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  
"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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