Global Asbestos Awareness Week (01-07 April 2021) aims to increase awareness of asbestos and prevent exposure by bringing together experts and victims from around the world to share, learn and take action.
The week is organised by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), the largest independent non-profit in the U.S. dedicated to preventing asbestos exposure, eliminating asbestos-related diseases, and protecting asbestos victims’ civil rights through education, advocacy, and community initiatives.
Worldwide, asbestos is the biggest cause of occupational cancer, claiming more than 230,000 lives a year worldwide, and around 125 million people are still exposed to it at work. 70% of the world still legally using asbestos, in particular within construction, ship building and the automotive industry.
Today in the UK, asbestos is the biggest occupational disease risk to construction workers, and can be found in buildings built before the year 2000.
Since asbestos accumulates in the body over time, the effects of exposure are often only seen later in life. There are around two-thirds of cancer deaths in the industry, which are caused by asbestos.
Asbestos can cause two types of cancer; Mesothelioma and Asbestos-related lung cancer. Alongside this, asbestos is also linked to serious lung diseases such as; Asbestosis and Diffuse pleural thickening. Despite bans on the use of this harmful material in the UK, exposure to asbestos is still a high risk.
Find out more about the campaign by following @Linda_ADAO and @_NTTL on Twitter, and use the hashtag #2021GAAW.
Watch this video to find out the importance of the week, and the free resources available to help you raise awareness.