Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation Speaks at AFL-CIO Event in Pittsburgh

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Diane Blackburn-Zambetti, Director of Policy and Prevention Education at the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, spoke yesterday at the Pittsburgh AFL-CIO event marking Workers Memorial Day, in memory of her father, Dale Blackburn, a UA Pipefitter and pleural mesothelioma victim.

This type of occupational exposure can, and does, cause workplace fatalities for many years after the initial exposure.

Workers Memorial Day is held annually on April 28, and it consists of dozens of local events held all over the United States. This year, the Meso Foundation participated in the Workers Memorial Day Ceremony held yesterday in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Diane Blackburn-Zambetti, Director of Policy and Prevention Education at the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, spoke yesterday at the Pittsburgh AFL-CIO event marking Workers Memorial Day, in memory of her father, Dale Blackburn, a UA Pipefitter and pleural mesothelioma victim.

Ms. Blackburn-Zambetti focused her presentation on workplace asbestos exposure and the subsequent risk of developing mesothelioma. This type of occupational exposure can, and does, cause workplace fatalities for many years after the initial exposure. The latency period between exposure and mesothelioma diagnosis can range from 20-50 years. Because of this, workers who were exposed decades ago are now developing this cancer.

Workers Memorial Day is a time to honor those who have lost their lives on the job. According to AFL-CIO, 4,628 individuals were killed on the job and an estimated 50,000 died from occupational diseases in 2012 alone. In the same year, nearly 3.8 million work-related injuries and illnesses were reported, and research suggests these numbers may actually be two or three times higher.

Held on April 28, Workers Memorial Day is the anniversary of the establishment of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 1970. Additionally, Congress enacted the Occupational Safety and Health Act in December of 1970. This act holds employers responsible for providing employees with a safe and healthy work environment.

Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor of the lining of the lung, abdomen, or heart known to be caused by exposure to asbestos. Medical experts consider it one of the most aggressive and deadly of all cancers. An estimated one-third of those who develop mesothelioma were exposed while serving in the Navy or working in shipyards.

ABOUT THE MESOTHELIOMA APPLIED RESEARCH FOUNDATION
The Meso Foundation is the only 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating mesothelioma and easing the suffering caused by this cancer. The Meso Foundation actively seeks philanthropic support to fund peer-reviewed mesothelioma research; provide patient support services and education; and advocate Congress for increased federal funding for mesothelioma research. The Meso Foundation is the only non-government funder of peer reviewed scientific research to establish effective treatments for mesothelioma and, ultimately, a cure for this extremely aggressive cancer. To date, the Foundation has awarded over $9 million to research. More information is available at http://www.curemeso.org.

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