Asbestos Causes Cancer, Kills, and it is Still Among Us

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The February edition of CancerWire focuses on the continued presence of a carcinogen that will stun many Americans – asbestos the well known carcinogenic mineral is still being used in the U.S. and this deadly mineral can be found in over 30 million homes and schools. These revelations and others were provided during a recent interview with Linda Reinstein of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO).

The February edition of CancerWire focuses on the continued presence of a carcinogen that will stun many Americans – asbestos the well known carcinogenic mineral is still being used in the U.S. and this deadly mineral can be found in over 30 million homes and schools. These revelations and others were provided during a recent interview with Linda Reinstein of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO).

Asbestos Diseases are Incurable

When her husband Alan was diagnosed with a deadly cancer (mesothelioma) which is caused by asbestos, Linda Reinstein decided to take a stand. She turned her anger into action and co-founded the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO). Today, ADAO is an international organization that has representatives throughout the world and offers support, resources and education for a growing community of patients and caregivers.

Ms. Reinstein wants more Americans to know about asbestos so they can protect themselves and avoid being diagnosed with an incurable disease like her husband. “Asbestos can cause or contribute to cancers such as mesothelioma, lung, larynx, esophageal, and stomach cancer and many non-malignant diseases such as asbestosis and chronic pulmonary respiratory disease. Ten thousand lives are lost in the U.S. every year to all asbestos-related disease. Each case is incurable and often deadly and every case could have been prevented because the dangers of this mineral were known in the early 1900’s,” Ms. Reinstein explained. This enormous death toll may actually be under-reported because asbestos diseases are usually hard to diagnose. Many victims will die of cardiac failure or pneumonia and are never diagnosed with an asbestos related disease.

No Asbestos Ban?

In 1989, the EPA announced an asbestos ban and phase out. But in 1990, the ban was overturned by a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. “So we don’t have an actual ban on asbestos, but instead a regulation to reduce exposure,” said Reinstein. “Asbestos is allowed in certain concentrations. For example, under OSHA, an employee cannot be exposed to more than 0.1 asbestos fibers per cubic centimeter of air for an average eight hour work day. But, this gets confusing because how does a consumer know if a given product fits within those guidelines?” According to Reinstein these regulations may not even matter because the EPA has repeatedly stated that there is no safe level of asbestos exposure.

In addition to having asbestos present in new products and materials, an estimated 30 million homes, schools and offices are already contaminated with the mineral. So construction, repair, or demolition in older structures can lead to exposure as we saw on 9/11 with the World Trade Center. “One life lost to an asbestos related disease is tragic; hundreds of thousands of lives lost is unconscionable. While we can’t reclaim the lives of our loved ones, we can make the world a better place for those who come after us.” Reinstein concluded.

The entire interview will soon be available at http://www.cancermonthly.com
For more information about the ADAO go to http://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org

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Michael Horwin
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