Posted on October 20, 2013

NIOSHThe asbestos facts are irrefutable.  Each day, 30 Americans die from preventable asbestos-caused diseases.  Worse yet, globally, an estimated 300 people die each day and mining and use continues.

The recent National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) study of firefighters showed a rate of mesothelioma two times higher than that of the general population. The NIOSH study was published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, studied cancer incidence among nearly 30,000 firefighters in Chicago, San Francisco and Philadelphia who were employed between 1950 and 2009.

Mesothelioma is a fatal cancer caused by asbestos exposure. As our firefighters run into burning buildings to save lives, they are unknowingly inhaling the toxic dust that eventually leads to their death.  We can only imagine their grief and that of their families as, after surviving such a dangerous job, they die a painful death, gasping for each breath as their lungs are destroyed. There is no cure for mesothelioma. Yet, we continue to import asbestos; it is still legal and lethal in the U.S.

These firefighters are every bit as heroic as those who die in the line of duty. They die of mesothelioma simply because they are firefighters. We celebrate these heroes and encourage you to share your stories with us. Firefighters and your families, you are not alone. Our ADAO community is here to support you. Please contact us on Facebook if you or a loved one is battling mesothelioma, a disease that even a firefighter can’t beat.

Prevention remains the only cure.

Together, change is possible.

Linda Reinstein

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