump Will do to America's Health"

At the ripe age of 36, Heather Von St. James was diagnosed with mesothelioma and told she had about 15 months to live. This is a terrifying prognosis for anyone, let alone the mother of a three-month-old baby. Fortunately, Heather beat the odds and is an 11-year survivor. She has devoted her life to raising awareness of the dangers of asbestos and fighting for a complete ban in the U.S. Heather now fears that, under the current president, all her hard work may be for naught.

In an article appearing in the June 1, 2017 edition of The Guardian, the same day that President Trump announced the US withdrawal from the Paris Climate accord, Heather expresses her fears that the president’s proposed budget cuts and slashing of regulations will weaken the ability of watchdogs to protect us from harmful toxins, such as asbestos.

Donald Trump has long-argued that the anti-asbestos movement is a hoax, claiming in his 1997 book, The Art of the Comeback, that asbestos is “100% safe” and has gotten "a bad rap.” He even appeared before a Senate committee in 2005 petitioning for restrictions to be removed.

Asbestos is scientifically proven to cause serious respiratory illness, including mesothelioma. Restrictions against its use were enacted to protect workers and the public at large from the known dangers of asbestos. As mesothelioma deaths continue to rise, Heather has new fears for what the future holds not only for her daughter, but the countless American families whose lives have been destroyed by asbestos.

Read Heather’s essay here:

I lost my lung to asbestos. I fear what Trump will do to America's health