April 1-7, Global Asbestos Awareness Week (GAAW), is a powerful opportunity for experts, activists, advocates, and asbestos victims to come together and raise awareness about asbestos, a known carcinogen of which there is no safe amount of exposure, and which has yet to be banned in the United States, Canada, and many other countries in the world.

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) joined together and celebrated another landmark step forward in the goal of preventing exposure of this deadly substance when the Senate unanimously passed the 12th Annual Resolution led by Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) and bipartisan co-sponsors. The Resolution officially designates the first week of April 2016 as National Asbestos Awareness Week and seeks to “raise public awareness about the prevalence of asbestos-related diseases and the dangers of asbestos exposure,” embodying a large part of ADAO’s longstanding mission.

Senate Resolution 376

However, as Richard Lemen, PhD, MSPH Former Assistant Surgeon General, USPHS (Ret.) points out, the battle is far from over. “It is admirable that the U.S. Senate has passed the Twelfth Annual Resolution establishing National Asbestos Awareness Week, however, I would hope that the Congress will now step up to the plate and take the necessary steps to end the suffering and death still inflicted on the American people through the continued use of asbestos in the United States and ban further use of asbestos, an action long overdue,” stated Lemen.

While the GAAW initiative was established the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) over a decade ago, this week has exponentially expanded and strengthened global collaborative efforts. This year’s campaign will feature educational content from a diverse group of experts and personal stories from asbestos victims. As GAAW ambassadors, Heather Von St James, Lou Williams, and Mavis Nye with also help drive awareness.

Each day of the week will feature something different, so be sure to keep checking in. ADAO’s posting schedule is as follows:

  • April 1st: Asbestos Awareness Week (April 1 - 7) Statement from the U.S. Surgeon General
  • April 2nd: Women Who Roar, Meet the 2016 Global Asbestos Awareness Week Ambassadors, Heather, Lou, and Mavis
  • April 3rd: Quincy Jones, Mesothelioma Patient and Comedian, Raises Awareness
  • April 4th: World Health Organization and Elimination of Asbestos-Related Disease
  • April 5th: Find out where asbestos might be lurking in your home, community, or workplace
  • April 6th: Remember the Dead and Fight Like Hell for the Living
  • April 7th: Candle Light Vigil and 2016 Global Ban Asbestos Declaration

Take Action

Through our ability to connect and share, this week fuels awareness and education about asbestos and asbestos-related disease prevention.

This week, you can take part in GAAW by getting social and doing one or all of the following:

  1. After visiting ADAO’s site, tweet or post a fact on your Facebook page as you learn each day about asbestos and asbestos-related diseases.
  2. Share your own story if you or someone you know has been affected by asbestos.
  3. Attend ADAO’s 12th Annual International Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Conference April 8 – 10, 2016

As ADAO says, “Hear Asbestos. Think Prevention.