One of the main goals here at Asbestos Network is to spread asbestos awareness. We believe more attention needs to be paid to this deadly carcinogen and the people it affects. That is why we are happy to embrace Global Asbestos Awareness Week (GAAW) in 2016.
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) has been working to spread asbestos awareness since 2004. The organization was founded by Linda Reinstein and Doug Larkin, two individuals who felt the pain asbestos can cause after losing loved ones to mesothelioma. In 2012, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution recognizing the first week in April as "National Asbestos Awareness Week." In 2013, it became "Global Asbestos Awareness Week." Asbestos is still legal and lethal in hundreds of countries, putting individuals at risk all over the world.
"One word. One Week. One World." is the theme for this year's GAAW, and it's fitting considering that asbestos mined in one country can affect developing and developed nations across the globe. Only 55 countries have completely banned asbestos use. And while the United States drastically reduced asbestos use in the late 1970's and no longer mines the substance, children's toys contaminated with the substance were imported into the country just last year.
Exposure to asbestos can cause a range of respiratory conditions. Most are fatal. Asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma are three asbestos-related diseases. There is no cure for these conditions and it can take years or decades after exposure has taken place for symptoms to appear. If you work or have worked in an occupation at-risk for asbestos exposure on the job, you are at risk for developing one of these diseases.
Many people do not realize they have been exposed to asbestos. Help us spread asbestos awareness to those at risk. If one of your loved ones works in one of these occupations, encourage them to share their work history with a medical professional.