The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) has commended the U.S. Senate for unanimously passing a resolution to designate the first week of April 2016 to be National Asbestos Awareness Week, corresponding with the ADAO’s 12th annual conference.
ADAO is the largest U.S. non-profit organization raising awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure, and providing people ill with diseases related to asbestos, a well-known cause of mesothelioma, a voice through education, advocacy, and community initiatives.
The resolution (S. Res. 376). was led by Sen. Edward Markey and co-sponsors to “raise public awareness about the prevalence of asbestos-related diseases and the dangers of asbestos exposure,” according to a press release.
“The only way to end the seemingly unrelenting tragedy associated with asbestos exposure, is prevention. We are enormously thankful to Senator Markey, Resolution co-sponsors, and the entire Senate for unanimously establishing the 12th Annual ‘National Asbestos Awareness Week,’” said Linda Reinstein, ADAO co-founder and president. “Up to 15,000 Americans die each year from preventable asbestos-caused diseases while imports continue. Undoubtedly, the Resolution’s momentum and U.S. Surgeon General’s asbestos warning will raise awareness and save lives.”
She also called on lawmakers to pressure the Environmental Protection Agency to “expeditiously ban asbestos, once and for all.” The Senate resolution notes that the U.S. continues to use some 400 metric tons of the fibrous mineral in products each year.
ADAO, founded in 2004 by asbestos victims and their families, will hold its 12th Annual International Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Conference on April 8–10, 2016, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. Participants at the conference, titled “Where Knowledge and Action Unite,” will discuss the latest research in asbestos disease prevention, treatment options for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, prevention, and progress toward a global ban.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 107,000 people worldwide die every year of an asbestos-related disease, the equivalent of 300 deaths a day. In addition to mesothelioma, asbestos can lead to lung, gastrointestinal, colorectal, laryngeal and ovarian cancers, as well as non-malignant lung and pleural disorders.
“It is admirable that the U.S. Senate has passed the Twelfth Annual Resolution establishing ‘National Asbestos Awareness Week’, however, I would hope that the Congress will now step-up-to-the-plate and take the necessary steps to end the suffering and death still inflected on the American people through the continued use of asbestos in the United States and ban further use of asbestos, an action long overdue,” said Richard Lemen, PhD, MSPH, a former Assistant Surgeon General.