Washington, DC – March 18, 2013 – The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), the largest independent asbestos victims’ organization in the U.S., congratulates the U.S. Senate for passing Senate Resolution 66 designating April 1 -7, 2013 as “National Asbestos Awareness Week.” This important week raises public awareness about the prevalence of asbestos-related diseases and the dangers of asbestos exposure.
“ADAO applauds the U.S. Senate for unanimously passing S. Res. 66, recognizing the first week of April 2013 as National Asbestos Awareness Week,” said Linda Reinstein, President and Co-founder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. “We join with the Senate in urging the Surgeon General ‘to warn and educate people about the public health issue of asbestos exposure, which may be hazardous to their health.’ Although this language has been included in the Resolution for seven years now, the United States continues to endanger public health by importing over 1,000 metric tons of chrysotile asbestos annually. Americans have no idea who is manufacturing or using asbestos today. I am especially concerned about workers exposed to asbestos during renovations, construction, and natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy. Since 2003, asbestos-related diseases have claimed more than 100,000 lives, including my husband’s. For each life lost, a shattered family is left behind. The question Congress has yet to answer is, ‘Why has the U.S. not banned asbestos?'”
Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), who sponsored the bill, is well-acquainted with the dangers of asbestos. In 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared a public health emergency in the city of Libby, Montana, due to elevated levels of asbestos in the air and hundreds of asbestos-related deaths of residents. “While taking a week to highlight the dangers of asbestos is important, it’s also important to work year round to ensure people in Libby have the tools they need to heal,” said Senator Baucus. ” Asbestos Awareness Week is one way we can rally to keep the public health emergency in Libby from happening elsewhere, while taking some time to pause and honor those who have lost their lives to asbestos-related diseases.”
Asbestos is a known human carcinogen, and exposure can cause mesothelioma and lung, gastrointestinal, laryngeal, and ovarian cancers, as well as non-malignant lung and pleural disorders. The World Health Organization estimates that 107,000 workers around the world die each year of an asbestos-related disease, equaling 300 deaths per day.
ADAO will hold its 9th Annual International Asbestos Awareness Conference on March 22-24, 2013 in Washington, D.C.
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 an independent global organization dedicated to preventing asbestos-related diseases through education, advocacy, and community. For more information, visit www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org.