Linda Reinstein, CEO and Co-Founder of Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), Issues Statement on “Drop the Rock”, SB 624
Washington, DC … July 19, 2010 — The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), the largest U.S. organization serving as the voice of asbestos victims, today released a statement from Linda Reinstein, CEO and Co-Founder, regarding the Drop the Rock campaign.
“In a united call for compassionate action, The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) fully supports the Drop the Rock campaign to remove the official California State rock, Serpentine, which is the host rock for asbestos. The tragic irony of this designation is that asbestos exposure can cause numerous respiratory diseases and cancers including lung cancer and mesothelioma. The legislation behind the movement, SB 624, is about abolishing a symbol that conveys a very dangerous legacy. In 1965, Serpentine was designated as the state rock of California to promote the then lucrative asbestos mining industry, an industry that has since been closed down. For these reasons, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) joined The John McNamara Foundation and the Pacific Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to ‘drop the rock’, a symbol that represents suffering, death and disease to thousands of people.
The Larkin and Reinstein families co-founded ADAO in 2004, when our loved ones were both diagnosed with mesothelioma. Our loved ones lost their mesothelioma battle, but our organization continues educational efforts in their memory and the memory of thousands of other asbestos–disease victims. Thanks to our dedicated volunteers, ADAO has become the largest independent organization representing asbestos victims and their families in the United States, with a single purpose of education and awareness. Our annual international educational conferences have proven, over the past 6 years, education is a key component and is desperately needed to eliminate these preventable diseases. ADAO remains true to our principles and does not make medical or legal referrals.
What is abundantly clear from what began as a city of Manhattan Beach Resolution over the past three weeks, is that the United States needs to embrace education to prevent occupational and non-occupational exposure to asbestos. This issue is not about litigation, but education through awareness. Patients and physicians from around the world have applauded our efforts. ADAO respects and understands the geological debate, but this is not about geology; it is about promoting public health through education concerning a rock that contains a known carcinogen among many of its forms. It is not about what serpentine is or is not; it is a question of removing a State-wide symbol that represents a substance, that can, in one of its forms, cause irreversible disease and death as it has to thousands of its victims.
As a native Californian, mesothelioma widow and public health advocate, I am honored to work with Sen. Romero and the California State Legislature to draft and pass SB 624, an educational and symbolic bill, solely to remove Serpentine as our official State Rock.
The World Health Organization, The Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Surgeon General agree: all forms of asbestos are carcinogenic and there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Drop the Rock is an effort to remove a symbol that no longer has relevance for the State’s mining industry and unfortunately perpetuates a false message that asbestos is safe. According to the State of California Department of Conservation , ‘Chrysotile often occurs as fibrous veinlets in serpentine. Chrysotile in fibrous form is the most common type of asbestos…serpentine often contains some asbestos, and exposure to asbestos fibers have potential human-health consequences…’
SB 624 enjoys widespread bipartisan support. It unanimously passed the Manhattan Beach City Council, Californian State Senate and California Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and is supported by such organizations as the Children’s Hospital of L.A.
The Drop the Rock educational campaign is but one example of what ADAO is doing globally to increase awareness to prevent exposure to eliminate deadly asbestos-caused diseases. Patients, families, workers and doctors support this symbolic campaign that honors those who have lost their lives and gives hope to those battling disease. We will not be deterred from our mission of public health and continuing awareness on this critical issue.”
# # #
About Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) was founded by asbestos victims and their families in 2004. ADAO seeks to give asbestos victims and concerned citizens a united voice to raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure. ADAO is the largest independent organization dedicated to preventing asbestos-related diseases through education and legislation. ADAO’s mission includes supporting global advocacy and advancing asbestos awareness, prevention, early detection, treatment, and resources for asbestos-related disease. For more information visit www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org.
Director of Communications
Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO)
Phone: (202) 391-1546