The annual Global Asbestos Awareness Week took place last week. It is a campaign run by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organisation (ADAO), the largest independent asbestos victims’ organisation in America. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of asbestos and its dangers and prevent exposure. By bringing together experts and victims from around the world it is hoped that they can share information and experiences from which they can learn and take action.
The focus of this year’s campaign
The focus of this year’s week was on:
- Banning the mining, manufacturing, and use of asbestos;
- Preventing asbestos exposure;
- Increasing compliance and enforcement of existing laws and regulations;
- Strengthening international partnerships.
As part of the week, there was a conference in Washington, D.C., featuring many experts from around the world together with input from victims of asbestos disease and family members. As well as a screening of the asbestos documentary “Breathless”, a film telling the story of a man whose father worked for a Belgium asbestos company and lost both parents and two brothers to mesothelioma, there was also a march for justice and remembrance.
The ongoing legacy of asbestos use
UKATA, the UK Asbestos Training Association, is a not-for-profit organisation and is a leading authority on asbestos training. Their Chief Operating Officer, Craig Evans, says, “We still have a long way to go to tackle the global issue. Asbestos was banned in the United Kingdom in 1999, over 1.5 million buildings in the UK alone may still contain asbestos. Government statistics confirm asbestos is responsible for over 5,000 deaths in the UK”.
As long as asbestos is present in buildings there is a risk that hazardous exposure will continue. As long as hazardous exposure continues, the risk of people developing asbestos-related diseases continues. We hear on a weekly basis of the regulations regarding asbestos being ignored and people being exposed negligently and unnecessarily. Global awareness needs to be increased to prevent this from happening.
Calls for a worldwide ban
As well as exposure to asbestos still occurring in the UK, the use of asbestos is still legal in many countries, including Russia, India and China. Global Asbestos Awareness Week is committed to educating people on the risk of asbestos and how to manage it in order to prevent asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma. This is a form of cancer which affects the linings of the body’s organs and for which there is currently no cure. Research continues but treatment is mainly focused on extending life expectancy.
People on a worldwide basis are campaigning for asbestos to be banned in every country.
Linda Reinstein of The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) said “It is exciting to see the global community unite and collaborate for Global Asbestos Awareness Week. Thank you for joining us during this week of learning and community!”
If you require assistance in pursuing an asbestos compensation claim for mesothelioma or any other asbestos disease then please contact us today on our freephone number 0800 038 6767. Alternatively, head over to the ‘Contact Us’ page, complete the form and we will be in touch.