September 4, 2014

Get the SHP newsletter

Daily health and safety news, job alerts and resources

Asbestos and Mesothelioma Awareness are Circling the Globe by Linda Reinstein

Asbestos and Mesothelioma Awareness is Circling the Globe1September 26 is Mesothelioma Awareness Day in the United States, but for the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), asbestos and mesothelioma awareness occurs every day of the year. The September event calendar is a great example of the numerous asbestos and mesothelioma awareness that are circling the globe.

It’s utterly staggering. Each day, more than 300 people die from preventable asbestos-caused diseases, yet only an estimated 72 per cent of the world has banned asbestos and the United States and Canada have not.

As part of ADAO’s Partner for Prevention blog series with SHP, this month we feature recent international stories. Although promising research continues, prevention remains the only cure for asbestos-caused diseases, awareness can literally save lives.

United Kingdom

In August, SHP highlighted the following prosecution when Firms and directors (were) fined after workers are put at asbestos exposure risk. With all we know about deadly asbestos today, it’s unthinkable that these fines occurred due to “UK Tank Cleaning Services Ltd’s asbestos management systems did not include anything relating to informing others of the presence of asbestos on the site. Baxketh failed to carry out an asbestos assessment before starting work and did not take any measures to prevent the spread of asbestos fibres.”

Asia

As Acting U.S. Surgeon General Boris Lushniak stated: “The asbestos issue is not a thing of the past. It continues to this day.”

According to the August 2014 Associated Press article Asbestos Pushed in Asia as Product for the Poor, “In India, the world’s biggest asbestos importer, it’s a $2 billion industry with double-digit annual growth, at least 100 manufacturing plants and some 300,000 jobs.” The article shows a junkyard of broken pieces of materials made from asbestos in Bihar, India, out in the open, where fibers can easily blow in the wind. When it is broken, asbestos is very dangerous. Deadly fibers can easily be dislodged.

“The villagers worried that asbestos fibers could blow from the factory across their wheat, rice and potato fields and into their tiny mud-and-thatch homes,” writes AP Environment writer Katy Daigle. Of course they should worry. There is no cure for asbestos diseases and the fibers can stay lodged in your body for decades before symptoms start to show. People are dying today simply because they hugged parents who came home from work with asbestos dust on their clothing.

“It’s unconscionable that while wealthier countries are protecting their people from this deadly carcinogen, the asbestos industry is targeting poor people in a village in India,” said Arthur Frank, MD, PhD, Co-Chair of the ADAO Science Advisory Board. “We shouldn’t be having this discussion anymore. All asbestos kills. It’s that simple.”

Bangladesh

There’s more. In Chittagong, Bangladesh, shipbreaking workers are exposed to deadly asbestos when they take apart old ships for scrap recycling. “Every day more than 30,000 workers are risking their lives for little more than £1 a day,” according to “The Deadly Shipbreaking Yards of Chittagong,” an August 2014 article in vice.com. But what would you do if that was the only job you could get to feed your family?

We agree with Dr. Frank. It’s simple. Asbestos kills and prevention is the only cure.

As Acting U.S. Surgeon General Boris Lushniak stated: “The asbestos issue is not a thing of the past. It continues to this day.”

Below is a list of September events to raise asbestos and mesothelioma awareness and action to prevent exposure. Wherever you are, I hope you will find and support an event. Together, change is possible.

Guest blogger, Linda Reinstein, the President/CEO and Co-Founder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), is delighted to partner for prevention with SHP.

ADAO is the largest independent nonprofit in the U.S. dedicated to preventing asbestos caused diseases through national and international education, advocacy, and community initiatives.

On Thursday, July 17, 2014, ADAO hosted a US Senate Staff Briefing, “Asbestos: The Impact on Public Health and the Environment.” The Briefing, attended by representatives of 28 states, covered the latest information on the asbestos crisis, including experts in the field and messages from constituents.

Sleep and Fatigue: Director’s Briefing

Fatigue is common amongst the population, but particularly among those working abnormal hours, and can arise from excessive working time or poorly designed shift patterns. It is also related to workload, in that workers are more easily fatigued if their work is machine-paced, complex or monotonous.

This free director’s briefing contains:

  • Key points;
  • Recommendations for employers;
  • Case law;
  • Legal duties.
Barbour EHS

Related Topics

avatar
4 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
4 Comment authors
Safety Training TipsBoss TrainingSammieNeil Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Neil
Neil

Great article, thanks for sharing!
Its very interesting to see the different countries compared.
Asbestos is a huge issue and the awareness needs to be raised to educate people.

Sammie
Sammie

Fantastic article!! Scary how some countries deal with such an dangerous substance, people need to be educated about how dangerous asbestos is!

Boss Training
Boss Training

Hi Mark yes it is crazy that there isn’t a worldwide ban. We offer asbestos training courses in the UK.

Safety Training Tips
Safety Training Tips

The dangers of asbestos are still not taking seriously enough in my mind so days like this are fabulous in making more people aware.