2017-gaaw-canvaThe History of Global Asbestos Awareness Week: April 1 – 7

Updated on  March 21, 2017

Each year, ADAO dedicates April 1-7 to increasing awareness of asbestos and preventing exposure by bringing together experts and victims from around the world to share, learn, and take action.  

Asbestos is a known carcinogen and there is no safe level of exposure. Since the 19th century, asbestos was widely used in construction, shipbuilding, and the automotive industry. Without a ban, asbestos remains legal and lethal in the USA and nearly 70% of the world today. As such, it continues to kill more than 190,000 people globally each year, though — infuriatingly — every one of those asbestos-caused deaths is 100% preventable. Prevention is the name of the game this week, and always: “Hear Asbestos. Think Prevention.”

Global Asbestos Awareness Week is dedicated to educating people about their asbestos risk and how to manage it in order to prevent asbestos-caused diseases. While promising research continues, prevention remains the only cure for mesothelioma. Knowledge truly is power, in this situation, and this week is about empowering and equipping people to protect themselves while we work for protective legislation.

Since founding the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) in 2004, we have worked with the U.S. Senate to unanimously pass 12 Asbestos Awareness Week Resolutions and secured five U.S. Surgeon General asbestos warnings in an effort to prevent exposure to eliminate deadly asbestos-caused diseases.

Building on strength and collaboration, this year’s Global Asbestos Awareness Week will focus on:

  1. Banning the mining, manufacturing, and use of asbestos
  2. Preventing asbestos exposure through education and awareness
  3. Increasing compliance and enforcement of existing laws and regulations

The week features daily educational resources from leading organizations, guest blogs, videos, and asbestos victims’ stories, and we’ll wrap it up on April 7th with an online candlelight vigil.

In 2016, we had our most expansive, inclusive week to date. Knowing that our voice becomes exponentially louder when we collaborate, we partnered with the U.K. based publicity firm The McOnie Agency, who shared GAAW information in 44 countries, with materials translated into 21 languages. We’re so thrilled to partner with the McOnie agency once again in 2017, and I’m sure our reach will only grow from last year — it means that many more people around the world will receive this lifesaving information.

It is exciting to see the global community unite and collaborate for Global Asbestos Awareness Week. Thank you for joining us during this week of learning and community! Please follow the week via our website and through social media using #2017GAAW.

In unity,

Linda Reinstein

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2017 GAAW Schedule

Day ONE – April 1: World Health Organization and Elimination of Asbestos-Related Disease 

“I Will Not Die in Vain” –  Day One Ambassador: Lou Williams, Australia

Day TWO – April 2: Art-Based Advocacy Puts Asbestos Awareness in the Spotlight

Earl Dotter, photographer
Quincy Jones, comedian
Barbara McQueen, writer and photographer
Paolo Monico, filmmaker
Tony Rich, historian
Jordan Zevon, musician

“I fight on for all our Meso Warriors past, present and future.” — Day Two Ambassador: Mavis Nye, UK

Day THREE – April 3: Preventing Asbestos Exposure ||  “Hear Asbestos. Think Prevention.” 

‘Clarence Borel: The Man Behind the Court Case’ By Linda Reinstein and Bridget Bersin Published in the Journal New Solutions  and VIDEO: Clarence Borel, ADAO Warren Zevon “Keep Me in Your Heart” Tribute Award 

“We Live Each Day with Passion and Fun” – Day Three Ambassador: John Panza, Ohio, US

Day FOUR – April 4: Asbestos Awareness Week Champions of Change

“The Value of My Life in Dollars and Tears” – Day Four Ambassador: Heather Von St. James, Minnesota, US

Day FIVE – April 5: International Workers’ Memorial Day – April 28

“Staying Positive” – Day Five Ambassador: Mike Mattmuller, Maryland, US

Day SIX – April 6: Australian People for Health and Education Development Abroad (APHEDA) Campaign “Asbestos: Not Here, Not Anywhere”

“Someone Pulled the Emergency Brake!”  — Day Six Ambassador: Sara Babin, France

Day SEVEN – April 7: Candle Light Vigil to Honor and Remember Asbestos Victims Worldwide

“Love is Stronger than Cancer” – Day Seven Ambassador: Daniel Pineda, Colombia