The annual National Asbestos Awareness Week kicked off on April 1 in Atlanta, Georgia, with the Annual International Asbestos Awareness Conference.
The conference was sponsored by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), a group committed to education, advocacy and support of mesothelioma patients and their families.
The ADAO’s goal is to serve as the united voice for all asbestos victims and educate the public and medical community about asbestos-related diseases. They support research that leads to earlier detection, prevention and a cure for asbestos-related diseases.
Each year, the international conference strives to unite scientists and doctors with patients and their families to discuss new treatments for malignant mesothelioma and advocate ways to prevent further asbestos exposure. Asbestos exposure has been linked to mesothelioma, an uncommon and aggressive form of cancer that affects the vital linings of the lungs and abdomen.
Organizers believe that knowledge is power in spreading the global message to end asbestos disease. The conference, which ran from April 1-3, provides information and inspiration to those impacted by asbestos-related disease as well as others who advocate safe working environments. Topics addressed at the conference included advanced medical, occupational and environmental information to prevent home, school and work-related asbestos exposure.
The conference also honors the people who attempt to bring a higher level of awareness to the toxic effects of asbestos. This year, U.S. Senator Max Baucus will be honored for his steadfast commitment and determination to ban asbestos in the United States. Through Mr. Baucus’ hard work, a resolution was passed to declare the first week of April as National Asbestos Awareness Week in order to “raise public awareness about the prevalence of asbestos-related diseases and the dangers of asbestos exposure.”
In 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 10,000 people in the United States and 107,000 worldwide died from asbestos-related diseases. Organizations like the ADAO struggle to prevent the spread of asbestos around the world. Their continued efforts work to reduce the growing asbestos public health problem that affects families across the globe.