City of North Charleston proclaims Mesothelioma Awareness Day

The City of North Charleston retroactively declared September 26 as Mesothelioma Awareness Day during a City Council meeting on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. The occasion marked the first time that the day has been officially recognized by the City and followed a request by Motley Rice.

“This certainly [hits] home to us,” City Councilman Bob King said while presenting the proclamation, acknowledging that countless lives have been touched by asbestos exposure throughout the community, including former workers who were exposed at the Charleston Naval Shipyard prior to its closing more than 20 years ago. According to a report by Charleston newspaper The Post and Courier, rates of asbestos-related deaths in Charleston outpace the state of South Carolina and national averages largely due to asbestos exposure at the Shipyard.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer targeting the lining of the lungs, chest wall and abdomen, and is caused by exposure to asbestos. Victims are often diagnosed years, or even decades, after they were originally exposed. The disease can develop after even a brief exposure to asbestos.

Despite known dangers associated with asbestos, an outright ban is not in place in the U.S. and the toxic mineral continues to be incorporated into products and imported. As a result, countless lives remain at risk. The extensive list of victims includes:

  • Shipyard workers, including Charleston’s Naval Yard
  • Power and chemical plant workers
  • Construction and other industries where asbestos was used, such as pipe fitting and insulation
  • Teachers who are exposed in asbestos-contaminated schools
  • The courageous firefighters, police officers, and rescue workers who inhaled toxic and polluted air from Ground Zero on 9/11/01

In addition to North Charleston, the City of Charleston recognized Mesothelioma Awareness Day. The City of Charleston has done so for the past eight years following requests from Motley Rice. Learn more about previous Mesothelioma Awareness Day proclamations in the City of Charleston: