National Asbestos Awareness Day: US
On March 15, 2006, the United States Senate voted to recognize April 1, 2006 as National Asbestos Awareness Day; Resolution 402 states:
Whereas dangerous asbestos fibers are invisible and cannot be smelled or tasted
Whereas these fibers can cause mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other health problems
Whereas the United States has substantially reduced its consumption of asbestos yet continues to consumer almost 7,000 metric tons of the fibrous material for use in certain products throughout the Nation
Whereas asbestos exposures continue and safety and prevention will reduce and has reduced significantly asbestos exposure and asbestos-related disease
Whereas the establishment of a 'National Asbestos Awareness Day' would raise public awareness about the prevalence of asbestos-related diseases and the dangers of asbestos exposure: Now therefore, be it Resolved, that the Senate designated the first day of April 2006 as 'National Asbestos Awareness Day'.
Four days after Senator Reid succeeded in getting this resolution adopted, the Senate Appropriations Committee was told that workers on Capitol Hill had been exposed to crumbling asbestos in 100 year old tunnels under government buildings. Despite the fact that the tunnel workers had been informed about the asbestos hazard, they had only recently been provided with protective breathing equipment. Under close questioning by Senator Dick Durbin, Alan Hartman, Architect of the Capitol, admitted that the safety of workers had not been a priority.
The continuing lack of urgency in identifying and managing asbestos will have predictable results; sadly, thousands of American workers will contract asbestos-related diseases from exposures to asbestos products contained within the U.S. infrastructure. To reinforce the need for greater asbestos awareness, the Asbestos Diseases Awareness Organization (ADAO) is holding a conference at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York on April 1, 2006.1 According to Linda Reinstein, ADAO Executive Director:
The mission of the 2nd Annual Asbestos Awareness Day Conference is to provide the most advanced medical, occupational and environmental information available about asbestos related disease to individuals throughout the world World-renowned physicians, scientists and advocates will present up-to-date information regarding the status of asbestos in the United States, Canada and worldwide.
March 28, 2006