The 16th Annual ‘Global Asbestos Awareness Week’, (GAAW) April 1-7, 2020 was announced by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), an independent non-profit dedicated to preventing asbestos exposure.
GAAW is dedicated to awareness and prevention, with each day featuring educational resources from leading organizations, guest blogs, videos, and asbestos victims’ stories. The week culminates on April 7th with an online, worldwide candlelight vigil.
Building on strength and collaboration, this year’s GAAW will focus on:
Banning the mining, manufacturing, and use of asbestos
Preventing asbestos exposure
Increasing compliance and enforcement of existing laws and regulations
Strengthening international partnerships
As the world responds to the COVID-19 outbreak, ADAO will work with our partners to do what we can during this difficult time. ADAO will use technology to advance prevention and advocacy efforts.
“We are excited to bring our educational messages to an even wider audience by collaborating with the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), the world’s chartered professional body for occupational safety and health professionals, and with McOnie, an award-winning U.K. based public relations agency, that expands our ability to distribute our messages globally,” said Linda Reinstein, mesothelioma widow and ADAO co-founder. “The simple truth is asbestos kills and prevention remains the only cure. Asbestos-caused diseases like mesothelioma can take years––even decades––to kill, but the hidden risk of asbestos fibers only takes a few heartbeats to tell. While we continue to deal with a difficult global pandemic, patients with asbestos related diseases face an even greater risk. We remain dedicated to our prevention and policy work to eliminate all asbestos-caused diseases.”
IOSH Chief Executive Bev Messinger said: “We’re proud to be partnering with ADAO for Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2020 to share our No Time to Lose campaign resources. We have a range of materials that can help organisations manage the risks of exposure to asbestos and I’d encourage employers to use these and other advice, provided by organisations such as ADAO, to keep their workers safe.”
Asbestos is a known carcinogen and there is no safe level of exposure. Since the 19th century, asbestos was widely used in construction, shipbuilding, and the automotive industry. The chlor-alkali industry is the only industry importing raw asbestos. In 2019, the industry imported 172 metric tons from Russia. Without a ban, asbestos remains legal and lethal. Over 200,000 people die globally each year from preventable asbestos-caused diseases.
For more information, visit www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org.