Every April, Global Asbestos Week helps others understand the dangers of asbestos and support those with asbestos-related diseases. This includes veterans who developed mesothelioma or other illnesses from working around asbestos. Learn how you can participate in Global Asbestos Awareness Week this year.
What Is Global Asbestos Awareness Week?
Global Asbestos Awareness Week is an annual event that shares information about the risks that asbestos poses and encourages everyone to stop using it.
The week was established in 2004 by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) and is celebrated April 1-7 of each year. This year’s Global Asbestos Awareness Week will focus on banning asbestos and preventing more people from being exposed.
Before the 1980s, many industries relied on asbestos before the 1980s due to its strength and durability. However, asbestos is now known to cause deadly illnesses like mesothelioma.
Those who regularly worked around asbestos — like U.S. veterans — are at a high risk of getting sick.
Those with asbestos-related diseases, as well as 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 U.S. veterans develop mesothelioma due to service-related asbestos exposure.
The U.S. military relied on asbestos-based products between the 1930s and early 1980s in buildings, vehicles, ships, and weapons. Companies that made and sold asbestos to the military hid the health risks for decades to keep their profits high.
Because of this, one out of every three mesothelioma patients diagnosed today is a veteran.
“It [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
See how veterans can get help after a mesothelioma diagnosis in our free veterans packet.
Ways to Participate in Global Asbestos Awareness Week
There are plenty of ways you can alert others to the dangers of asbestos during Global Asbestos Awareness Week.
Share Your Story
Spreading the word about the dangers of asbestos is a key part of Global Asbestos Awareness Week.
The ADAO hosts many testimonies of those affected by mesothelioma or other asbestos diseases on its website. You can share your story to help others understand the risks, provide hope, and more.
You can also share information about asbestos and mesothelioma on social media with #GAAW2022, the official hashtag used by the ADAO.
During Global Asbestos Awareness Week, you can organize and sign petitions to ensure asbestos is totally banned in our country so more people aren’t harmed.
Despite the fact that asbestos-related diseases kill 40,000 Americans each year, asbestos is still not totally banned in the United States as of March 2022.
Simply adding your name to the ADAO’s online petition to ban asbestos in the U.S. is a great way to show your support for all who have suffered or lost their lives. You can also share the petition on social media to spread the word even more.
Organize an Event
Fundraiser events for groups like the ADAO and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation can be a big help. Events such as races, sports tournaments, and auctions can raise funds that go toward cancer research and spreading awareness.
If you don’t have the time or resources to organize an event, see if one is already scheduled nearby that you can join.
Pursue Mesothelioma Compensation & Benefits
While it’s important to support others and raise awareness during Global Asbestos Awareness Week, you can support yourself and your family too.
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. VA mesothelioma benefits include monthly payouts often worth $3,500 or more and free or low-cost medical care from top cancer doctors.
Further, you can pursue even more mesothelioma compensation by filing a legal claim. These claims demand that makers of asbestos-based products pay up for hurting you.
Mesothelioma claims award an average of $1 million. No legal action is ever taken against the U.S. military during the process. Further, filing legal claims won’t affect your ability to file for VA benefits.
Get Help During Global Asbestos Awareness Week
The effects of Global Asbestos Awareness Week have changed the world. Since 2004, the U.S. Senate has passed more than a dozen resolutions related to the week. Six Surgeon General warnings about asbestos have also been issued.
Still, more work needs to be done. Asbestos is still not totally banned in America and people continue to get sick. Roughly 1,000 veterans are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the U.S. every year, with many more developing asbestos lung cancer, asbestosis, and other deadly illnesses.
By getting involved in Global Asbestos Awareness Week this year, you can do your part to alert others about the dangers. You may even find ways to help yourself by applying for VA benefits or 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 (855) 956-5526 now to get started.