Posted on March 20, 2020

As our country takes precautions due to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), your ADAO family is thinking of you and doing our part to flatten the curve.

While our state, national, and international governments are focused on this global emergency, ADAO has paused many of our prevention and policy actions, efforts, and events to eliminate all asbestos-caused diseases.

As we all consider what is best for the health of ourselves and our families, Arthur L. Frank, MD, PhD, ADAO Science Advisory Board Co-Chair, recommends that you follow the precautions and guidelines set out by the Center for Disease Control. Dr. Frank told ADAO that for patients diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, there are special reasons to follow these rules. One’s immune system may be compromised, or any medications being taken can weaken one’s ability to respond to an infection with the virus. Also, if the lungs have been compromised by fibrosis, then the ability to fight off the effects of the coronavirus may also be reduced. Therefore, Dr. Frank urges everyone, as he is doing, to stay at home, avoid as much as possible contact with others than those in your immediate household, keep a safe distance from others, and in every way, especially if older than 60, to follow these guidelines to maximize not getting sickened by this virus that is devastating the world.  

Since ADAO was founded, we have always embraced technology to advance our mission and vision to prevent exposure and eliminate all asbestos-caused diseases. 

As we work to adjust to our new normal, ADAO remains hard at work and has exciting things in the pipeline as we approach Global Asbestos Awareness Week (GAAW), which begins April 1 and lasts until April 7. Even during this difficult time, we are committed to bringing you seven days of content to raise asbestos awareness and increase prevention. We are finalizing our GAAW partnerships and look forward to sharing the details soon. I encourage you to keep an eye on your inbox, and ADAO’s website, to stay involved with the upcoming Global Asbestos Awareness Week of 2020 and be sure to join in the conversation with the hashtag #GAAW. 

Due to the coronavirus, Record Store Day has been rescheduled for June 20, 2020. To bring us all together, we are incredibly excited to announce that Jordan Zevon, ADAO spokesperson and son of musician Warren Zevon, will entertain us by showcasing some of his father’s music. Stay tuned to learn more about Jordan’s upcoming performance and Judd Apatow’s Record Store Day album featuring songs by the late Warren Zevon. 

While Congress is occupied with the emergency measures the nation must take to respond to the outbreak of the coronavirus, ADAO will step back from putting pressure on the House and Senate concerning the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now (ARBAN) Act of 2019, as well as on Sen. Jon Tester, who has been our champion for National Asbestos Awareness Week. However, ADAO is continuing our education, art and advocacy programs surrounding asbestos-related disease awareness and prevention, and will continue to work with Congress to push our bill through when the time comes. 

Lastly, EPA continues to move forward under TSCA and, at least for now, we’re not seeing any slowdown in the pace of activity. We expect EPA will soon release its draft asbestos risk evaluation and we will be working with our scientists to review this draft and respond. The draft evaluation will not include the use and disposal of legacy asbestos, despite the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that EPA must address ongoing exposure and risk from legacy asbestos under TSCA. We have already conveyed our concern to EPA leadership about EPA’s failure to carry out its responsibilities under the law and we will be considering additional actions to hold EPA accountable. Finally, we continue to work with State Attorneys General on our lawsuit in federal district court to require EPA adopt “right to know” reporting requirements on asbestos.  

As we continue our 2020 work, ADAO would like to give a special thanks to our sponsors and donors, especially our Platinum Sponsor Simmons Hanly Conroy, LLC, our Gold Sponsors; American Federation of Teachers and Motley Rice LLC, our Silver Sponsors; Early Lucarelli Sweeney & Meisenkothen, Weitz & Luxenberg, and our Bronze Sponsor; International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators, who make our important work possible and promote our advocacy, education, and community efforts, even as we’ve been forced to radically alter our plans due to coronavirus.

Together, we are stronger, and together, we can make a difference. ADAO looks forward to virtually connecting with our community in the coming weeks and months. 

Linda Reinstein
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