Linda Reinstein, president of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), says the United States continues to endanger public health by importing asbestos, a known carcinogen.
Reinstein says, “I am especially concerned about workers exposed to asbestos during renovations, construction, and natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy.” She added that since 2003, asbestos-related diseases have claimed more than 100,000 lives, including that of her husband. The ADAO cites statistics that say construction workers are 11 times more likely to develop the lung disease mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure than other workers.
The ADAO praised the U.S. Senate for passing a resolution recognizing the first week of April as National Asbestos Awareness Week. The group wants Congress to urge the surgeon general to warn and educate people about asbestos exposure. “Congress must prioritize legislative action to ban asbestos,” the ADAO said.
The World Health Organization estimates that 107,000 workers around the world die each year of an asbestos-related disease. That translates to 300 deaths per day.