Senate Resolution Declares a New “National Asbestos Awareness Week”

At the beginning of March, I was excited to pass along the news that the U.S. Senate planned to introduce a resolution to declare the first week of April as “National Asbestos Awareness Week.” Now, less than a month later, I’m pleased to say that this resolution has passed, providing all those who fight for the rights of mesothelioma patients a new opportunity to raise awareness about this devastating disease.

In addition to designating National Asbestos Awareness Week, Senate Resolution 427 issues a call to the Surgeon General about the importance of educating the public about the dangers of asbestos. The resolution outlines these dangers, noting that thousands of Americans die from asbestos-related diseases every year.

The resolution also highlights the fact that, despite this high toll in human life, asbestos-exposure continues to be a threat to workers and our families. As the resolution notes, although the United States has reduced its use of asbestos, our industries have continued to consume 2,000 tons of the mineral in certain products. By outlining these dangers to the highest levels of government, the resolution will undoubtedly put a spotlight on this threat to the health of U.S. workers.

I’d like to thank the senators who helped bring this resolution to the floor, including Max Baucus (D-MT), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Harry Reid (D-NV), and Jon Tester (D-MT). Praise also goes to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), which has fought tirelessly for the ban of asbestos. ADAO will hold its Sixth Annual International Asbestos Conference on April 10, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois.