The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is presenting at the 2016 Global Health & Innovation Conference (GHIC) at Yale University for the third year in a row.

Every year, the Global Health & Innovation Conference brings together thousands of speakers, students, and participants from all over the world and across a multitude of disciplines, all of whom share a common goal of improving global health, social entrepreneurship, and international development. It’s the world’s largest global health conference, featuring leaders, entrepreneurs, healthcare professionals, artists, educators, and more.

This year, Linda Reinstein will be speaking on behalf of ADAO during the Environmental Considerations for Human Health portion of the program. This session includes talks from a number of speakers about a variety of topics, including toxic health threats such as mercury, pollution, lead and roundup. The talk, “Asbestos: The Human Cost of Inaction,” brings to light the devastating ramifications of a history of negligence in response to the threat of asbestos, a lethal and legal substance that too many people are unaware of.

Did You Know?

  • In 1906, the first case of asbestos-caused disease was diagnosed.
  • 107,000 people around the world die each year from asbestos-related lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis, according to the World Health Organization.
  • In 1991, the EPA’s 1989 ban on asbestos was overruled.
  • From 2000 to 2015, U.S. consumption of asbestos was 55,881 metric tons.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), OSHA, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) all agree: there is no safe level of asbestos.

When old buildings are in any way demolished, they can cause an environmental disaster. For example, 9/11 rescue workers and volunteers have a 20% increase in cancer incidence compared to the general population. In a NIOSH study, firefighters were found to have twice the rate of mesothelioma than the rest of the U.S. population.

However, old products and buildings that fall apart are not the only threat. Imports and asbestos manufacturing continues without a ban, and there is no way of identifying contaminated products that we may have purchased or that remain on store shelves. Many people don’t realize that there could be asbestos lurking in their homes, schools, communities, and workplaces.

However, there are people — policymakers, industry leaders — who are aware, and who have done nothing. The justice system continues to fail countless victims, the number of which continues to rise. The time to act is now, and the quickest, most effective route is by spreading awareness.

Every social media share multiplies awareness exponentially with just one click. Use your voice. Hear Asbestos, Think Prevention.