No Time to Lose: Action Mesothelioma Day Message

Posted on July 2, 2019

Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) joins forces with Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) Action Mesothelioma Day by Bev Messinger, Chief Executive, Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)

On Saturday 6 April this year, I had the honour of presenting the global No Time to Lose – working together to beat occupational cancer (NTTL) campaign and its materials at ADAO’s International Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Conference 2019 in Washington DC.

It’s hard to believe that asbestos fibres which are invisible to the naked eye can cause so much destruction, heartbreak and suffering – leaving huge holes in families; ones that can never be filled again.

We know that at least 742,000 people die every year around the world because of past exposure to carcinogens, due to their line of work. The deadliest carcinogen is asbestos in all its forms. The World Health Organization estimates that a staggering 125 million people are still exposed to this deadly carcinogen worldwide. We must put a stop to this. 

My organisation, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), runs NTTL to raise awareness of serious carcinogens such as asbestos and provides businesses with free resources so can take action to protect their workers.

These materials include a factsheet for managers, which explains where asbestos can be found and how to develop a strategy to prevent exposure.

For workers, a flyer explains what your employer should do and what you should do to prevent asbestos exposure, and there is a fold-out pocket card explaining what to do if you think you have or may be about to disturb asbestos-containing materials. 

The ADAO Conference was a tremendous finale to all our activities during Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2019.

Now, the battle to tackle the fatal cancer mesothelioma, caused by asbestos, continues on Action Mesothelioma Day, 5 July 2019.

Organized by one of our partners, Mesothelioma UK, it brings together patients, carers, families and local dignitaries in Britain for services of remembrance and hope, commemorating the thousands of lives lost to mesothelioma.

To mark this important day, I am proud to say that IOSH is joining forces with ADAO again on Action Mesothelioma day. This time we have co-branded NTTL resources with ADAO, and these will be available from ADAO’s Know Asbestos campaign website.

We encourage businesses large and small to support us or pledge to take action. Over 350 organizations internationally, including ADAO, have supported No Time to Lose. Of these, more than 120 businesses worldwide completed a six-step NTTL Pledge, a plan to capture the key actions their organisation does, or plans to do, to manage carcinogenic exposures at work.

I encourage everybody to do your bit to raise awareness of asbestos-related cancer and what to do to prevent exposure on Action Mesothelioma Day – there is really No Time to Lose.