National Asbestos Awareness Week Reminds of Lingering Dangers of Asbestos

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Lawmakers recently designated the first week of April as National Asbestos Awareness Week.

Lawmakers recently designated the first week of April as National Asbestos Awareness Week, which mesothelioma advocates hope will raise public recognition on the dangers of asbestos and the need for further research to combat the deadly disease mesothelioma.

However, the campaign will also hopefully remind the public that the dangers of asbestos still exist in many of the products around us in everyday life.

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed S. Res. 389, which designated April 1-7 as “National Asbestos Awareness Week.” This marks the eighth straight year that Congress has passed the measure, which was sponsored by Senator Max Baucus.

Asbestos is a natural substance which was used in thousands of products, building materials and industrial applications during the twentieth century due to its electrical and heat resistant properties. The National Cancer Institute estimates millions of workers have been exposed to the substance since the 1940s.

Unfortunately, the tiny fibers which can come from asbestos have been linked to lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that attacks the lining of the organs in the chest and abdomen, including the heart and lungs. The disease is terminal and has no known cure.

Detection of mesothelioma is complicated by the fact that the disease can take 20 years or more to surface, and often mimics the symptoms of less severe conditions. Also, the fact that only around 3,000 people each year are diagnosed has limited research into cures.

Campaigns like this are a good start to educating the public to the need for additional research into a cure for mesothelioma. Also, they can highlight the dangers that still exist in structures and products that contain asbestos.

While asbestos use was heavily restricted in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the United States, it is still used today in many products like car brakes, shingles, chalkboards and others, according to the Environmental Protection Agency,

The National Asbestos Awareness Week will begin this year with the 8th Annual International Asbestos Conference in Los Angeles. The event will feature discussions and speeches by international asbestos advocates, medical experts and patients.

For more information on an asbestos or mesothelioma lawsuit, visit the Mesothelioma Resource Center at

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Paul Sizemore
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