Asbestos Disease and Awareness Organization (ADAO) Launches Virtual Day of Action

#BanAsbestos to Save Lives

On March 23, 2023, the Asbestos Disease and Awareness Organization (ADAO) — the largest national nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing asbestos exposure — launches its inaugural Virtual Day of Asbestos Awareness and #BanAsbestos Action across various popular social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok and Twitter.

“We are thrilled to join together with other advocates around the world through our first-ever Virtual Day of Action,” shares Linda Reinstein, president, chief executive officer and co-founder of ADAO, whose late husband, Alan Reinstein, died of mesothelioma in 2006. “Our goal has always been to protect individuals, families and communities from the dangers of asbestos — and we believe events like this will ultimately lead to that goal.”

To participate, you can send a letter to Congress, urging them to ban asbestos and reintroduce the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now (ARBAN) Act.

Launching two weeks prior to Global Asbestos Awareness Week, which is celebrated from April 1 to April 7, this first-of-its-kind event aims to educate the public about the evidence-based dangers of asbestos exposure, analyze misconceptions about its usage in commercial products and generate support for legislators to ban the toxic substance entirely.

During the virtual event, participants are encouraged to share personal stories about how asbestos has affected their lives, while ADAO will promote the latest news coverage on asbestos regulation and legislation.

ADAO leadership, asbestos warriors, medical experts, seasoned mesothelioma attorneys and global public health advocates will unite to provide information on the dangers of asbestos exposure and best practices for prevention.

Submit a Letter to Congress

Asbestos and Mesothelioma

Although nearly 70 countries have already banned the use of asbestos, the United States is not yet included in this list. As a result of continued exposure to asbestos-based products, thousands of Americans currently suffer from asbestos-related diseases each year — including mesothelioma, a rare and fatal form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

Originally deemed a miracle product because of its soundproof and fireproof properties, asbestos was a durable, low-cost and lightweight mineral that was typically used in automotive parts, construction materials, talcum and baby powder, and tiles.

Manufacturers of asbestos-laced products also provided their dangerous materials to the U.S. military, putting millions of veterans and their families at risk of developing mesothelioma.

March 2023 Chrysotile Asbestos Prohibition Proposal

On March 17, 2023, the United States government’s Federal Register released a proposed rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban one type of asbestos fibers for specific uses. The proposal’s next steps include seeking related data-driven comments from the public by April 17, 2023.

“While this new proposal will help raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos, a full ban is needed in order to truly protect people from asbestos-related diseases,” says Reinstein. “ADAO will continue to partner with other advocates, organizations, policymakers, and the public to call for a full asbestos ban in the United States.

Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act

The Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act (ARBAN) is the leading inspiration behind the Virtual Day of Asbestos Awareness and #BanAsbestos Action.

Participants are urged to contact their Members of Congress to support this legislation and sign a petition on the nonprofit website to call for a ban on asbestos in the United States.

Despite the serious health risks posed by asbestos exposure, the toxic substance continues to be imported and used in a variety of capacities across the country. As a result, more than 40,000 Americans die each year from preventable asbestos-related illnesses. With bipartisan support, ARBAN is the most comprehensive ban-asbestos bill introduced in Congress during the past 30 years.

ADAO has continually partnered with government agencies and private stakeholders to end the importation and use of asbestos. The organization believes that passing ARBAN is the only way to fully protect public health. This special day will serve as a launchpad to raise awareness and support legislation banning asbestos, ensuring that elected officials are aware of the issues and urged to take action.

Submit a Letter to Congress

Simmons Hanly Conroy Sponsors ADAO

As a longtime supporter of the nonprofit organization’s fight against asbestos, Simmons Hanly Conroy is the longest consecutive platinum sponsor of the annual ADAO International Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Conference, which shines a much-needed spotlight on the threat of asbestos and the pain and loss it has caused communities across the globe.

Over the past decade, the firm has donated a cumulative total of more than $1 million to ADAO.

Additionally, the firm donates proceeds from its annual Miles for Meso 5K Run and 3K Fun Run & Walk, hosted annually during the third week of September to coincide with National Mesothelioma Awareness Day on September 26.

Between the event’s inception in 2009 and its most recent celebration in 2022, Miles for Meso has generated nearly $900,000 in donated contributions.

Send a letter to Congress, urging them to ban asbestos and reintroduce the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now (ARBAN) Act.

Firm Clients Advocate for Asbestos Bans

As a national mesothelioma law firm fighting on behalf of individuals and families impacted by this devastating illness, many clients of Simmons Hanly Conroy have spoken publicly about their stance on a national asbestos ban.

Julie Gundlach: ADAO Ambassador

“The more people know asbestos is not banned, the more people get angry. And when people know, they feel that outrage,” explains Julie Gundlach, a 17-year mesothelioma survivor who previously partnered with Simmons Hanly Conroy in pursuit of justice. “I take the frustration and the anger, and I turn it into advocacy and action, because that is all I know how to do.”

Since learning about her mesothelioma diagnosis in 2006 at age 35, Julie has traveled regularly to Washington, D.C. to meet with politicians and discuss the dangers of asbestos products. She has also served as an ADAO ambassador to support the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2019 introduced in Congress.

“The asbestos industry does not want you to know that it is still in products,” she says. “They don’t want those products labeled, because they want to keep everyone ignorant of where it is so they can absolve themselves of responsibility.”

Mike Mattmuller: ADAO Eastern Co-Regional Director

Mike Mattmuller, who passed away from mesothelioma in April 2020 at the age of 38, actively advocated for a national asbestos ban.

Following his diagnosis, Mike served as the ADAO Eastern Co-Regional Director and was an honoree and speaker at the organization’s 2017 International Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Conference.

Continually sharing his story at congressional staff briefings, Mike was a Global Asbestos Awareness Week ambassador from 2014 to 2020. He was also a recipient of the prestigious Alan Reinstein Award for his commitment to asbestos and mesothelioma education, advocacy and personal support.

Simmons Support Team
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