2018 Global Asbestos Awareness Week

Posted on March 29, 2018

The asbestos facts are irrefutable. Asbestos is a known carcinogen, and there is no safe level of exposure. Yet, asbestos mining and use continues to this day, and far too many people remain in the dark about their risk of exposure.

Since our founding in 2004, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) has made it our priority to correct the dangerous misconceptions about asbestos, and offer lifesaving awareness and education to the public. In 14 years of working toward this goal, ADAO has become the global leader in asbestos awareness, prevention and policy, with hours of educational content now available online and a powerful voice in Washington, DC.

One of the greatest accomplishments to ADAO’s name is the development of the Global Asbestos Awareness Week, held April 1-7 every year. What started as little more than a throw-away day of recognition has become powerful phenomenon that reaches thousands across the globe.

Creating a Campaign for Change

In 2005, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid offered to champion ADAO’s request for the first Asbestos Awareness Day. Our organization was exhilarated, but challenged, as we began to draft the language for the first Resolution. When the resolution passed unanimously in the Senate, our celebration could have been heard around the world.

ADAO was still determined to build greater asbestos awareness and in 2007, the U.S. Senate listened to our plea and extended the day to a week-long awareness event. It didn’t take long for this idea to catch fire with the members of our asbestos community. Everyone from victims to health and safety professionals asked to share our graphics and materials.

This was when we knew we’d found an approach that resonated with people, and this was only the beginning. As we expanded from a day to a week, we collaborated with experts from around the world to help us create enough fresh content to fill seven days. In doing so, we transformed the week of awareness into a worldwide discussion and built an unparalleled library of educational asbestos materials online, including contributions from distinguished medical, health and safety, and scientific professionals, which you can access below.

In 2017, 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 McOnie, who shared GAAW information in over 40 countries, with materials translated into 21 languages.

From Awareness to ACTION

As we at ADAO know, awareness is a crucial and necessary first step to achieving our lifesaving asbestos prevention and policy goals. After years of growing GAAW, we can see the actionable impact it’s starting to have. Years of awareness-raising efforts have paved the way for political gains, such as President Obama’s acknowledgement of asbestos as a carcinogen, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to designate among the top 10 high-risk chemicals requiring priority regulatory action. Every Senate resolution that’s passed is entered into Congressional Record, making it impossible for Washington politicians to hide from the truth.

Let’s Keep Growing

This year, the Global Asbestos Awareness Week campaign will feature key influencers, experts, and Partners for Prevention featuring facts, art, movies, and more from all around the world. There will be videos shared in six different languages, and ADAO will have a new website called “kNOw Asbestos”. Be sure to save the dates — April 1-7, 2018 — and watch for updates from ADAO and your local leaders.  We are closer to an asbestos ban than we have ever been before, with bicameral legislative support to ban asbestos.

We at ADAO know very well that we cannot succeed alone. We are depending on our community to be innovative, be bold, and be outspoken to make the 2018 Global Asbestos Awareness Week the loudest call to action yet! Save the date and watch for updates from ADAO and your local leaders, about the week, contributors, and content. Be sure to follow the conversation with our GAAW hashtag: #2018GAAW.

Together, we make change happen.

Linda Reinstein

ADAO’s Social Networks


Nine Years of Exclusive GAAW Content

U.S  Surgeon General Warning Statements

U.S. Senate Asbestos Resolutions from 2005 – 2018