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
"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;
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. Arsenic3. Asbestos
6. Dioxins & dioxin-like substances
7. Inadequate or excess fluoride
10. Highly hazardous pesticides