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World Health Organization Call to Action Regarding Asbestos

 
In 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that asbestos-related lung cancer, Mesothelioma, and asbestosis from occupational exposures resulted in over 100,000 thousand deaths and 1.5 million "Disability Adjusted Life-Years," or DALYs for that year. DALYs calculate the years of potential life lost to a disease due to disability and premature death. This means that in 2004 alone, more than 1.5 million years of potential life were lost due to disability caused by asbestos-related diseases. 

These new WHO statistics reaffirm the need to draft and pass asbestos-banning legislation, both in the United States and worldwide. Currently, the U.S. Senate has introduced  S 3209 and U.S. House of Representatives is reviewing their Toxic Substances Control discussion draft, both to reform TSCA. 
 
In unity, Linda Reinstein, Co-Founder

 
World Health Organization Call to Action Regarding Asbestos

Excerpt from the World Health Organization's report. Full report is available at http://www.who.int/ipcs/features/10chemicals_en.pdf  
 
"Currently about 125 million people in the world are exposed to asbestos at the workplace. In 2004, asbestos-related lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis from occupational exposures resulted in 107,000 deaths and 1,523,000 DALYs. In addition, several thousands of deaths can be attributed to other asbestos-related diseases, as well as to nonoccupational exposures to asbestos.
 
Elimination of asbestos-related diseases should take place through the following public health actions:
 
a) recognizing that the most efficient way to eliminate asbestos-related diseases is to stop the use of all types of asbestos;
 
b) replacing asbestos with safer substitutes and developing economic and technological mechanisms to stimulate its replacement;
 
c) taking measures to prevent exposure to asbestos in place and during asbestos removal (abatement), and;
 
d) improving early diagnosis, treatment, social and medical rehabilitation of asbestos-related diseases and establishing registries of people with past and/or current exposures to asbestos."
 
 
The World Health Organization's list of 10 chemicals (or groups of chemicals) of major public health concern:

 
1. Air pollution
2. Arsenic
3. Asbestos
4. Benzene
5. Cadmium
6. Dioxins & dioxin-like substances
7. Inadequate or excess fluoride
8. Lead
9. Mercury
10. Highly hazardous pesticides
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