National Asbestos Awareness Week is Not Only a Time to Reflect, But also to Take Action

April 7, 2015

Thanks largely to the never-ending determination of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), the United States Senate has once again passed a resolution designating the first week of April as National Asbestos Awareness Week. The resolution serves not only as a reminder of the hundreds of thousands of lives that have been lost due to asbestos exposure, but also as a stimulus to banning asbestos in the U.S. once and for all.

Asbestos kills – that cannot be denied. The toxin causes several serious diseases, most notably mesothelioma, a form of cancer that is known as a “signature” of asbestos.. While inhaling or ingesting asbestos fibers generally results in mesothelioma of the lungs (called pleural mesothelioma) or the abdomen (called peritoneal mesothelioma), it also rarely occurs in the lining of the heart.

Thousands of Americans die from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases each year. Yet, incredibly, the importation of this deadly material is still allowed in the U.S. According to this report, the Environmental Working Group estimates that at least 8.2 million pounds of raw asbestos entered this country from 2006-2014. This is in addition to possibly hundreds of other shipments of products containing asbestos, as well as shipments of asbestos waste.

This is beyond unacceptable. There have been strides made to eliminate asbestos. For example, asbestos mining has not been allowed in the U.S. since 2002, and there have been some uses that have been banned. But there is no excuse for not completely banning the importation and use of asbestos in the United States today.

The resolution is a great start but more needs to be done. Below are just a few of the ways that asbestos victims and activists, as well as anyone else who is concerned, can take meaningful action.

Get Connected

If your life has been affected by mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease in some way, tell people about it. Get on social media, attend community meetings, or simply tell your co-workers and friends. Tell everyone you encounter why asbestos is so dangerous.

Join The Fight

Get in touch with ADAO and other advocacy groups to find out more ways you can help eliminate asbestos in the U.S.

Hit Asbestos Manufacturers Where It Hurts

If you or someone close to you has suffered an asbestos-related disease, you may be able to take legal action against asbestos manufacturers. Talk to a lawyer to learn your potential options.