The beginning of April marks the start of Global Asbestos Awareness Week (GAAW). Organized by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), the asbestos and mesothelioma community uses the week to educate people about the fact that asbestos is a deadly human carcinogen that is still not banned in the United States and continues to claim lives of thousands of people globally.
As part of GAAW, the U.S. Senate designed the same timeframe – April 1-7 – as National Asbestos Awareness Week earlier this month.
“We are extremely pleased to have bipartisan support for the 12th ‘National Asbestos Awareness Week’ Resolution as we continue our concerted efforts to educate the public on the dangers,” said ADAO President and Co-Founder Linda Reinstein.
We applaud the senators, especially Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey, and Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, for their continued support in recognizing this important issue. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 107,000 people are killed by asbestos-related diseases each year. In America, up to 15,000 people die annually from asbestos-related diseases.
The only way the use of asbestos can be stopped is by educating and raising awareness. GAAW aims to teach people about the negative impact the mineral has on day-to-day life. Starting on April 1, and concluding on April 7, ADAO and other contributors will share stories and spread the word about asbestos exposure prevention. The week will end with the 12th Annual International Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Conference, where experts, victims, lawmakers and more unite to speak about education, advocacy and awareness.
“It is exciting to see the global embrace and collaboration for Global Asbestos Awareness Week,” Reinstein said. “Since the awareness campaign vegan over a decade ago, ADAO, along with our partners, have dedicated over 60 days specifically to asbestos awareness. Each day, an estimated 300 people die from asbestos-caused diseases. It is unconscionable that last year Russia, China, Brazil, and Kazakhstan continues to mine 2 million metric tons of asbestos to be used primarily in asbestos-cement products. While promising research continues, prevention remains the only cure. Millions of tons of asbestos remain in homes, schools, and workplaces. ADAO joins the global community in calling for a ban in the United States and around the world. Enough is enough.”
Day one of GAAW highlights the 2016 Senate resolution and a statement from the U.S. Surgeon General regarding the health dangers of asbestos exposure. The day will also feature the story of Reinstein’s husband, Alan, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2003 and passed away in 2006.
Simmons Hanly Conroy is proud to be a platinum sponsor for this year’s conference and day one of GAAW.
How You Can Get Involved
Experts are not the only ones who can make a difference in the fight to ban asbestos use. There are many ways you can get involved in your own community to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure.
Spread the Word
Take time to learn about asbestos and the diseases it causes and spread the word. Sharing facts and information with your family, friends and co-workers builds awareness throughout communities. One simple way to spread the word is through social media. Visit ADAO and Simmons Hanly Conroy’s Facebook pages to share asbestos facts with your followers.
Contact Your State Representative
During Global Asbestos Awareness Week, write a letter to your U.S. Representative urging them to ban asbestos or support research programs. Getting state representatives involved helps raise awareness on a governmental level. You can find your representative’s contact information on your state’s website or by clicking here.
In addition to sending a letter, consider signing an open petition from ADAO. Current petitions can be found here.
Donate to the Cause
Support raising awareness and asbestos disease research by donating to an organizations which advocates for asbestos-related victims. Organizations such as ADAO and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) accept donations, which are used to fund research, conferences to raise awareness, support events for victims and more.
To keep up with the latest news during Global Asbestos Awareness Week, visit ADAO’s website here.