For Immediate Release: September 14, 2015

ADAO Cites New Occupational Asbestos Exposure Statistics from Lancet Global Burden of Disease Study, at 194,000 per Year, as Catastrophic and Reprehensible

New Numbers Represent a More than 80% Increase from WHO Statistic of 107,000, and Account for Nearly 2/3 of All Deaths Related to Workplace Carcinogens

ADAO Press ReleaseWashington DC – September 14, 2015 – The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), which combines education, advocacy, and community to prevent exposure and ensure justice for asbestos victims, today cited new statistics from The Global Burden of Disease, Injuries, and Risk Factor Study of 2013 (GBD 2013) from the prestigious Lancet medical journal, that found occupational asbestos exposure to be responsible for 194,000 deaths in 2013. The new numbers represent a more than 80% increase from the 107,000 per annum statistic from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The GBD 2013, published by Lancet and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is the first of a series of annual updates of the GBD detailing risk factor quantification, particularly of modifiable risk factors, to help to identify emerging threats to population health and opportunities for prevention. According to the study, in 2013, “Taken together, occupational carcinogens caused 304,000 deaths globally; asbestos exposure accounted for nearly two-thirds of the burden of all occupational carcinogens.”  Related Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) lost were 5.8 million in total and 3.4 million years for those related to asbestos.

“As affirmed by the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2013 Study, published in Lancet September 11, 2015, the fallout from occupational asbestos exposure is continuing its alarming rise,” stated Dr. Richard A. Lemen, former United States Assistant Surgeon General and ADAO Science Advisory Board Co-Chair. “With the study’s estimated loss of life at 194,000 each year this represents a rise of more than 80% since the last World Health Organization’s estimate of 107,000.   In fact all asbestos diseases are preventable simply by eliminating exposures to asbestos; however as long as asbestos use continues, this mounting toll from asbestos induced deaths will grow.  Only society can stop this pandemic and societies in over 50 of the world’s countries have taken this action; now is the time for all the world to follow.”

“The new figures from Lancet regarding the number of lives lost as a result of asbestos in the workplace has catapulted by nearly 90,000 from the 107,000 number traditionally used,” stated ADAO President and Co-founder, Linda Reinstein. “What’s equally alarming is that this number doesn’t include the loss of life related to take-home asbestos exposure of when a worker carries deadly fibers on their hair, skin and clothes which has poisoned their spouses and children; do-it-yourself projects; disasters such as 9/11; and even the innocent exposure of children and consumers through products still in use today. Asbestos remains legal and lethal in the US, yet imports continue. The human cost of inaction is deplorable and expensive in dollars and lives. It is reprehensible that Congress has condoned the use of asbestos and allowed the asbestos man-made disaster to continue. The fatally Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976 has failed to protect the health and safety of Americans.  The time is now to pass TSCA reform legislation that ensures the Environmental Protection Agency can expeditiously ban asbestos.  Enough is enough.”

As part of its comprehensive education and advocacy efforts, ADAO reminds concerned citizens to “Raise Your Voice” to #ENDMeso and send a letter to Congress and tell them to stand up for Americans and ban asbestos.

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About the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) was founded by asbestos victims and their families in 2004. ADAO is the largest non-profit in the U.S. dedicated to providing asbestos victims and concerned citizens with a united voice through our education, advocacy, and community initiatives. ADAO seeks to raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure, advocate for an asbestos ban, and protect asbestos victims’ civil rights.  For more information, visit ADAO, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, does not make legal referrals.


Media Contact:
Kim Cecchini
Media Relations
Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO)
(202) 391-5205