Mesothelioma Awareness Day 2018: Here’s What’s Going On This Year

by Sokolove Law

Mesothelioma Awareness Day is today. For the past 15 years, this officially-recognized awareness day has galvanized those whose lives have been forever altered by asbestos exposure. Over the years, the event has grown into Mesothelioma Awareness Month, with fundraisers across the country, and related conferences on 3 continents.

In recognition of this special day, there will be events in Washington DC with people from around the world uniting their voices to call for sensible asbestos legislation.

Mesothelioma Awareness Day, a federally-recognized holiday, was established in 2004 by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF). It is observed on September 26th every year. Along with the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), which tirelessly advocates for asbestos victims, the ultimate goal of this day is to eliminate future cases of mesothelioma.

While this objective may be years or decades in the future, the awareness raised today will contribute to that eventual victory.

Taking the Battle to Washington on Mesothelioma Awareness Day

Expect Mesothelioma Awareness Day to have a large presence in Washington, DC. All day, a special flag will be flown over the Capitol to honor victims of mesothelioma and their families. The flag is also a symbol of the work that Congress needs to get done in order to better protect the lives of American citizens.

After 10 people who worked in the Capitol were poisoned by asbestos, Congress knows the dangers of asbestos and mesothelioma firsthand. Unfortunately, there remain powerful lobbying forces that want to keep using asbestos because it is cheaper, and they have applied pressure at legislative bottlenecks in order to protect asbestos.

ADAO will bring this issue into focus today by delivering to Congress a petition to ban asbestos in the U.S. without loopholes or exemptions. For years, companies have continued to import this dangerous mineral by lobbying for special deals. This cannot continue. There are safe alternatives to this deadly mineral. The science is clear: asbestos causes incurable cancer, and there is no reason that legislation should lag behind our current scientific understanding. Over 100,000 signatures have already joined the petition to stop poisoning Americans.

At noon, ADAO will hold their 13th Congressional Staff Briefing on Capitol Hill. They will discuss the alarming number of asbestos exposures, violations of the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), potential legislation, including the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Act (H.R. 5114), and the continued importation and use of asbestos in America.

Social Media Campaigns Show Support and Increase Visibility

Along with the Congressional Staff Briefing (12-1pm EST), ADAO will be hosting the #ENDMeso Twitter Chat. The chat, which will be in both English and Spanish, will focus on asbestos awareness, personal stories of mesothelioma diagnosis, treatment, and toxic-chemical reform.

ADAO will also release their 2018 Mesothelioma Warrior Memorial Video. This tradition remembers and honors those who have been lost to mesothelioma. The video will be set to the song “Keep Me in Your Heart,” by Warren Zevon, a treasured singer-songwriter who lost his life to mesothelioma in 2003.

There is also the ongoing #ENDMeso campaign that enables supporters to “Raise Your Voice” and use 6 words to share how mesothelioma affected their life. These succinct messages are often written by spouses and children in memory of those who can no longer raise their own voice.

Showing your support for Mesothelioma Awareness Day is as simple as wearing blue. Over the last 15 years, blue has come to symbolize the movement and show victims of this rare disease that they are not alone. The Foundation encourages people to “Paint the World Blue,” and has instructions about how to get involved through social media.

The Immediate Impact of Raising Awareness, Every Day

Making mesothelioma more well-known among the general population is key. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that, “Currently about 125 million people in the world are exposed to asbestos at the workplace.” Many of these workers have no idea of the danger they are in. If at-risk individuals get the information they need about asbestos exposure, it can literally mean the difference between life and death.

There are lives to be saved by drawing attention to asbestos and the terrible aftermath of exposure, and that is what Mesothelioma Awareness Day is all about.

More about Mesothelioma Awareness Day, its history, and its accomplishments.

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