City of Charleston proclaims Mesothelioma Awareness Day for 9th year

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg declared Sept. 26, 2020 as Mesothelioma Awareness Day. The occasion marked the 9th year that the City recognized the day following a request from Motley Rice.

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

According to a report by Charleston newspaper The Post and Courier, rates of asbestos-related deaths in Charleston outpace that of the state of South Carolina and national averages. This is largely in part because workers were exposed to asbestos at the Charleston Naval Shipyard prior to its closing.

“The men and women who are battling this terrible disease also have a greater risk of severe complications if exposed to COVID-19, so they and their families are in need of our support, perhaps more now than ever,” said asbestos lawyer John Herrick.  “I am grateful to the City of Charleston and Mayor Tecklenburg for their leadership in affirming the significance of this issue and its impact on our local community, the state of South Carolina and our nation as a whole.”

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 at Charleston’s Naval Yard
  • Power and chemical plant workers
  • Construction workers and those in other industries where asbestos was used, such as pipe fitting and insulation
  • Teachers 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

View the proclamation.

Learn more about previous Mesothelioma Awareness Day proclamations:

Read more about asbestos exposure on the Motley Rice Law Blog: