Collaboration at its best!
Yesterday, Doug Larkin and I were honored to join meetings with the extraordinary Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin and Deputy Surgeon General Boris Lushniak in Washington, D.C. As a result of these meetings, ADAO is extremely hopeful that the office of the Surgeon General will build upon their 2009 National Asbestos Week statement and, once again, provide critical support in raising awareness of the harmful effects of asbestos with a 2012 U.S. Surgeon General warning. In the interim, ADAO continues to push its own public warning: “Asbestos is a human carcinogen. Prevent exposure: follow established EPA and OSHA regulations.”
As Theodora Filis’ recently published article “What Would You do if Your Government Knowingly and Willfully Put Your Life at Risk from Asbestos Exposure?” suggests, the U.S. government does have a role in protecting U.S. citizens from asbestos exposure, but the road to a U.S. ban on asbestos has historically been especially challenging. Banning the use of asbestos has been a difficult process because it involves not just publicizing the dangers of the mineral, but also represents the potential end of an industry with strong ties to U.S. politics. Because of this difficulty, government agency support is ever more crucial to ADAO’s work to ban asbestos and the role of the Surgeon General becomes even more important in protecting U.S. lives from asbestos exposure.
Given this context, the result of our meeting in D.C. symbolizes very encouraging news, especially on the heels of Senate Resolution 389 to support National Asbestos Awareness Week, and as the 8th Annual International Asbestos Awareness Conference and Global Asbestos Awareness Week (April 1st – 7th) draw near. ADAO is very grateful to have bolstered its relationship with the Surgeon General and looks forward to continued productive relationships with various U.S. government departments in order to protect the public from the dangers of asbestos.
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To view ADAO’s PowerPoint presentation, please click here: Meeting with U.S. Office of the Surgeon General Slideshare