Updated on March 30, 2020

Each year, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (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. Global Asbestos Awareness Week (GAAW) brings together experts and victims from around the world to share, learn, and take action.

Asbestos is a known carcinogen and there is no safe level of exposure. Throughout the 19th century, this mineral was widely used in construction, shipbuilding, and the automotive industry. Without a ban, asbestos remains legal and lethal in nearly 70% of the world today, including in the United States. As such, it continues to kill nearly 250,000 people globally each year, though — infuriatingly — every one of these deaths is 100% preventable. Prevention is our focus this week as we remember: “Hear Asbestos. Think Prevention.”

Special thanks to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) for sharing it’s No Time to Lose campaign resources on preventing asbestos exposure, and to McOnie for maximizing the international GAAW distribution of educational materials, videos, and blogs. 

GAAW is dedicated to educating people about both the risk of asbestos and how to manage it in order to prevent asbestos-caused diseases. While promising research continues, prevention remains the only cure. When it comes to asbestos and mesothelioma, knowledge truly is power. GAAW is about delivering that power: we seek to equip people with the tools they need to protect themselves while we work for preventative legislation and a cure.

Since founding the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) in 2004, we have worked with the U.S. Senate to unanimously pass 15 Asbestos Awareness Week Resolutions and secure six U.S. Surgeon General asbestos warnings. Building on strength and collaboration, this year’s GAAW will focus on:

  1. Banning the mining, manufacturing, and use of asbestos
  2. Preventing asbestos exposure through education and awareness
  3. Increasing compliance and enforcement of existing laws and regulations

The week features daily educational resources from leading organizations, including guest blogs, videos, and asbestos victims’ stories. It will end on April 7 with an online candlelight vigil. We are also thrilled this year to dedicate one day of GAAW 2020 to our newly introduced bill in the U.S. Congress, the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act (ARBAN), which would fully ban asbestos in the U.S. within 12 months.

Special thanks to Sen. Jon Tester, (D-MT) for his dedication to U.S. Senate Asbestos Awareness Week Resolution who shared, “Folks in Lincoln County know what crisis means, so it’s critical that we use this National Asbestos Disease Awareness Week to remember the lessons we learned from Libby while working to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. As families across the Treasure State hunker down in order to stay healthy, I will be fighting to ensure that those suffering from asbestos-related diseases have the resources they need to weather the coming storm, and once the smoke has cleared, we will continue our push to completely ban the use of asbestos and provide more support to the folks impacted by it.”

It is exciting to see the global community unite and collaborate for Global Asbestos Awareness Week. Please follow the week via our website and through social media using #2020GAAW.

You have proven that together we make change happen.

Linda Reinstein

Social Networks

2020 Global Asbestos Awareness Week (GAAW) Daily Schedule

Day ONE – April 1: Global Asbestos Awareness Week (GAAW) Global Partners. Global Action.
Day One Featured Story: Mavis, (United Kingdom) —  “I fight on for all our Meso Warriors past, present and future.”
Featured Video: Dr. Andrew Sharman, President of IOSH, and Linda Reinstein, President of ADAO, Invite You to Join Global Asbestos Awareness Week (GAAW) and Explain Why GAAW is So Important
Educational Resource: Eight Steps to Managing Asbestos
Special thanks to our ADAO 2020 Gold Sponsor: Motley Rice LLC

Day TWO – April 2: World Health Organization and the Elimination of Asbestos-Related Disease
Day Two Featured Story: Julie, (United States) — “The Power of Public Health Advocacy: A Patient’s Perspective”
Featured Video: PSA VIDEO: Asbestos: The Killer You Can’t See
Educational Resource: Key Asbestos Facts from World Health Organization
Special thanks to our ADAO 2020 Platinum Sponsor: Simmons Hanly Conroy, LLC

Day THREE – April 3: Asbestos Champions of Change in the USA, UK, and Around the World 
Day Three Featured Story: Mike, (United States) — “Staying Positive”
Featured Video: PSA VIDEO: Асбест: убийца, которого вы не видите
Call to Action: Sign up for IOSH’s No Time to Lose Campaign Pledge
Special thanks to our ADAO 2020 Platinum Sponsor: Simmons Hanly Conroy, LLC

DAY FOUR – April 4: Dedicated to the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act (2019)
Day Four: Remembering Alan Reinstein (United States) — Read his story “I’ll Do Anything to Fight Mesothelioma to Have More Time with My Family, Anything”
Featured Video: PSA VIDEO: Asbesto: El asesino que no puede ver
Educational Resource: Sign the Petition Urging the EPA to Ban Asbestos in the US Now, Without Loopholes or Exemptions 
Special thanks to our ADAO 2020 Gold Sponsor: American Federations of Teachers 

Day FIVE – April 5: Asbestos: Art, Advocacy, and Academia Day
Day Five Featured Story: Conor and Zack re: Grandmother Iva, (United States) — Read Iva’s story in “Dirty Laundry that Kills”
Featured Video: PSA VIDEO: एस्बेस्टोस: द किलर आप देख नहीं सकते
Art: Earl Dotter’s 2020 Poster: Asbestos: Art, Advocacy, and Academia and Upcoming Record Store Album Featuring Warren Zevon
Educational Resource: ADAO and IOSH co-branded resources
Special thanks to our ADAO 2020 Platinum Sponsor: Simmons Hanly Conroy, LLC

Day SIX – April 6: Advancing Asbestos Prevention Through Digital Education: Asbestos Prevention, Policy, and Regulations
Day Six Featured Story: Sara, (France) — Read her story: “Someone Pulled the Emergency Brake!”
Featured Video: PSA VIDEO: Amianto: O assassino que você não pode ver
Educational Resource: Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, British Occupational Hygiene Society, and ADAO Webinar
Special thanks to our ADAO 2020 Silver Sponsors: Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney, & Meisenkothen, LLC and Weitz & Luxenberg PC

Day SEVEN – April 7: Candle Light Vigil to Honor and Remember Asbestos Victims Worldwide
Day Seven: Remembering Paul, (United States) — Read his story “Dust into Gold: Banning Asbestos Is Good Business”
Featured Video: PSA VIDEO: L’amiante: le tueur que vous ne voyez pas
Call to Action: Light a virtual candle to honor and remember asbestos victims
Special thanks to our ADAO 2020 Gold Sponsor: Motley Rice LLC