Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2024

4 Min Read

White text reading "Global Asbestos Awareness Week" to the left. To the right is a picture of asbestos.

From April 1 through April 7 every year, Global Asbestos Awareness Week helps people understand the dangers of asbestos and support those with diseases caused by this dangerous mineral, like mesothelioma. This includes veterans who developed mesothelioma or other illnesses from working around asbestos.

Learn about Global Asbestos Awareness Week and how you can participate this year.

What Is Global Asbestos Awareness Week?

Global Asbestos Awareness Week, started by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), is an annual event that educates people about the risks of asbestos and encourages them to take action to protect themselves and their communities.

For 20 years, Global Asbestos Awareness Week has pushed for change by demanding a full ban on asbestos. This year, the event comes just weeks after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned chrysotile asbestos, the most common type of this mineral.

While this ban is historic, more work needs to be done to protect people from all six types of asbestos.

Asbestos was used to make thousands of products before the early 1980s due to its strength, durability, and low cost. This exposed millions of Americans to asbestos, in particular those who worked around these products in civilian jobs or during military service.

It can take 10-50 years for symptoms of mesothelioma or other asbestos diseases to develop, so people exposed decades ago may still be at risk of getting sick today.

Additionally, the EPA ban gives industries long timelines to phase out asbestos use — some up to 12 years — meaning workers may still be exposed for years to come.

For these reasons, those with asbestos-related diseases, as well as their loved ones, medical experts, and other advocates, come together during Global Asbestos Awareness Week to make sure no one else has to suffer.

U.S. Veterans and Risks of Asbestos Exposure

Global Asbestos Awareness Week is a very important time, especially if you or a loved one served in the U.S. military decades ago. Many older veterans develop mesothelioma due to service-related asbestos exposure.

Did you know

Roughly 1 out of every 3 mesothelioma cases affects veterans. Many more veterans may develop asbestos lung cancer, asbestosis, and other deadly asbestos-related illnesses.

The U.S. military relied on asbestos-based products between the 1930s and early 1980s to construct buildings, vehicles, ships, and other assets. Companies that made and sold asbestos products hid the health risks for decades to keep their profits high.

“Asbestos didn’t kill anybody on the spot that’s for sure, but it took years later when it started catching up with us. But, my understanding is that the powers-that-be knew.”
— Walter, U.S. Navy veteran with mesothelioma

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4 Ways to Participate in Global Asbestos Awareness Week

There are plenty of ways you can get involved during Global Asbestos Awareness Week. Explore a handful of options below.

1. Educate Your Community on the Dangers of Asbestos

Because asbestos product manufacturers worked so hard to hide the dangers of asbestos, many misconceptions about the mineral remain.

To help protect your community, you can share information about how and where asbestos exposure happens. Further, you can explain that there is no safe level of exposure and that even one fiber can damage your body’s tissues.

Ultimately, the only way to prevent asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma is to avoid exposure completely.

The ADAO and other advocacy groups have educational resources that you can share on social media or within your community.

2. Share Your Story About Mesothelioma

If you or someone you love is battling mesothelioma, sharing your story can be an incredibly powerful way to raise awareness this upcoming week.

You can tell your story to help others understand the risks of asbestos and provide hope. These stories can also allow others facing similar battles to feel less alone. If you decide to post on social media, be sure to use the ADAO’s official tag for the week: #2024GAAW.

Whether you share on social media or simply talk with those in your community, this can be a great way to show your support and get involved this week.

3. Tell Congress to Pass a Complete Asbestos Ban

During Global Asbestos Awareness Week, you can help the ADAO work toward a complete ban on asbestos by writing your congressional representatives and asking them to pass the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now (ARBAN) Act.

This bill was written by Linda Reinstein, ADAO co-founder and president, in honor of her husband Alan, who passed from mesothelioma. The ban, if passed, would go further than the EPA’s chrysotile asbestos regulation by halting all imports and uses of all six fibers of asbestos immediately.

Advocates believe that sweeping action by Congress is needed to urgently address the ongoing public health dangers of asbestos.

4. Explore Mesothelioma Compensation & Benefits

While it’s important to support others and raise awareness during Global Asbestos Awareness Week, you can also take steps to help yourself or a veteran you love after a mesothelioma diagnosis.

For example, you can file for benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) if you served in the military and now have mesothelioma. Mesothelioma VA benefits include monthly payouts, often worth $3,946.25 or more, and free or low-cost medical care from top cancer doctors.

Further, you may be able to pursue additional mesothelioma compensation by filing a mesothelioma lawsuit. These lawsuits are filed against the makers of asbestos-based products responsible for hurting you or your loved one.

Mesothelioma settlements award on average between $1 - $1.4 million. No legal action is ever taken against the U.S. military. Further, filing legal claims won’t affect your ability to file for VA benefits.

Get Help During Global Asbestos Awareness Week

By participating in Global Asbestos Awareness Week this year, you can alert others about the dangers of asbestos. You may even find ways to help yourself or someone you love by filing for VA benefits or pursuing legal compensation.

The Mesothelioma Veterans Center is here to support those with mesothelioma during Global Asbestos Awareness Week and beyond. Our team of fellow veterans, nurses, attorneys, and patient advocates can help you and your family access support, medical care, and financial aid.

Call (877) 450-8973 now to get started.

Veterans Support Team
Christopher Dryfoos PhotoWritten by:

Contributing Author

Christopher Dryfoos is a journalist and member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). As the grandson of the U.S. Navy’s first forensic pathologist, he aims to help veterans with mesothelioma access needed care.

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  2. International Ban Asbestos Secretariat. “Current Asbestos Bans.” IBAS, n.d. Retrieved March 29, 2024, from
  3. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2018). “Global Asbestos Disaster.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Retrieved March 29, 2024, from
  4. Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). “Global Health Data Exchange: GDB Results Tool.” Retrieved on March 29, 2024, from