Asbestos and Mesothelioma Awareness Programs
Asbestos exposure is one of the leading causes of work-related fatalities in the industrialized world, and deaths linked to asbestos exposure continue to rise globally. In the United States alone, asbestos-related deaths have increased 400 percent in the past 20 years. In response to this alarming trend, several organizations have in recent years launched asbestos and mesothelioma awareness campaigns to educate people about the catastrophic effects of asbestos exposure and provide them with ways to reduce their risk of developing mesothelioma. These programs play an extremely important role because usually mesothelioma symptoms first appear many years after the exposure took place.
The Hidden Killer Campaign
In October 2008, the United Kingdom’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched a national campaign, "Asbestos: The Hidden Killer," in an attempt to increase public awareness of asbestos exposure and malignant mesothelioma. The campaign, which lasts through November, is a multimedia program that will educate tradesmen about the prevalence of asbestos in construction jobs, as well as its adverse health effects. It is fully supported by the Federation of Master Builders, who is hosting its own educational workshops for workers at risk for exposure. Renowned soccer player Ian Wright will serve as the spokesman for The Hidden Killer campaign.
Almost 4,000 people die each year in the U.K. due to asbestos-related diseases. This accounts for almost 20 tradesmen deaths each week. Many of these fatalities are attributable to insufficient education about asbestos exposure, a problem highlighted by the fact that only 10 percent of tradesmen are aware of asbestos’ deadly effects. Even those who know of the dangers often underestimate the pervasiveness of asbestos in their environments. Because asbestos was not banned in the U.K. until 1999, buildings constructed or refurbished before 2000 may contain asbestos, leaving an estimated 500,000 non-domestic buildings at risk.
For more information, please visit the HSE’s website devoted to the Hidden Killer Campaign.
Other Asbestos Awareness Campaigns
Numerous other organizations have developed their own asbestos and mesothelioma awareness campaigns to address this tragic epidemic. The Australian Council of Trade Unions launched "National Asbestos Awareness Week" and "National Asbestos Awareness Day" to address the spate of mesothelioma cases in Australia, which now has the highest per capita incidence of mesothelioma in the world. Held annually at the end of November, the National Asbestos Awareness campaign includes memorial services, lectures and fund-raising events.
Several foundations in the United States have started their own awareness programs, including "Meso Awareness Day," which in 2007 raised more than $4 million for mesothelioma research and mesothelioma treatment . More than 20 million people have experienced toxic exposure to asbestos and are at risk for developing mesothelioma in the U.S.
In 2007, the County of San Diego, California received an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties for its Asbestos Awareness Campaign. The continuing campaign attempts to address the risks posed by asbestos to builders, homeowners and workers in the San Diego area, covering the health effects of asbestos exposure, how to identify asbestos, safe handling and asbestos-related laws and regulations.
Prolonged exposure to asbestos can lead to aggressive, and often fatal, diseases such as asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma. Many victims develop mesothelioma after years of asbestos exposure due to negligent companies. Mesothelioma lawyers can help victims receive compensation for expensive medical bills, as well as pain and suffering. To review your case on an individual basis, contact a qualified mesothelioma lawyer today.
[Page updated February 2008]