Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Conference Set for Sept. 9

Awareness & Research

Thirty experts from around the world, along with medical professionals, mesothelioma advocates and survivors, will be among the many people taking part in the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization’s 18th annual International Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Conference, Saturday, Sept. 9, at AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C. 

“The event allows people the unique opportunity to come together and share,” said Linda Reinstein, ADAO president, CEO and co-founder. “This is the ultimate conference experience if you want to learn about the latest prevention and treatment.” 

Reinstein co-founded ADAO in 2004 after her husband, Alan Reinstein, was diagnosed with mesothelioma. 

This year’s theme is “Exploring the Intersection of Art, Advocacy, and Academia.” The conference will feature “Badges: A Memorial Tribute to Asbestos Workers,” posters by famed photographer Earl Dotter. The display honors asbestos workers who have died and represents all those affected by asbestos exposure

“ADAO is excited to advance our exclusive Art Advocacy and Action work with Earl Dotter’s eight posters highlighting the impact of asbestos, an invisible killer, on Americans,” Reinstein said. “ADAO strives to have our stories heard, felt, shared and remembered to advance prevention and policy.”

Experts From Around the World

The conference is an opportunity to share information about the global impact of asbestos and the latest advancements in the treatment of asbestos-related diseases. It is also a call to action for a full ban of asbestos

More than two dozen renowned physicians and experts in the field will be speaking, including two thoracic surgeons from Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, Dr. Raja Flores and Dr. Andrea Wolf. Other featured speakers include Dr. Arthur Frank, professor of public health at Drexel University, and Dr. Richard Lemen, former assistant surgeon general of the United States. 

Several awards will be presented during the conference. Award recipients include:

  • Dr. Irving Selikoff Award: Dr. Henry Anderson
  • Tribute of Hope Award: American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
  • Tribute of Unity Award: International Association of Fire Fighters
  • Tribute of Inspiration Award: AFL-CIO
  • Alan Reinstein Award: Chris Carberg and Martin Ditkof

This year’s keynote speaker is investigative journalist Kathleen McGrory, a reporter for the nonprofit organization ProPublica. McGrory and coworker Neil Bedi won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for an investigation about a Florida sheriff’s office that had harassed people and profiled schoolchildren as potential criminals. McGrory will present the Andrew Schneider Memorial Lect​ure.

2023 Conference Agenda

The conference will feature eight sessions of about 30 minutes each. The final session will be longer and will include the awards presentation. The opening ceremony begins at 9 a.m. 

  • Session 1:
    Dr. Selikoff’s Legacy: Tracing the Trajectory of Asbestos from Past to Future
  • Session 2:
    Merging Personal Narratives With Passion, Purpose, and Science: Advancing Prevention and Policy in Advocacy
  • Session 3:
    Charting the Path Forward: Advocacy, Legal Milestones, and the Evolving Landscape of Asbestos Policy
  • Session 4:
    From Medical Insights to Treatment: Pioneering Advocacy and the Next Frontier in Asbestos Eradication
  • Session 5:
    Navigating the Complex Intersection of Asbestos Prevention and Policy
  • Session 6:
    From Personal Stories to Legal Battles: The Evolution of Asbestos Advocacy in a Global Landscape
  • Session 7:
    Corporate Maneuvers and Accountability: The Chlor-alkali Industry’s Role in the Global Asbestos Landscape
  • Session 8:
    Global Asbestos Narratives: Bridging Science and Medicine in Prevention and Advocacy

Conference speakers come from a variety of disciplines and will present throughout the day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will be livestreamed for those not able to attend in person.