Global Asbestos Awareness Week: Know the Risks of Asbestos and Fight for a Ban

Sokolove Law Global Asbestos Awareness Week

From April 1 through April 7 every year, Sokolove Law joins many others in honoring Global Asbestos Awareness Week (GAAW).

Now in its 19th consecutive year, GAAW raises awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure and the need for a global ban on the use of asbestos. The week is led by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing asbestos-related diseases through education and legislation advocacy.

To join the global efforts, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution, urging the U.S. Surgeon General to continue educating the public on the dangers of asbestos throughout the first week of April.

In addition to the resolution, the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act (ARBAN), which calls for a complete ban on the use and importation of asbestos, was reintroduced to Congress. The bill was championed by the ADAO and endorsed by the International Association of Fire Fighters and the American Public Health Association.

“Any expert will tell you there simply is no level of exposure to asbestos that is safe for the human body. We’ve known for generations that asbestos is lethal, yet the U.S. has continued to allow some industries to value profits over people. Meanwhile, most of the developed world — over 60 nations — has acted to protect citizens by banning the commercial use of asbestos. It’s long past time for America to end this dangerous public health threat.”
– Oregon U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley

If passed in both the House and the Senate, the act will be the first asbestos legislation in over 30 years.

We must all work together to educate people on the dangers of asbestos and urge legislators to finally make strides toward a global ban on the carcinogen.

Why Support a Global Asbestos Ban?

Throughout the 20th century, asbestos was used heavily in a wide range of industries because of the mineral’s unique temperature resistance, durability, and affordability. However, people began developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cancers from asbestos exposure as early as the 1930s.

Despite the clear proof of the mineral’s dangers, manufacturers of asbestos-based products continued to hide these dangers and put millions at risk of developing life-threatening diseases.

Contrary to popular belief, asbestos is still not completely banned in many countries, including the United States. According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, asbestos causes nearly 40,000 deaths every year in the U.S., whether due to asbestos lung cancer, mesothelioma, or other asbestos-related diseases.

Globally, only 67 countries have banned asbestos outright — a list that includes Australia, Canada, the entire European Union, and the United Kingdom. Sadly, asbestos remains legal for use and importation in roughly 70% of the world, including the United States.

The United States has one of the highest asbestos-related disease death tolls in the world, making it well past time for the U.S. to follow suit. So long as there remains a demand for asbestos, the needless deaths it causes will not end.

Reasons such as these make promoting and supporting asbestos awareness crucial to public health. Increased asbestos education and awareness can build support behind federal initiatives such as tighter regulations and bans on the use and import of asbestos. Ultimately, awareness can save lives.

How to Get Involved in Global Asbestos Awareness Week

Join the global push for asbestos awareness and advocacy this year by supporting GAAW and its important initiatives.

Some ways you can help the efforts during GAAW include:

  • Educate friends and family about asbestos, including where it can be found and how to avoid exposure
  • Follow organizations like the ADAO on social media and interact with or share their posts
  • Listen to stories and offer emotional support to those living with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases
  • Sharing your own stories about how asbestos has impacted you and your family
  • Write letters to your Congressmembers and local legislators urging them to support a full asbestos ban through the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act (ARBAN)

Every small step can have a big impact as we all continue to fight against asbestos. No matter how you choose to get involved, share your thoughts, stories, and photos throughout the week using the #2023GAAW tag.

Sokolove Law: Decades of Helping Those Impacted by Asbestos

Individuals and families impacted by mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases often find themselves reeling from a serious diagnosis and mounting medical expenses.

It is even more heartbreaking that asbestos-related diseases are the result of corporations choosing profit over the health and safety of millions. Many mesothelioma deaths could have been prevented had companies chosen to use safer alternatives.

For more than 40 years, Sokolove Law has stood side by side with the victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. In addition to providing support to the families impacted by such diseases, our mesothelioma attorneys can fight for financial compensation to help affected families pay for treatment and other medical expenses.

To date, Sokolove Law has recovered over $4.9 Billion in settlements and verdicts for asbestos exposure victims and their families nationwide.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, you may be able to pursue compensation through a mesothelioma lawsuit.

Start your free, no-obligation case review today to learn more about your potential options.

Author:
Sokolove Law Team

Contributing Authors

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of wrongdoing and their families.

Last modified: March 31, 2023

  1. ADAO. “Global Asbestos Awareness Week (GAAW). “Asbestos: One Word. One Week. One World.” April 1 – 7, 2023.” Retrieved March 23, 2023, from https://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org/newsroom/blogs/global-asbestos-awareness-week-asbestos-one-word-one-week-one-world-april-1-7-2023/.
  2. International Ban Asbestos Secretariat. “Current Asbestos Bans.” IBAS, n.d. Retrieved March 28, 2023, from http://www.ibasecretariat.org/alpha_ban_list.php
  3. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2018). “Global Asbestos Disaster.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Retrieved March 23, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5982039/.
  4. Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). “Global Health Data Exchange: GDB Results Tool.” Retrieved on March 28, 2023, from http://ghdx.healthdata.org/gbd-results-tool?params=gbd-api-2019-permalink/e42ad5d4422141c71c08eafd0e78dbf8
  5. Jeff Merkley: United States Senator for Oregon. “AHEAD OF GLOBAL ASBESTOS AWARENESS WEEK, MERKLEY, BONAMICI INTRODUCE BICAMERAL LEGISLATION TO BAN ASBESTOS AND SAVE LIVES.” Retrieved form: https://www.merkley.senate.gov/news/press-releases/ahead-of-global-asbestos-awareness-week-merkley-bonamici-introduce-bicameral-legislation-to-ban-asbestos-and-save-lives. Accessed on March 30, 2023.