The U.S government only recently recognized asbestos awareness as an important national endeavor. In March 2010, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution to make the first week in April “National Asbestos Awareness Week.” The measure was to urge the Surgeon General to increase efforts to educate and warn the public about the severe health risks of asbestos such as asbestosis and mesothelioma lung cancer.
Following this, the Office of the Surgeon General announced an official warning about public health risks and asbestos. It was a key moment in the history of asbestos.
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), everyone is exposed to low levels of asbestos in the air. However, people are more likely to experience asbestos-related disorders when they are exposed to high concentrations of the mineral, for longer periods of time, and more often than average.
Asbestos Awareness: Avoiding Exposure
Asbestos awareness includes spreading information on how to avoid dangerous exposure levels. Most exposure occurs in the workplace. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes recommendations for preventing occupational exposure to asbestos. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also publishes information and recommendations, some of which are highlighted here for quick reference.
People are commonly exposed to in a number of ways, including:
- In the workplace especially within industries that mine, make or use asbestos.
- By living near certain industries such as:
- the construction industry (particularly building demolition and renovation activities),
- asbestos products manufacturers (such as makers of textiles, insulation, building materials, and household items that produce or need resistance to heat), and
- the automotive industry (especially near companies that do automotive brake and clutch repair work)
- Spending time in public buildings with damaged or disturbed asbestos-containing products such as insulation, fireproofing, and floor tiles.
Asbestos Awareness: Ban Asbestos Now Movement
In recognition of the inaugural National Asbestos Awareness Week, Sokolove Law's Ban Asbestos Now (BAN!) advocacy program began. The program strives to increase asbestos awareness in the U.S. while supporting the larger fight against asbestos-related disease and cancer. Visit the website to find out how you can help increase asbestos awareness and help others understand the link between mesothelioma and asbestos.
If you have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace and developed any of the types of mesothelioma, contact an attorney at Sokolove Law today.