Mesothelioma is the reason for approximately 43,000 deaths each year. The cancer is caused by exposure to the toxic mineral asbestos. Even though it was once a highly sought after product for its heat resistance, strength, insulating properties, and changeability, it was later discovered to be toxic.
Now that people are aware of what asbestos can do, they want to share their findings in hopes to prevent mesothelioma cases occurring in others. That is why the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization continues to provide all the information available through their annual awareness week.
Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2016
Global Asbestos Awareness Week, or GAAW, runs every year from April 1-7. The purpose of the event is to let the people of all communities across the world know more about asbestos and how diseases linked to the mineral can be prevented.
Even though it has been proven to be a human carcinogen causing detrimental health issues in people working and living with the substance, it has not yet been completely banned.
By bringing attention to asbestos during GAAW week, the hope is to reduce the human cost it puts on society and eliminate the pain it puts on families that are affected by the related illnesses.
Asbestos is a natural mineral fiber that has heat resistance and a strength that holds up in an assortment of construction related materials. Many times it is found in fire retardants and insulation. Left untouched, asbestos can do what it was intended to do for many years.
However, when the asbestos gets moved, the fibers that make up the compound float into the air. The problem starts when the fibers are inhaled by those that are nearby, living or working in the area.
Asbestos fibers that are inhaled can cause severe lung-related health issues. The most common form of the asbestos illness is mesothelioma (). Mesothelioma is cancer that is found in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, heart, and chest. This disease is long-term, serious, and progressive.
Why It’s Important
GAAW is important because, through their dedication and work to eliminate asbestos, they will ultimately reduce the amount of workers and families that are affected by asbestos-related illnesses and deaths.
By informing as many people as possible about the mineral, the hope is to eventually ban the poison nationwide.
7 Facts for 7 Days
Each day of the GAAW the objective is to reveal a new fact about asbestos to those that are uninformed or do not fully understand what it can do. The “7 Facts for 7 Days” are related to why asbestos exposure should be prevented and are as follows:
- There is no amount of asbestos that is safe for humans as it is a proven cancer-causing agent.
- Mesothelioma, along with various other lung and gastrointestinal cancers, are the direct result of people breathing in asbestos fibers. The life expectancy of a patient with mesothelioma is only six to twelve months.
- It can take from 10 to 50 years after exposure for a person to develop mesothelioma.
- 95% of the asbestos that is exported and mined is Chrysotile asbestos. Russia, Brazil, China, Kazakhstan, and Canada are the top 5 producing countries.
- The United States and Canada are yet to ban asbestos even though 55 other countries already have.
- Over the years, asbestos has been used in various materials and products including insulations, shipyards, construction, and several other industries. The World Health Organization reports that around 107,000 people that have worked with the mineral in the past die from asbestos- related illness and diseases every year.
- Odorless, indestructible, tasteless asbestos fibers are 700 times smaller than a human hair. After being disturbed, they can remain floating in the air for several seconds.
Through GAAW, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization joins people together with one major focus: to save lives and prevent the avoidable exposure to asbestos materials and fibers.
In order to do this, they take the week to share how asbestos affects human health, the economy, and the environment. If you would like to help, do your part by sharing “7 Facts for 7 Days” with your family and friends.