This past week, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) held its 8th Annual International Asbestos Awareness Conference at the Manhattan Beach Marriott Hotel in Manhattan Beach, CA. The theme of the conference this year was “Asbestos: An International Public Health Crisis,” and it was a tremendous success all across the board!  Beginning on Friday March 30th with a private reception for speakers, honorees, and our wonderful sponsors, everything went off without a hitch. Over 100 people from across nine different countries attended, giving credence to our international theme and push for collaboration.

On Saturday, nearly 30 speakers gave presentations on topics ranging from the deadly effects asbestos continues to have as it is exported across the world to innovative ways in which to push for a global ban to different options victims may have as they face their battle. One of the truly touching moments of the weekend came when Jordan Zevon, son of the late Warren Zevon and ADAO National Spokesman, presented Barbara McQueen, widow of the great Steve McQueen, with the Warren Zevon “Keep Me in Your Heart” Memorial Tribute Award. Barbara was one of eight honorees presented with an award over the weekend.  Other honorees included politicians like Rep. Steve Cohen (D – TN), doctors like Arthur Frank and Richard Lemen, and patients like Debbie Brewer – all courageous  individuals tirelessly battling asbestos and mesothelioma in their own ways. Later that evening marked a first for ADAO: a tribute dinner to the late actor Steve McQueen was held, featuring great entertainment from Jordan Zevon and a wonderfully successful silent auction. Barbara McQueen also spoke and signed copies of her book, “The Last Mile,” which contains photographs personally taken by Barbara during her and Steve’s relationship together. Concluding the weekend, a Sunday brunch and candle lighting were held to honor all those whom we have lost to asbestos-related diseases, and to remember their memory as we pledge to keep fighting for a better future.

Sunday also marked the beginning of Global Asbestos Awareness Week and each day in the coming week, we at ADAO will publish new and helpful information to help those battling an asbestos-related disease or educate those who may not know the dangers of asbestos. Yesterday we published, “Prevent Asbestos Exposure: 7 Reasons for 7 Days” and today features content from our very own Drs. Richard Lemen and Arthur Frank.  Those blogs can be viewed here: “Asbestos: What is It?” by Dr. Richard Lemen and “Why is Asbestos Bad for My Health?” by Dr. Arthur Frank.

This conference would not have been possible if not for the generous support from our 2012 sponsors: Simmons Firm LLC; Baron & Budd PC; Motely Rice LLC; Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Strauss; and Levy Phillips & Konigsberg. Each sponsor made such a tremendous impact, it is impossible to thank them each enough – our gratitude is never ending.

We would also like to give many thanks to our wonderful volunteers! Without your help, the conference would never have gone so smoothly.  And also, thanks to the many generous ADAO friends who made fabulous donations to our silent action!

Please view conference photographs and check out the official 2012 program.

Stay tuned for more updates about Global Asbestos Awareness Week and mark your calendars for this Wednesday, April 4, as director Niccolò Bruna will be showing his documentary, “Dust,” at the University of Southern California.  The screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Niccolò, ADAO President and Co-Founder, Linda Reinstein, and USC professor and School of Cinematic Arts Vice Dean, Michael Renov. Join us for this amazing evening! Details can be found here:

In unity,


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