Today, U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin issued
this statement urging Americans to learn about the dangers of asbestos exposure. National
Asbestos Awareness Week, celebrated during the first week of April, is
part of a nationwide effort to educate and increase awareness regarding
the current status of asbestos. In her statement, Benjamin writes,
"Asbestos is a mineral fiber that occurs naturally in our environment;
in rock and in soil. Because of its fiber strength and heat resistance,
asbestos has traditionally been used in a variety of building construction
materials, as insulation and as a fire retardant.
Activity that disturbs asbestos causes small asbestos fibers to float in
the air. Inhaling these fibers leads to asbestos-related diseases. Three
of the major health effects associated with asbestos exposure are lung
cancer; mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that is found in the thin
lining of the lungs, chest, abdomen and heart; and asbestosis, a serious
progressive, long-term, non-cancer disease of the lungs.
Anyone who disturbs asbestos is at risk. However, it is of special concern
for construction, insulation, and demolition workers, pipefitters, boilermakers
and others who might disturb asbestos found in old buildings or equipment
as part of their work. The hazard is also very real to home handymen,
first-responders, and community volunteers."
Those who have been affected by asbestos diseases, including Mesothelioma,
are all too aware of the catastrophic consequences that result from asbestos
exposure. Attorneys at George & Farinas applaud the Surgeon General
for her advocacy, and support organizations such as the Asbestos Disease
Awareness Organization (ADAO) who work diligently to protect working families by raising awareness
about asbestos diseases and advocate for an international ban on asbestos.
After years of representing asbestos patients against the negligence of
the asbestos industry, George & Farinas remains committed to fighting
for the interests of working men & women, and their families.