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.