Posted on December 6, 2019
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), the largest non-profit in the U.S. dedicated to providing asbestos victims and concerned citizens with a united voice, is pleased to share a Year-End Summary of Accomplishments, including our education, advocacy, and community impact in 2019. As a leader in public health advocacy, we are on the front lines working to end the man-made asbestos disaster on many levels.
Some of our biggest highlights of the year include: pushing a federal asbestos ban bill to the highest levels of government; presenting at several conferences around the world spanning from Johannesburg, South Africa to Toronto, Canada; hosting our 14th Congressional Staff Briefing; participating as a stakeholder in many legislative discussions; being a resource for the media; expanding our “Share Your Story” collection to over 200 stories; coordinating Global Asbestos Awareness Week; and hosting our 15th Annual International Asbestos Awareness Conference.
Every accomplishment ADAO achieved in 2019 was possible because of the generosity of the volunteers, sponsors, and donors who fuel our work and further our cause. The organization’s growth continues to reflect the development and progress made around the world in this issue area. We look forward to continued shared success throughout 2020 and beyond.
2019 Educational Initiatives: In an effort to educate the public about the dangers of asbestos, ADAO successfully:
- Distributed 12 monthly eNewsletters with the latest asbestos-related news and events to a global audience.
- Hosted ADAO’s 3-day 15th Annual International Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Conference: “Where Knowledge and Action Unite,” which brought together nearly 40 expert speakers and over 100 patients, physicians, researchers, educators, and public health advocates from 10 countries to discuss updates on the prevention, detection, and treatment of asbestos-related disease and global advocacy for an asbestos ban.
- Held our 14th Congressional Staff Briefing: “Impact of Asbestos on Public Health, Environment, and Economy.”
- Continually updated ADAO’s website highlighting asbestos-related news and events and housing extensive educational resources, including an Asbestos Video Library of conference videos and educational presentations.
- Expanded our network of physicians, researchers, public health practitioners, labor union members, and asbestos victims by conducting extensive online outreach campaigns on a variety of social media platforms.
- Flew a flag over the Capitol in Washington, D.C. in honor of Mesothelioma Warriors on Mesothelioma Awareness Day.
2019 Advocacy Initiatives: In order to advocate for an international ban on asbestos use, mining, and exportation of this known carcinogen, ADAO:
- Worked with lawmakers to get the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2019 (ARBAN) introduced in both the Senate and the House.
- Passed ARBAN through the Committee on Energy and Commerce in the House of Representatives and onto the House Floor for a vote.
- Mounted a successful legal challenge against the Environmental Protection Agency’s negligent transparency standards for the asbestos industry, moving us closer to attaining our “Right to Know” how much asbestos is being used in the U.S.
- Won a separate case against the EPA, pushing the agency to begin including uses of “legacy” asbestos in its nationwide risk evaluations.
- Ensured the passage of U.S. Senate’s 15th Annual Resolution, which designated April 1-7, 2019 as “National Asbestos Awareness Week.”
- Held the first-ever March for Justice and Remembrance in Washington, D.C. on April 5, 2019.
- Participated in the drafting of the American Public Health Association’s “Eliminating Exposure to Asbestos” policy statement at their annual conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from November 2 – 6.
- Was quoted as an expert resource in numerous publications, including:
- Bloomberg Environment (Jan. 3, 2019)
- Inside EPA
- “EPA denies petition to expand TSCA asbestos reporting” – Jan. 3, 2019
- “Asbestos Group Cites OSHA In Seeking Strict TSCA Risk Evaluation” – May 29, 2019
- Newsweek (Jan. 20, 2019)
- New York Times
- Health Day (July 11, 2019)
- Published numerous Op-Eds:
- The Hill
- “Will this Congress be the one that finally acts on asbestos?” – March 17, 2019
- “The White House and schools have this in common: Asbestos” – Aug. 23, 2019
- The Missoulian – Jan. 25, 2019
- The Montana Standard – April 12, 2019
- The Union of Concerned Scientists -Sept. 26, 2019
- The Hill
- Collaborated with health and safety leaders with guest blogs to raise asbestos awareness and action.
- Expanded our art and advocacy efforts by collaborating with artists to promote advocacy:
- Supported the documentary, Breathless – Fighting the Global Asbestos Industry, about the export of the asbestos industry to the developing world, focussing on a Belgium company ETEX/Eternit, which operated factories in Belgium and in India.
- Supported the creation of Inextinguible: a documentary about the anti-asbestos movement in Colombia.
- Sponsored the fifth rendition of Earl Dotter’s traveling photography exhibit, Badges: A Memorial Tribute to Asbestos Workers, featuring Mesothelioma Warriors Mike and Jessica Mattmuller.
2019 Community Initiatives: To provide a community of support for those affected by asbestos, ADAO:
- Coordinated Global Asbestos Awareness Week to raise public awareness about the prevalence of asbestos-related diseases and the dangers of asbestos exposure.
- Published and shared new “Share Your Story” submissions from patients and families from across the globe who have been devastated by asbestos-related disease.
- Hosted multiple virtual candlelight vigils throughout the year via ADAO’s “Light a Candle” website. These vigils provide an opportunity for individuals to honor loved ones who have lost or are currently fighting a courageous battle with an asbestos-related disease.
- Utilized ADAO’s Facebook Page, Facebook Group pages, and Twitter presence to provide an interactive medium for those seeking a space to share, connect, or access information.
- Continued the virtual running team for “Miles for Meso” and was designated the beneficiary of the event.
- Published numerous video and blog interviews with mesothelioma patients and experts.
ADAO 2019 Presentations:
- “Asbestos: Drafting Legislation During Tumultuous Times,” American University Law School, Washington, DC, October 25, 2019
- Less Cancer’s National Cancer Prevention Day on Feb. 7 in Washington D.C.
- “Impact of Asbestos on Public Health, Environment, and Economy,” 14th ADAO US Congressional Staff Briefing, Aug. 28 in Washington, D.C.
- “Deadly Propaganda: Asbestos Use, Imports, and Deaths,” George Washington University, Washington, D.C., April 4, 2019
- “Preventing Asbestos Exposure Risks,” Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, webinar hosted worldwide, April 4, 2019
- “Mitigating the Asbestos Disaster: Policy, Prevention, and Advocacy in the 21st Century,” Global Health and Innovation Conference at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, April 13, 2019
- “Ban Asbestos Now: Taking Action to Save Lives and Livelihoods,” Congressional testimony before the U.S House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee, Washington, D.C., May 8, 2019
- “Dirty Laundry,” American Industrial Hygiene Association Annual Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 21, 2019
- “Strategic Asbestos Education, Prevention, and Policy in Pursuit of Vision Zero,” OSHAfrica Conference, Johannesburg, South Africa, Sept. 19, 2019
- “Asbestos: Still Legal and Lethal Today,” Mount Sinai Hospital’s Icahn School of Medicine, New York, New York, Nov. 18, 2019
- “Dirty Laundry,” Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Toronto, Canada, Nov. 20, 2019
2019 was a busy but successful year for ADAO. We are excited to build on our momentum as we enter 2020 and get even more done in the fight to ban asbestos without any loopholes or exemptions.
Together, we will make change happen.