Posted on April 5, 2016

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.  To view all 7 days of Global Asbestos Awareness Week (GAAW) contributors and content on our landing page, please click here.

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.

Today, we are sharing Steve McQueen’s Story, “The King of Cool” and Warren Zevon’s Story, “My Hero, the World’s Hero”These two talented men sadly lost their lives to a preventable disease. We thank their family for courageously sharing their stories about loss and joining us in the fight to increase awareness and ban asbestos in the U.S.

Arm yourself with knowledge – educations, compliance, and enforcement saves lives. Read and share the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Asbestos Fact Sheet and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asbestos information about protecting your family from asbestos. Some of the most common questions can be answered by this four EPA links:

In addition to these stories, we are also highlighting the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency who is doing incredible work to raise asbestos awareness nationally and internationally.

Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency

asbestosThe Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA) was established on in July of 2013 to provide a national focus on asbestos issues which goes beyond workplace safety to encompass environmental and public health concerns. The agency aims to ensure asbestos issues receive the attention and focus needed to drive change across all levels of government.

ASEA has some useful information for helping recognize possible asbestos exposure:

  • As a general rule, if your house was built before the mid-1980s, it is highly likely that it would have some asbestos containing materials, if your house was built after 1990, it is unlikely that it would have asbestos containing materials.
  • Asbestos containing material (ACM) can be categorized as friable and non-friable. Non-friable asbestos, where it is mixed with other materials like cement, is the type most commonly found in our built environment.
  • It’s not possible to determine whether material contains asbestos by simply looking at it; the only way to be sure is to get a sample tested by an accredited laboratory.
  • The safest way to manage any health risk is to wipe up any dust with a damp cloth or damp paper towel. Place the damp cloth or towel inside a plastic bag. Tie up the bag and place into a second bag. Tie the second bag tightly and place in the rubbish bin. Do not use a normal vacuum cleaner as it is unable to filter out all the particles and may release more fibers into the air.
  • Natural disasters like floods, cyclones and bush-fires can cause major damage to property – this is particularly concerning when there is asbestos-containing materials in the property which is damaged causing release of asbestos fibers.
  • Workplace exposure has been the most common cause of mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases (ARDs) to date.

For more information from ASEA, check out two of their most important resources, their Frequently Asked Questions on Asbestos as well as their pamphlet on Asbestos in the Home.

ADAO applauds  ASEA for their ongoing efforts and commitment to asbestos education and advocacy.

Together, we make change happen.

Linda Reinstein

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