The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) has grown to become one of the largest independent non-profit organizations in the U.S. dedicated to asbestos. Doug Larkin and Linda Reinstein founded the ADAO in 2004.

Linda Reinstein, mesothelioma widow and co-founder of ADAO, with the asbestos team at Baron & Budd.

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is devoted to providing support for patients and their families, educating the public on the dangers of asbestos, advocating for an international ban on asbestos and pushing for medical innovation.

Fighting for a worldwide ban on asbestos is one of the core initiatives of the ADAO. Many people have the misconception that asbestos use is no longer an issue when, in fact, the U.S. actually has not banned the use of this dangerous material. Many countries across the globe still mine, export, import and use asbestos. Asbestos is still imported from Canada to the United States, where it is used in many types of housing products. Incredibly, many asbestos companies continue to insist that there are “safe” types of asbestos, or that the material can be used safely. Many asbestos companies continue to make these claims even though they have been proven to be scientifically inaccurate decades ago.

ADAO keeps an active presence in Washington, D.C. and has strong connections with several lawmakers on the federal level. The organization conducts a handful of Senate briefings every year, pushes for a national asbestos ban by building powerful inroads to influential national leaders, and actively advocates for the passage of an annual resolution that recognizes Asbestos Awareness Week. In addition, ADAO offers support for the international asbestos community by frequently visiting numerous countries to speak out about the dangers of asbestos.

ADAO also passionately works to increase public awareness about the dangers of asbestos by fighting the inaccurate perception that the United States has banned the material. To this end, the organization holds an asbestos awareness conference each year that brings physicians, advocates, caregivers and mesothelioma patients together.

ADAO also has several celebrity connections. Legendary actor Steve McQueen’s widow Barbara McQueen has pledged to become involved with ADAO in honor of her husband’s memory. Recently, Barbara dedicated a page in her book, Steve McQueen: The Last Mile to ADAO as well as asbestos awareness in general. In addition, she accompanied ADAO members to a Senate briefing in Washington, D.C. in 2012. Jordan Zevon, the son of musician Warren Zevon who also passed due to mesothelioma, is also a spokesperson for the organization.

There is very little support and information available for those who have to deal with this terrible disease because there are only about 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma diagnosed each year in the United States. In order to help fill this need, ADAO offers online events, information and support networks to help educate those who have lost loved ones to mesothelioma, those who are battling the disease and the general public. ADAO has built a vibrant online community for asbestos caregivers, families and patients as part of its mission. ADAO reaches more than 20,000 people worldwide through its Twitter account, and its Facebook page has thousands of followers.

If you would like to donate to ADAO, click here.

Baron and Budd was a 2012-2013 platinum sponsor of ADAO and a 2011 gold sponsor.