April 1-7 Marks the 20th Annual Global Asbestos Awareness Week — Here’s What to Know

Global Asbestos Awareness Week April 1-April 7

Every year, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) dedicates the first full week of April to Global Asbestos Awareness Week (GAAW). From April 1 to April 7, Simmons Hanly Conroy will join advocates across the world in the fight to ban asbestos.

For 20 years now, the ADAO has dedicated itself to generating much-needed awareness of the dangers of asbestos, preventing exposure to the carcinogen and fighting to ban all use and imports of asbestos in the United States.

This year, GAAW falls just weeks after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a ban on the importation and use of chrysotile asbestos, one of six types of asbestos, in the United States.

Until the 1980s, asbestos was used in a wide range of industries because of its unique temperature resistance, durability and affordability. However, employees who worked with the material began to develop serious illnesses like mesothelioma.

In the U.S. alone, 40,000 innocent people die from asbestos-related diseases every year.

Despite the undisputed scientific evidence about the dangers of asbestos, manufacturers of asbestos-based products continued to hide the dangers and put millions of people at risk of developing life-threatening diseases.

The passing of a chrysotile asbestos ban is a historic moment to celebrate, but there’s still important work to do this Global Asbestos Awareness Week. Learn more about GAAW and how to get involved below.

The Importance of Global Asbestos Awareness Week

After her husband was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2003, ADAO Co-Founder and President Linda Reinstein has led the organization in its fight to ban asbestos and protect many more families from the pain of asbestos-related diseases.

“Like every other person,” said Linda, “I had never heard of mesothelioma, I couldn’t pronounce it, and worse yet, I found that there was no cure.”

When she realized asbestos wasn’t banned yet — despite there being decades of proof of the health risks of exposure — Linda made it her goal to fight for asbestos regulations and spread awareness about the risks.

This year, GAAW will focus on:

  • Banning the mining, manufacturing and use of asbestos around the world
  • Increasing compliance and enforcement of existing asbestos laws and regulations
  • Preventing asbestos exposure
  • Strengthening international partnerships to protect public health

“Global Asbestos Awareness Week is the perfect time to inform Americans and the world about why the EPA’s asbestos rule does not go far enough. We call on Congress to take action and ban asbestos once and for all by passing the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act.”
– Linda Reinstein, ADAO Co-Founder and President

The efforts of this week are meant to protect the millions of people around the world at risk of devastating illnesses from asbestos exposure by advocating for worldwide change.

The Fight for a Full Asbestos Ban

Contrary to popular belief, asbestos is still not completely banned in many countries, including the United States.

Even with the EPA’s efforts to ban ongoing uses of chrysotile asbestos in industries like chlorine manufacturing, five other asbestos fibers remain unregulated. Industries may have up to 12 years to switch to alternatives without asbestos, leaving workers to be exposed for years.

For this reason, the ADAO is continuing to advocate for the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now (ARBAN) Act, which was reintroduced to Congress last year in honor of GAAW.

“We’ve been working, for the last 7 years, on the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act,” Linda explained. “It’s for the hundreds of thousands of Alans. Anyone who has suffered or died from this disease needs to feel part of that bill, and the bill would stop imports and use, which is the first step to mitigating this man-made disaster.”

This bill, if passed, would ban all uses and importation of asbestos no matter the type, and it would protect countless workers and their families against this deadly substance.

While preventing asbestos exposure is crucial in the United States, the importance of involving the entire global community in the movement to ban the deadly carcinogen cannot be underestimated.

In more than 70% of the world, asbestos remains legal for use and importation. As long as there remains demand for asbestos, innocent lives will be put at risk of needless illnesses.

Every voice lifted during this Global Asbestos Awareness Week is critical in making a positive difference. Learn how you can show your support.

Show Your Support During Global Asbestos Awareness Week

Join the global push for asbestos awareness and advocacy this year by supporting GAAW and its important initiatives.

Some ways you can help the efforts during GAAW include:

  • Educating friends and family about the dangers of asbestos, where it can be found and how to avoid exposure
  • Following organizations like the ADAO on social media and interacting with or sharing their posts
  • Listening to stories and offering emotional support to those living with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases
  • Sharing your own stories about how asbestos has impacted you and your family
  • Writing letters to your Members of Congress and local legislators urging them to support a full asbestos ban by passing the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act (ARBAN)

No matter how you choose to get involved, share your thoughts, stories and photos throughout the week using the #2024GAAW tag.

Simmons Hanly Conroy Continues to Help Those Impacted by Asbestos

As a leading national mesothelioma law firm, Simmons Hanly Conroy is proud to join the push for a future free from the devastation asbestos causes and support the ADAO as a platinum sponsor.

Our asbestos attorneys have seen firsthand the pain mesothelioma causes, and we encourage everyone to participate in this year’s Global Asbestos Awareness Week.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, we may be able to help you access mesothelioma compensation to help pay for treatment and other medical expenses.

Since 1999, our lawyers have helped secure over $9.3 billion in settlements and verdicts for families affected by mesothelioma. We’ve helped thousands of clients from all areas of the country seek justice.

Contact us now to learn more about your options after a diagnosis. Simmons Hanly Conroy is here to support your family and hold asbestos companies accountable during GAAW and throughout the year.

Simmons Support Team
Simmons Hanly ConroyWritten by:

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View Sources
  1. ADAO. “Landing Page for #2024GAAW Global Asbestos Awareness Week Asbestos: One Word. One Week. One World.” April 1 – 7, 2024.” Retrieved from: https://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org/newsroom/blogs/landing-page-for-2024gaaw-global-asbestos-awareness-week-asbestos-one-word-one-week-one-world-april-1-7-2024/. Accessed on March 29, 2024.
  2. International Ban Asbestos Secretariat. “Current Asbestos Bans.” Retrieved from: http://www.ibasecretariat.org/alpha_ban_list.php. Accessed on March 29, 2024.
  3. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health “Global Asbestos Disaster.” Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5982039/. Accessed on March 29. 2024.
  4. Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). “Global Health Data Exchange: GDB Results Tool.” Retrieved from: http://ghdx.healthdata.org/gbd-results-tool?params=gbd-api-2019-permalink/e42ad5d4422141c71c08eafd0e78dbf8. Accessed on March 29, 2024.