The first week of April is Global Asbestos Awareness Week (GAAW), a time dedicated to raising awareness of the ongoing dangers of asbestos and related diseases like mesothelioma.

Started by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) in 2004, GAAW plays a monumental role in advocating for regulations on asbestos and protecting public health.

This year, the event takes place just weeks after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a ban on chrysotile asbestos, the most common type of asbestos. While the new ban is a milestone worth celebrating, more immediate action must be taken to end the use of asbestos once and for all.

Learn more about the goals of GAAW and how you can show support this year.

The Importance of Global Asbestos Awareness Week

Since its founding, the ADAO has committed the first full week of April to educating the public on the dangers of asbestos. This cancer-causing mineral was used to make thousands of products from the 1930s until the early 1980s when manufacturers could no longer hide the risks.

Many people think asbestos exposure is an issue of the past. However, it continues to wreak havoc on the health and safety of innocent people in the United States and across the world.

Did You Know?

Mesothelioma and other illnesses caused by asbestos kill about 40,000 Americans each year.

Throughout Global Asbestos Awareness Week, the ADAO shares important statistics to educate the public about the consequences of asbestos use. These statistics debunk many common myths about the carcinogen that continue to put people at risk

Key Facts About Asbestos
  • There is no safe amount of asbestos, meaning even one exposure can lead to serious illnesses.
  • This mineral can be found in many older structures, including homes, schools, hospitals, and workplaces.
  • Any type of asbestos can lead to mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, and other asbestos-related illnesses.
  • Approximately 33% of deaths from occupational cancer are linked to asbestos exposure.
  • The U.S. imported an estimated 300 metric tons of asbestos in 2022.

Learn more about asbestos and the products that contained this cancer-causing substance in our Free Asbestos Products Guide.

Celebrating the Recent EPA Asbestos Ban While Calling for More Action

On March 18, 2024, the EPA made a historic move to ban the ongoing importation and use of chrysotile asbestos within the chlorine manufacturing (chlor-alkali) and chemical industries.

The ban is the first time asbestos regulations have been enacted since the attempt to completely ban asbestos in 1989 was overturned after industry pressure.

Despite the progress made to ban the use of asbestos, this substance still poses a health risk to millions of people. Today, asbestos use is legal in nearly 70% of the world.

Prior to the newest EPA ban, the U.S. was the only Western industrialized country without a ban on asbestos. However, even with the ban, advocates maintain that asbestos will continue to harm public health.

This is because the legislation only covers one of the six types of asbestos, and affected companies are being given generous deadlines — some up to 12 years — to completely phase out asbestos use. This will continue to put workers and their families at risk of exposure during the transition period.

“We commend the EPA’s historic action to ban the importation and use of chrysotile asbestos. However, the ADAO also encourages swift action to eliminate all remaining uses of this deadly substance, paving the way for a future free from the tragedy of asbestos-related diseases.”

- Quote from Linda Reinstein, ADAO Co-Founder and President

For this reason, advocates at the ADAO are urging Congress to pass the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now (ARBAN) Act. The bill, which was reintroduced to Congress during Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2023 would ban all six types of asbestos fibers immediately and lay the groundwork for an asbestos-free future.

How to Participate in Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2024

By participating in Global Asbestos Awareness Week, you can help spread the word about deadly asbestos-related diseases, promote life-saving education, and advocate for a complete ban on asbestos.

Here are 6 ways you can take part in GAAW:

  1. Join local events to advocate for a full asbestos ban.
  2. Donate to the ADAO to support the fight against asbestos and asbestos-related illnesses.
  3. Share facts about asbestos exposure on social media using the hashtag #2024GAAW.
  4. Sign the ADAO’s petition to ban asbestos.
  5. Wear blue for asbestos awareness.
  6. Write a letter to Congress urging your state representatives to support a full asbestos ban through the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now (ARBAN) Act.

With the help of sponsors like top asbestos law firm Simmons Hanly Conroy, Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2024 hopes to reach individuals worldwide.

Together, our efforts can unite all those affected by mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases while fostering safe and healthy communities.

Get Personalized Help With Mesothelioma and Other Asbestos-Related Diseases

The Mesothelioma Hope team empathizes with the countless families who’ve been devastated by asbestos diseases.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness, you’re not alone in this battle.

We are here to help this Global Asbestos Awareness Week and every day throughout your family’s mesothelioma journey.

Our experienced Patient Advocates can help you access personalized medical, financial, and supportive care for free. Get in touch with our team now by calling (866) 608-8933 or filling out our contact form.

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Laura WrightWritten by:

Lead Editor

Laura Wright is a journalist and content strategist with more than 15 years of professional experience. She attended college at the University of Florida, graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2008. Her writing has been featured in The Gainesville Sun and other regional publications throughout Florida.

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  1. ADAO. “Landing Page for #2024GAAW Global Asbestos Awareness Week Asbestos: One Word. One Week. One World.” April 1 – 7, 2024.” Retrieved March 29, 2024, from
  3. International Ban Asbestos Secretariat. (n.d.). “Current Asbestos Bans.” Retrieved March 29, 2024, from
  4. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. (2018). “Global Asbestos Disaster.” Retrieved March 29, 2024, from
  5. Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). (n.d.). “Global Health Data Exchange: GDB Results Tool.” Retrieved on March 29, 2024, from

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