“Why is asbestos bad?”
The answer to this basic question may seem obvious to some of us, especially those who have been directly impacted by mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases. But would you believe this phrase is one of the fastest-rising search terms on Google (related to the term “asbestos”) at the moment?
That’s not all. The phrase “what is asbestos” is the third most popular search phrase related to the word “asbestos”, according to Google Trends.
Those of us in the asbestos community may have a deep understanding of the toxin already, but so many people outside our community do not. And that’s what the 2018 Global Asbestos Awareness Week (April 1-7) is here to change, by bringing more public awareness about asbestos – including what it is and why it’s dangerous.
We know for a fact that approximately 194,000 people around the world die from asbestos-caused diseases every year, equaling more than 500 deaths per day, according to a study published in the Lancet Medical Journal in 2013.
New this year, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization’s (ADAO) campaign for Asbestos Awareness Week is translated into five additional languages (beyond English) – Russian, Hindi, Portuguese, French and Spanish – so awareness efforts can reach more people across the globe.
“While we push the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to finally deliver an asbestos ban, having Congress recognize Asbestos Awareness Week is a great way to shine a spotlight on lifesaving prevention strategies,” said ADAO in a recent Facebook post.
This year’s awareness week focuses on the keywords resilience and cooperation, and will incorporate the “One Word, One Week, One World” theme with the following goals:
- Prohibit the mining, manufacturing, and use of asbestos
- Prevent exposure to asbestos
- Promote respect and enforcement of existing laws and regulations
- Strengthen international partners
During Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2018, a public service announcement (PSA) titled “The Killer You Do Not See” will air in the six languages mentioned above.
In addition to this, each day will feature educational resources from leading organizations, guest blogs, videos and asbestos victims’ stories. On April 7, the week will end with an online, worldwide candlelight vigil dedicated to all asbestos victims.
Lastly, ADAO will hold its 14th Annual International Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Conference “Where Knowledge and Action Unite,” April 13-15, 2018 at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Marriott in Arlington, VA, just outside of Washington, D.C. Global experts will speak on the latest advancements in asbestos disease prevention, treatment for mesothelioma and other asbestos-caused diseases, and global asbestos ban advocacy.
Stay Tuned for How You Can Help
On one hand, it’s good to see more people searching for answers related to asbestos questions. On the other, it goes to show that many people still don’t understand asbestos. That’s where you can help. All of us, through organizations like ADAO and the Global Asbestos Awareness Week, can spread education and information on asbestos across the Web and the world, by sharing with those around us.
We’ll keep you updated on some ideas for getting involved in Global Asbestos Awareness Week this year. In the meantime, learn more about Global Asbestos Awareness Week here.