Understanding the Health Risks of Asbestos This Global Asbestos Awareness Week

Each year during the first week of April, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) sponsors Global Asbestos Awareness Week (GAAW). This year marks the 18th annual GAAW, bringing much-needed awareness and advocacy to asbestos-disease prevention and rallying support behind an asbestos ban in the United States and other countries around the world.

The importance of asbestos awareness cannot be understated. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), around 3,000 Americans develop the fatal cancer known as mesothelioma. Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma — a disease for which there is no cure.

Asbestos exposure can also cause the development of both lung cancer and asbestosis, an illness marked by a painful scarring of the lungs. All told, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) estimates that 40,000 Americans die from asbestos-related illnesses each year.

A 2018 study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that the annual global death toll of asbestos is roughly 255,000. Such figures support the fact that exposure to asbestos is nothing short of a global catastrophe.

Worse, this worldwide tragedy is preventable.

Asbestos Awareness Can Lead to Better Regulations, Bans

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

With one of the highest asbestos-related disease death tolls in the world, it’s well past time for the United States 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.

With asbestos bans in place, the diseases caused by asbestos exposure are likely to decrease over time. Since asbestos was banned in the United Kingdom in 1985, the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has projected a decline in mesothelioma deaths in the coming years.

Get Involved This Global Asbestos Awareness Week

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

GAAW aims to:

  • Educate individuals about the dangers of asbestos exposure
  • Increase awareness of existing asbestos laws and regulations
  • Prevent asbestos exposure
  • Support bans on the mining and use of asbestos around the world
  • Unite people from around the world in an effort to increase asbestos knowledge

During GAAW, the ADAO and other organizations will be promoting a wide array of educational materials online. You can get involved on social media by liking, posting, and sharing these materials with your own followers and communities.

In addition, you can also contribute to the movement by calling on your state and local officials to support and promote legislation that would seek to ban asbestos in the United States.

To participate in this year’s Global Asbestos Awareness Week, follow and contribute to the movement online with the hashtag #2022GAAW.

Why Sokolove Law Fights Back

Individuals and families impacted by mesothelioma often find themselves reeling from the prospect of a fatal cancer diagnosis with no cure. In addition, these families face financial difficulties from mounting medical expenses, prescription medications, and funeral expenses, among other costs.

Even worse is the fact that mesothelioma is the result of decisions made by companies that chose to pursue profit at the cost of human lives. Many mesothelioma deaths could have been prevented had companies chosen to use safer alternatives to asbestos. This is what makes mesothelioma such a grave injustice.

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, the goal of the attorneys at Sokolove Law is to maximize the amount of mesothelioma compensation a victim and their family receives in a mesothelioma lawsuit.

To date, Sokolove Law has secured more than $5 Billion through mesothelioma lawsuits for victims and their families. 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 lawsuit.

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

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: July 17, 2022

  1. American Cancer Society. “Key Statistics About Malignant Mesothelioma.” Cancer.gov, 2019 Jan. 19. Retrieved March 28, 2022, from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/malignant-mesothelioma/about/key-statistics.html 
  2. Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO). “Main Page for Global Asbestos Awareness Week. ‘Asbestos: One Word. One Week. One World.’ April 1 – 7, 2022.” 1 March 2022. Retrieved March 23, 2022, from https://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org/newsroom/blogs/main-page-for-global-asbestos-awareness-week-asbestos-one-word-one-week-one-world-april-1-7-2022/
  3. Furuya, Sugio, et al. “Global Asbestos Disaster.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2018 May 16. Retrieved March 22, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5982039/
  4. Perraudin, Francis. “Britain’s death toll from asbestos at crisis level, figures reveal.” The Guardian, 2019 July 17. Retrieved March 29, 2022, from https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jul/07/britains-death-toll-from-asbestos-at-crisis-level-figures-reveal  
  5. International Ban Asbestos Secretariat. “Current Asbestos Bans.” IBAS, n.d. Retrieved March 28, 2022, from http://www.ibasecretariat.org/alpha_ban_list.php 
  6. Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). “Global Health Data Exchange: GDB Results Tool.” Retrieved on March 23, 2022, from http://ghdx.healthdata.org/gbd-results-tool?params=gbd-api-2019-permalink/e42ad5d4422141c71c08eafd0e78dbf8
  7. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “National Center for Health Statistics — Fast Stats: Deaths and Mortality in the United States.” Retrieved on March 23, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm 
  8. World Health Organization (WHO). “Asbestos.” Retrieved on March 23, 2022, from https://www.who.int/ipcs/assessment/public_health/asbestos/en/