April 1-7 is the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization’s (ADAO) Global Asbestos Awareness Week (GAAW). The first week in April is designated to increasing awareness of asbestos and preventing exposure by bringing experts and victims to share, learn, and take action.
The ADAO has been working 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:
- Banning the mining, manufacturing, and use of asbestos
- Preventing asbestos exposure through education and awareness
- Increasing compliance and enforcement of existing laws and regulations
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally-occurring, fibrous mineral once used in many products due to its strength and ability to resist heat, as well as insulate. Asbestos was used for decades in textile products, automotive parts, home, and commercial buildings, naval ships, and more. If asbestos is disturbed, the fibers become airborne resulting in inhalation or ingestion. There is no “safe” level of exposure to asbestos; even minimal levels can cause the following asbestos-related diseases:
· Lung Cancer
· Other Cancers
Asbestos can also cause cancer of the digestive tract, colon, larynx, esophagus, kidney, and some types of lymphoma. These asbestos diseases may be due to swallowing some of the longer asbestos fibers that are caught in the upper airways and that are carried to the throat in mucus.