Take an Active Role in Global Asbestos Awareness Week This Year

When you hear the word asbestos, what do you think? Hazard? Dangerous? Toxin? All of these words are accurate, however there’s another word that should be crossing your mind – preventable.

Hear asbestos, think prevention – that’s the theme of this year’s Global Asbestos Awareness Week. Set to take place April 1-7, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) dedicates this time to increasing not just asbestos awareness, but preventing exposure. Since 2004, ADAO has used Global Asbestos Awareness Week to work with the U.S. Senate to unanimously pass 12 Asbestos Awareness Week Resolutions and secure five U.S. Surgeon General asbestos warnings, but there is still more work to be done across the globe.

World asbestos production continues at a steady pace. The U.S. Geological Survey Minerals Yearbook from 2015 stated that “world production of asbestos fiber in 2015 was estimated to be 2.03 Mt, unchanged from that of 2014.” Russia, China, Brazil and Kazakhstan accounted for the majority of the global asbestos production.

2017 is a crucial year for this important work because despite worldwide asbestos production, there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. The only cure for mesothelioma – and the only guaranteed way to prevent it – is prevention of asbestos exposure. Scientific and medical research to find a cure and advanced treatment methods are ongoing, but knowledge regarding asbestos exposure prevention is the most powerful tool of all. Global Asbestos Awareness Week is designed to provide that knowledge to people across the world.

This year’s Global Asbestos Awareness Week will focus on:

  1. Banning the mining, manufacturing and use of asbestos
  2. Preventing asbestos exposure through education and awareness
  3. Increasing compliance and enforcement of existing laws and regulations

Each day will feature an ambassador with some type of connection to asbestos exposure or asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma. The ambassador schedule includes:

  • Day One: “I Will Not Die in Vain” by Lou Williams, Australia
  • Day Two: “I Fight on for All our Meso Warriors Past, Present and Future” by Mavis Nye, UK
  • Day Three: “We Live Each Day with Passion and Fun” by John Panza, Ohio
  • Day Four: “The Value of My Life in Dollars and Tears” by Heather Von St. James, Minnesota
  • Day Five: “Staying Positive” by Mike Mattmuller, Maryland
  • Day Six: “Someone Pulled the Emergency Brake” by Sara Babin, France
  • Day Seven: “Love is Stronger than Cancer” by Daniel Pineda, Colombia

How You Can Make a Difference This Year

There are a few things you can do to participate in the 2017 Global Asbestos Awareness Week on April 1-7, including:

Educate yourself and others

Read and share one of ADAO’s recent blog posts or join the conversation on ADAO’s or Simmons Hanly Conroy’s social media networks.

Reach out to your State Representative

No matter where you live, you can make a difference by contacting your U.S. Representative and urging them to ban asbestos or to support asbestos research programs. Find your local representative here.

Donate to the cause

Funds raised for asbestos awareness contribute to much-needed asbestos disease research. Your donation can help lead efforts to find a cure for devastating diseases like mesothelioma. Both ADAO and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation accept donations and put the funds towards research, awareness initiatives and support events for victims.

Learn more about Global Asbestos Awareness Week

One final way you can get involved is to learn more about the upcoming events for Global Asbestos Awareness Week, including detailed information about the daily ambassadors and their stories. Find more information here.