October 9, 2015

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Health Literacy Month: ADAO launches four-part series on asbestos disease awareness and prevention

health literacy monthBy Linda Reinstein

As a leader in health and safety, SHP continues to do important work to share invaluable information to protect workers across the globe. Sharing this mission, ADAO is focused on asbestos disease and prevention for October’s Health Literacy Month.

During the entire month of October, ADAO will present a four-part blog series with compact information that is easy to understand and share on asbestos prevention, high risk occupations, early warning symptoms, and treatment – published on Monday each week.

Asbestos remains legal and lethal in many countries and as recently reported in The Global Burden of Disease, Injuries, and Risk Factor Study of 2013 (GBD 2013) from the prestigious Lancet medical journal, occupational asbestos exposure was responsible for 194,000 global deaths in 2013. The new numbers represent a more than 80% increase from the 107,000 per annum statistic from the World Health Organization (WHO). In addition, according to the study, taken together, occupational carcinogens caused 304,000 deaths globally, and asbestos exposure accounted for nearly two-thirds of them.

ADAO remains committed to prevention as the number one deterrent to asbestos disease and these new numbers from Lancet make a strong case for it. The first part of the series, Prevent Asbestos Exposure”, will discuss the power of prevention. For both workers and civilians, everyone should know the Irrefutable Facts about how to protect your loved ones from asbestos exposure. The blog contains important links to resources on how to identify and avoid asbestos in home, schools, and the workplace.

The second part of the series focuses on how to “Recognize High Risk Occupations.” According to the National Cancer Institute (NIH), people who become ill from asbestos are usually those who are repeatedly exposed, most often “from a job where they work directly with the material or through substantial environmental contact.” With asbestos fibers contained in a range of building and construction products, the risk of these fibers becoming disturbed and released into the air is continual. This blog will provide key information on how to stay safe in the workplace.

Part three helps readers to “Understand the Warning Symptoms for Asbestos-Caused Diseases.” Early detection is often difficult; asbestos-related disease symptoms are generally vague and can be easily confused with other illnesses, such as pneumonia. Many symptoms may not even appear until 10 to 50 years after the first exposure. Only a doctor can properly diagnose asbestos-related diseases but this blog will provide important information about symptoms and resource links.

The final piece in the series, “Finding a Center of Excellence for Treatment” is aimed at helping patients and their families overcome the feeling of helplessness after diagnosis, a feeling shared by me as a mesothelioma widow and someone who felt very alone and confused after my husband was initially diagnosed. ADAO is committed to replacing those feelings of fear, loneliness and confusion with the power of knowledge and that there are others who share your experience and want to support you. ADAO has compiled a list of treatment centers specializing in mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases, in hopes of providing easy access to information about medical resources.

Above all else, ADAO remains dedicated to raising health literacy to prevent exposure and improve treatment options. It is much more than one month for us; it is a movement galvanized by people like you – who take the time to read and share information. As we say at ADAO, “Hear Asbestos. Think Prevention.”

lindareinsteinLinda Reinstein

Important Notice: ADAO does not make medical diagnoses, recommend treatment, or answer specific patient questions. Specific concerns should be addressed directly by your treating physician.

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