An award-winning investigative journalist, a Montana lawmaker and a popular musician will headline the 13th Annual Asbestos Prevention and Awareness Conference, set for April 7-9 in the Washington, D.C., area.
Sponsored by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), the yearly event attracts nearly 40 doctors, scientists, experts and victims, and is the only annual asbestos educational conference in the United States.
Themed “Where Knowledge and Action Unite,” this year’s meeting will take place at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia.
“Since 2005, ADAO conferences have recognized nearly 100 internationally renowned honorees and keynote speakers whose voices and actions have been critically important to ending the man-made asbestos disaster,” ADAO President and CEO Linda Reinstein said in a news release. “As in the past, many on this year’s esteemed list also include courageous volunteers who tirelessly give of their time to help build a global community of support and hope. We’re especially excited this year to honor and hear from several renowned artists who use their craft to create change.”
ADAO, based in Redondo Beach, California, has lined up two keynote speakers for its upcoming conference:
David McCumber, an investigative reporter and co-author of An Air that Kills: How the Asbestos Poisoning of Libby, Montana, Uncovered a National Scandal. His talk will take place Saturday, April 8.
Jordan Zevon, ADAO’s national spokesman and celebrity board co-chair. Devon, a teacher, singer and songwriter, has worked for years to ensure that asbestos victims are fairly represented and protected, while raising public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure and often deadly asbestos-related diseases. Zevon will give a talk on Sunday, April, 9.
ADAO’s honorees at this year’s conference include:
Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana), who will receive the Tribute of Hope Award for his relentless commitment to prevent asbestos-related diseases and enact policies to eliminate them.
Dr. Raja Flores, Marie-Claude Jaurand, PhD, and Dr. Bruce Robinson, all of whom will receive the Dr. Irving Selikoff Lifetime Achievement Award for their dedication to increasing awareness about asbestos as well as research that leads to a cure.
Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, a Washington-based nonprofit, will receive the Tribute of Inspiration Award for its commitment to protecting public health and the environment from toxic exposure to asbestos.
Quincy Jones will be recognized with the Warren Zevon “Keep Me in Your Heart” Tribute Award for using his comedic and storytelling talent to help raise awareness and action for mesothelioma and asbestos-caused diseases.
Associação Brasileira dos Expostos ao Amianto/Brazilian Association of the Asbestos Exposed (ABREA) will receive the Tribute of Unity Award for its efforts to protect public health, ban asbestos and increase awareness about its dangers.
The Dioguardi Family, and Mike and Jessica Mattmuller, will be recognized with the Alan Reinstein Award for their commitment to education, advocacy and support of patients and their loved ones.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops from the thin layer of tissue known as the mesothelium that covers many internal organs. Exposure to asbestos causes more than 80 percent of mesothelioma cases. The greater the exposure, the greater the risk. Such exposure can also lead to lung, gastrointestinal, colorectal, laryngeal and ovarian cancers, as well as non-malignant lung and pleural disorders. Some 125 million people worldwide suffer from workplace asbestos exposure, says the World Health Organization; about 107,000 die annually as a result.