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Next week marks the start of Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2017 which takes place 1st – 7th of April.
Organised by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), the awareness week aims to educate people about asbestos and prevent exposure to asbestos by bringing together experts and victims from around the world to share, learn and take action. Its theme for the week is: ‘Hear asbestos. Think prevention.’
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 125 million people around the world are exposed annually to asbestos in their place of work. And it is deadly – more than 190,000 people die each year from asbestos-related diseases. All these deaths are 100% preventable.
Sadly, asbestos remains a huge global problem. Its use is still legal in the USA and Canada and nearly 70% of the world today. While more than 50 countries have restricted or banned the use of asbestos, there are many other countries that continue to mine and use the toxic substance in sectors such as construction and manufacturing in significant quantities.
The ADAO has been campaigning tirelessly for a global ban on the use of asbestos and over the years, has lobbied the US government to raise awareness of the dangers of deadly asbestos dust.
This year, Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2017 is focusing on three main areas:
- Banning the mining, manufacturing and use of asbestos.
- Preventing asbestos exposure through education and awareness.
- Increasing compliance and enforcement of existing laws and regulations.
Throughout the week, experts including the US Surgeon General, the leading spokesperson on public health matters in the United States, will give talks and share important information on asbestos and outline the steps that need to be taken to safeguard future health.
Educational resources from leading organisations, guest blogs and videos will be shared online and via social media throughout the awareness week.
In addition, each day, someone who is suffering from an asbestos-related disease will share their story – including Mavis Nye, from the UK, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2009, 48 years after she used to wash her husband Ray’s work clothes when he came home from his job as a shipwright at Chatham Dockyard. Mavis is now an ambassador for the ADAO and works hard to raise awareness of asbestos-related diseases and provides much-needed support, advice and inspiration to fellow sufferers.
Global Asbestos Awareness Week will end with a candlelit vigil held in memory of victims of asbestos and to show support for those who are currently suffering from asbestos-related diseases and their families.
At Novum Law, we provide legal advice and support to increasing numbers of people suffering from asbestos-related diseases including mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural thickening.
We work closely with asbestos support groups such as HASAG and are fully behind Global Asbestos Awareness Week to educate and raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos.
The ADAO will be publishing full details of the events taking place each day during the awareness week and if you are on Twitter, you can follow the events using the hashtag #GAAW.