Asbestos Awareness Week: Top 10 reasons to prevent asbestos exposure

April 1-7, 2011 is Global Asbestos Awareness Week. The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is hosting a variety of programs throughout the week to consolidate awareness efforts on behalf of those impacted by asbestos-related diseases.

As Asbestos Awareness week comes to a close, our firm will continue the effort to educate people about the facts and dangers regarding asbestos use across the globe throughout the year. As a start, we compiled the top 10 reasons to prevent asbestos exposure.

  1. Asbestos in all forms is a known human carcinogen.
  2. The United States and Canada are the last two industrial nations that have not banned asbestos. More than 50 countries have banned asbestos as of January 2010.
  3. The World Health Organization (WHO) indicated that there are approximately 125 million people in the world who are exposed to asbestos in the workplace.
  4. More than 10,000 Americans die each year from exposure to asbestos, and the number continues to rise. It is projected that in the next decade asbestos diseases will kill at least 100,000 Americans alone.
  5. Once airborne, microscopic asbestos fibers can be carried hundreds of miles away from its source.
  6. Inhaling or swallowing asbestos fibers can cause permanent and irreversible damage to vital organs. Asbestos fibers can cause asbestosis, lung and gastrointestinal cancers, and an aggressive cancer called mesothelioma. Mesothelioma patients' average life expectancy is six to twelve months.
  7. Asbestos remains a consumer threat. The ADAO's 2007 Product Testing Report revealed five products were contaminated with asbestos, including a child's toys.
  8. Asbestos diseases have a long latency period from initial exposure to development of disease that can be 50 years or longer. In addition, these diseases are difficult to diagnose as it mimics other ailments. These illnesses are also difficult to treat, often incurable and frequently terminal.
  9. The WHO, International Labor Organization, Environmental Protection Agency and the acting U.S. Surgeon General state that there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos.
  10. Asbestos has been mined and used in a broad range of products, materials and appliances including but not exclusive to construction, insulation, shipyards and various other industries.

There are nearly 3,000 people diagnosed with mesothelioma each year in the United States and Canada alone. We hope you will join us in continuing to educate people about mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, which are still relevant today.

Learn more about how Motley Rice asbestos lawyers represent asbestos victims and fight for compensation and accountability from companies that manufactured, distributed or supplied asbestos-containing products.