Mesothelioma Awareness Day: A Time for Action
September 23, 2011
Monday, Sept. 26, is national Mesothelioma Awareness Day. The purpose of Mesothelioma Awareness Day is to raise awareness about the disease and asbestos exposure. It is also intended to help increase funding to develop treatments.
The day is recognized thanks to the efforts of two longtime supporters of asbestos awareness, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN). Two years ago, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution to observe the day (S. Res. 288). The U.S. House of Representatives passed a similar resolution a year later (H.Res. 771).
Several states and localities have also passed resolutions recognizing Mesothelioma Awareness Day and acknowledging the impact of this deadly disease.
Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure. Many people are shocked to learn that everyday activities like going to work or tackling a home-improvement project can expose them to asbestos. It can take 20 to 50 years after exposure to develop symptoms. Once symptoms develop, the disease is aggressive and devastating.
The following asbestos legal cases show the widespread, and often unexpected, reach of asbestos exposure:
- Boomer. v. Ford Motor Co., No. CL05010647-00 (Va. Cir., Aug. 30, 2011): A jury in Albemarle County, Virginia, awarded $282,685 to a former state trooper with mesothelioma. The plaintiff worked at an inspection station and was exposed to asbestos in automobile brakes.
- In 2008, Planet Toys Inc. and CBS Broadcasting Inc. were sued in federal and state courts in California. The suits alleged that asbestos was used in toy science kits inspired by the television show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
- Over 250,000 lawsuits were filed against W.R. Grace Co. before it filed for bankruptcy in 2001. The company manufactured many asbestos-containing instruction materials, including Zonolite, an insulation frequently used in attics.
No Time for Rest
Please remember that Mesothelioma Awareness Day is an observance, not a holiday. This means it’s time to take action, not rest.
Even if you haven’t been personally affected by the disease, you can still join the fight against this cancer.
How Can You Help
Here are some ideas for observing Mesothelioma Awareness Day:
- Begin by visiting our website to find out more about asbestos exposure and related health risks.
- If you know someone who works in the occupations and job sites listed on our website and in our blogs, warn them about the dangers of asbestos exposure.
- Follow our Survivor Insight Series and read inspiring stories from patients and families who have dealt with the disease.
- Find out what your state and federal lawmakers are doing to protect the public from asbestos exposure and make sure patients receive the compensation they deserve. You can even write a letter to thank them for their efforts or encourage them to do more.
- If your state doesn’t observe Mesothelioma Awareness Day, contact your governor’s office or state representative.
- Make a donation to a mesothelioma support group or research organization such as the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. Just run a search on our website for “donation” or “research group” or read our mesothelioma cure and mesothelioma support pages to find out about organizations that may need your help.
- Volunteer to run an errand or cook a dish for a neighbor battling the disease.
- Forward a link to our website to people affected by the disease or tell them about our Patient Advocates and free information packets.
- If you know someone with the disease, tell to them to get help making a financial plan to deal with the disease today.
- “Like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
- Last but not least . . . SPREAD THE WORD!
Don’t forget to share what you’ve learned about mesothelioma and asbestos exposure.