National Asbestos Awareness Week kicks off first week of April

The first week of April now marks National Asbestos Awareness Week, a milestone annual event in the ongoing struggle against hazardous asbestos exposure that for decades has taken the lives of many thousands of Americans. This is thanks largely to the efforts of Senator Max Baucus and other key supporters in the US Senate including Senators Harry Reid, Dianne Feinstein, and Barbara Boxer, who helped to introduce and pass the resolution for the event earlier in 2011. One of the official aims of the National Asbestos Awareness Week is to “raise public awareness about the prevalence of asbestos-related diseases and the dangers of asbestos exposure.”

Senator Baucus also played a major role in convincing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to declare its first ever public health emergency in Libby, a town in Montana where hundreds of residents were killed because of asbestos contamination. “Asbestos Awareness Week is a rallying cry to keep the tragedy of Libby from happening again. It’s also an opportunity to remind people that much more work lies ahead to help victims of asbestos-related diseases,” he said. “Although we can never fully right the outrageous wrong that took place in Libby, we can fight to make sure the community has the tools it needs to heal. And, we can keep working hard to make sure the public is aware of the tragic impact of asbestos exposure.”

According to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), a leading US nonprofit organization advocating for asbestos victims, an estimated 107,000 workers around the world will die every year of an asbestos related disease – equaling 300 deaths per day.

Linda Reinstein, President and Co-Founder of the (ADAO), applauded the introduction of the annual asbestos event. “It is only through continued awareness that we can succeed in our efforts to ban asbestos both in the US and globally,” she said. “Our leadership continues to set an important example through this yearly initiative. We have witnessed pivotal change as doctors, scientists, governmental bodies, educators and asbestos victims come together to share information that has the power to save lives. We look forward to continued progress and each year we get closer to a future without asbestos.”

Law firms are busy fighting the asbestos problem on the legal end by helping people suffering from asbestos-related diseases receive monetary compensation. One leading law firm that has been helping people for over twenty years is Weitz & Luxenberg.


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