Bad Fellas Bad Fellas

" If you have enjoyed a good life while working with asbestos products why not die from it "Asbestos industry executive, 1966

Stars and Co-Stars
Stars and Co-Stars
Stars and Co-Stars Critics Corner

American Veterans (AMVETS), Assoc. of the United States Navy and the Military Order of the Purple Heart:

"Forcing veterans to publicize their work histories, medical conditions, social security numbers, and information about their children and families is an offensive invasion of privacy to the men and women who have honorably served, and it does nothing to prevent future asbestos exposures and deaths."

International Association of Fire Fighters, the National Education Association, AFSCME and the AFL-CIO:

"Victims of asbestos exposure, including first responders and teachers, among many other dedicated public employees, are entitled to compensation from the companies that caused their illnesses. Both H.R. 526 and S. 357, however, would give companies an unfair advantage over asbestos victims seeking justice for their injuries — speciously touted as a "transparency bill," the measure actually is designed to help the asbestos industry avoid paying victims through delay tactics and waste of scarce trust resources set aside for victims. To add insult to injury, H.R. 526 and S. 357 also would expose those same victims to unwanted invasions of privacy and possibly identity theft. Our nation’s first responders, teachers and public employees dying of asbestos diseases deserve more respect and better treatment from Congress."

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization:

"…the FACT Act grants asbestos companies the right to require from the trusts any information they choose, at any time, and for practically any reason. The resulting delay in compensation will gravely impact patients’ pursuit of medical care, negatively affects all victims of asbestos exposure, and effectively limits the justice they deserve."



Charles Koch, CEO, Koch Industries

Tom Donohue, CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

David Koch, Executive VP, Koch Industries

Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), author, H.R. 526

Guest Starring

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), author, S. 357

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Chair, House Judiciary Committee

Lisa Nelson, CEO, ALEC

Lisa Rickard, President, U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform

David Cote, Chairman and CEO, Honeywell

"Produced" by the U.S. Chamber, ALEC, Koch Industries and Honeywell

An Asbestos Industry Film

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This website and its content was created by EWG Action Fund.  It is a parody of the 1990 Warner Bros. film, Goodfellas.  The organizations, corporations and individuals portrayed on the site had no part in the production of this project. The statements contained herein reflect the opinions of EWG Action Fund and not necessarily the parties portrayed on the site unless otherwise cited. 

EWG Action Fund has launched a national campaign to increase public awareness about the pervasiveness of asbestos, which is still lethal and legal in the U.S. As EWG Action Fund’s research shows, asbestos is still imported and used throughout the country — yet Americans have little way to know where they may encounter this deadly substance. EWG Action Fund advocates reform of the broken federal toxics laws to protect people from dangers such as asbestos. It defends Americans’ right to know where they might be exposed to toxic substances so that they can take steps to guard themselves and their families.

Bad Fellas

Charles and David Koch

Name: Charles and David Koch

Hometown: Wichita, Kansas

Occupation: CEO and Executive VP, Koch Industries; financiers of anti-worker, anti-environment and anti-health agenda; multi-billionaires

Former Occupation(s): Millionaires

Summary: The Koch Brothers are arguably the leading figures behind the FACT Act. The Koch Industries subsidiary Georgia Pacific is responsible for over $1 billion in asbestos-related liability. These repeat offenders continue to back companies responsible for American’s asbestos-related diseases and line lawmakers’ pockets with cash in an attempt to delay or deny justice for asbestos victims.


Bad Fellas

Tom J. Donohue

Name: Tom J. Donohue

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Occupation: CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; mega lobbyist

Former Occupation(s): President and CEO, American Trucking Association; U.S. Deputy Assistant Postmaster General

Summary: Since 1997, Tom Donohue has grown the U.S. Chamber of Commerce into one of the biggest and most influential special-interest lobbying groups in the U.S., with total lobbying expenditures of $124 million in 2014.  Under Donohue’s leadership, the Chamber allows member companies to make anonymous donations that the Chamber then uses for lobbying.


Bad Fellas

Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas)

Name: Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas)

Hometown: Corpus Christi, Texas

Occupation: Member, U.S. House of Representatives from Texas’s 27th District; asbestos industry puppet.

Former Occupation(s): “Shockjock” talk radio host; lawyer; owner of X-rated Internet domain names.

Summary: Rep. Farenthold is probably best known for his alleged workplace harassment and his choice of pajamas as well as a career of backing legislation aimed at deterring nonexistent fraud.  The FACT Act is the most recent example of Rep. Farenthold’s willingness to put industry interests first.  Despite opposition form asbestos victims, teachers, first responders and veterans, Rep. Farenthold continues to push Big Asbestos’s agenda in Congress.


Bad Fellas

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)

Name: Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)

Hometown: Mesa, Arizona

Occupation: Junior U.S. Senator from Arizona

Former Occupation(s): U.S. House of Representatives

Summary: Senator Flake was elected to the Senate in 2012 after 12 years in the U.S. House of Representatives for Arizona’s 1st district. He serves on four committees, including the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary.


Bad Fellas

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.)

Name: Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.)

Hometown: Roanoke, Virginia

Occupation: Member, U.S. House of Representatives; Chairman, House Judiciary Committee

Former Occupation(s): Lawyer

Summary: Rep. Goodlatte has served in the U.S. House of Representatives for Virginia’s 6th district for over 35 years and is the Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary.


Bad Fellas

Lisa B. Nelson

Name: Lisa B. Nelson

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Occupation: CEO, American Legislative Exchange Council

Former Occupation(s): Director of Global Government Relations, Visa; Senior VP for External Relations, AOL Time Warner; Public Affairs Liaison to former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich

Summary: As CEO of the anti-asbestos victim bill mill ALEC, Nelson works to advance corporate interests and rewrite state laws at the public’s expense. ALEC has been busy working to enact state-level versions of the FACT Act across America. Under Nelson’s leadership, ALEC continues to operate in the shadows and draft bills for lawmakers willing to delay and deny compensation for victims of asbestos-related disease under the guise of greater "transparency."


Bad Fellas

Lisa A. Rickard

Name: Lisa A. Rickard

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Occupation: President, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform; Executive Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Former Occupation(s): Vice President of Federal and State Government Affairs, Dow Chemical Company

Summary: Ms. Rickard is the former VP of Federal and State Government Affairs for Dow Chemical Company, which in 2002 disclosed having more than $230 million in asbestos liability.  The Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform has made it a priority to advance the asbestos industry’s agenda to deny justice to victims and their families.  The Institute spent millions between 2011 and 2015 lobbying on the FACT Act and other pro-industry legislation.  If the Institute had its way, Americans would have a much harder time seeking redress from corporations that have harmed them.


Bad Fellas

David Cote

Name: David Cote

Hometown: Morristown, New Jersey

Occupation: CEO, Honeywell International

Former Occupation(s): President and CEO, GE Appliances; Board Member, JPMorgan Chase

Summary: Honeywell is one of the largest corporate players in the fight to delay and deny justice to asbestos victims. The Fortune 100 company works to influence Congress to pass legislation that would harm asbestos victims, despite the company’s legacy of exposing Americans to asbestos.


Bad Fellas

About the so-called FACT Act, H.R. 526 and S. 357

Bad Fellas

Industry hid dangers of asbestos from workers and the public for decades

We’ve known asbestos kills for a long time. Physicians began to link asbestos exposure and respiratory disease as early as 1900. By the 1950s, internal documents from asbestos corporations show industry executives clearly knew about the link between asbestos and mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other diseases. According to a 1958 memo from National Gypsum, “…just as certain as death and taxes is the fact that if you inhale asbestos dust you get asbestosis.”

Despite the dangers, the asbestos industry continued using the substance with little regard to its deadly public health impacts. As a 1966 internal memo from the Director of Purchasing for Bendix Corporation, later acquired by Honeywell, callously asserted, “…if you enjoyed a good life while working with asbestos products why not die from it.”

As public concern grew over the continued use of asbestos, the asbestos industry actively worked to downplay the danger of asbestos exposure and its potential to cause cancer.  Big Asbestos even discussed the best tactics for controlling the flow of information regarding the link between asbestos exposure and disease in the media.

When evasion tactics didn’t work, the asbestos industry tried to cover up the danger of asbestos exposure. As a result, workers were left unaware that the asbestos they handled on the job could kill them. Today, asbestos-related diseases and cancers continue to kill as many as 15,000 Americans each year. Industry-backed legislation, such as the so-called FACT Act (H.R. 526), would make it harder for victims to seek compensation for their injuries.