The Twelfth Annual Resolution establishing the National Asbestos Awareness week was unanimously approved by the Senate. This was led by Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) and bipartisan co-sponsors.
Back in 2011, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) and cosponsors for introducing a resolution that declares the first week of April as “National Asbestos Awareness Week” and seeks to “raise public awareness about the prevalence of asbestos-related diseases and the dangers of asbestos exposure.” The other bill sponsors are as follows: Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), and Senator Jon Tester (D-MT).
Asbestos is a natural occurring mineral that has been used in many products and materials because of it’s heat resistant properties. Even though it has many commercial benefits, it also causes mesothelioma cancer, asbestosis and lung cancer. It was also found that corporations knew the health risks of asbestos exposure and decided that the company profits were more important than people’s lives.
The President, CEO and Co-Founder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), Linda Reinstein stated the following: “We are enormously thankful to Senator Markey, Resolution co-sponsors, and the entire Senate for unanimously establishing the 12th Annual ‘National Asbestos Awareness Week’. Up to 15,000 Americans die each year from preventable asbestos-caused diseases while imports continue.” Reinstein said, “Undoubtedly, the Resolution’s momentum and U.S. Surgeon General’s asbestos warning will raise awareness and save lives. During the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Conference Committee negotiations, we urge them to make certain the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can expeditiously ban asbestos, once and for all.”
The goal of awareness weeks and months are to garner attention for causes and diseases that may not get the same type of attention from the media and public. National Asbestos Awareness Week is meant to bring attention to the devastation that asbestos has brought to families worldwide.