Investigative reporter Matt Peacock of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation will deliver the keynote speech at the 8thAnnual International Asbestos Awareness Conference, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) announced.
Peacock has been a thorn in the side of asbestos manufacturers in Australia since he first began reporting on the dangers of asbestos in the 1970s.
ADAO also announced the honorees at the event, held March 30 to April 1 in Los Angeles. Honorees include a variety of notable individuals, including U.S. Representatives, mesothelioma doctors, mesothelioma patients and more.
At the conference, outstanding individuals and organizations from around the world are recognized for their efforts and commitment to helping victims of asbestos, pushing for a ban on asbestos around the world, in addition to generally raising awareness. The event strives to end the development of asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs which claims the lives of between 2,000 and 3,000 people annually.
U.S. Representative Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee) will receive the Tribute of Hope Award, an accolade earned for his constant commitment to the fight for an asbestos ban.
Dr. Richard Lemen will be honored for his dedication to asbestos awareness and support of ADAO’s mission by receiving the Dr. Irving Selikoff Lifetime Achievement Award. Lemen will share the award with Dr. Arthur Frank, who also has spent much of his career fighting for the end of asbestos-related diseases and aligning his efforts with the mission of the ADAO.
Two mesothelioma patients are expected to be honored at the conference: Debbie Brewer and Larry Davis. They will receive the Alan Reinstein Award for their support to other patients, advocacy and education of asbestos-related issues.
Also scheduled to speak is Jordan Zevon, son of deceased musician and singer Warren Zevon. Zevon died of mesothelioma in 2003.
Advocating Against Asbestos
After seven previous conferences, the ADAO has become notable to some within the asbestos community. The organization is known for its education, community initiatives and advocacy around asbestos-related issues and prides itself on being a ‘leading asbestos victims’ voice.’ This year, the organization’s conference will be titled ‘Asbestos: An International Public Health Crisis’ and will be held in Los Angeles, California.
“Our annual international conferences drive home the importance of the need for increased awareness, education, advocacy, and community support,” said Linda Reinstein, President, CEO and Co-Founder of the ADAO.
“We are again honored to have the opportunity to bring together some of the world’s most renowned experts while recognizing some of the most influential leaders in the battle against asbestos exposure. Tragically, more than 107,000 people will die this year from asbestos-related diseases and prevention remains the only cure for deadly asbestos-caused diseases, but these true asbestos awareness heroes prove that together, change is possible.”
Partnerships among the ADAO, the Environmental Information Association (EIA) and the Independent Asbestos Training Providers (IATP) are credited in helping organize and execute this industry event.
According to an event press release, presentations during the conference will discuss developments in the treating and diagnosing of asbestos-related diseases, how to advance awareness for the disease, in addition to how to prevent the asbestos exposure in an occupational or home setting.