The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is praising the U.S. Senate for unanimously passing its 13th annual resolution establishing April 1-7 as National Asbestos Awareness Week (Senate Res. 98), seeking to raise public awareness for asbestos exposure and mesothelioma nationwide.
“Each year, an estimated 15,000 Americans die from preventable asbestos-caused diseases, yet imports continue. Undoubtedly, the Resolution’s momentum and the forthcoming U.S. surgeon general’s asbestos warning will raise awareness and save lives,” Linda Reinstein, ADAO’s president and co-founder, said in a press release.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that asbestos-related deaths are increasing in the United States despite significantly decreased use since the 1970s. Moreover, the CDC predicts that malignant mesothelioma deaths among patients ages 25 to 44 will continue.
“Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to raise asbestos awareness to ensure the American public understands that this is not an issue of the past,” Reinstein said.
“As the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) begins its risk assessment of asbestos under TSCA [Toxic Substances Control Act], it is paramount that the Senate underscores what we’ve long known about asbestos — that it poses undue risk to human health and the environment and must be stringently regulated to avoid causing more harm,” she added.
“This has been the sentiment of the last 12 Senate Asbestos Awareness Resolutions as well as 12 warnings from the U.S. Surgeon General’s office, and just last summer President Barack Obama became the first sitting president to acknowledge asbestos as a deadly carcinogen,” Reinstein said. “Especially with the onslaught of legislation aimed at eviscerating or limiting the powers of the EPA, this acknowledgement by the legislative branch sends a significant message.”
From April 7-9, ADAO will also hold its 13th Annual International Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Conference, themed “Where Knowledge and Action Unite” at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.
ADAO is also working to take Asbestos Awareness Week worldwide and will collaborate with UK-based McOnie Agency, a public relations firm, to translate educational materials into 15 languages, and release them in over 40 countries.
The resolution was led by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), along with co-sponsors Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Isakson (R-GA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).