The next step in campaigning against the adverse health impacts of asbestos exposure and its resulting diseases is the creation of a Mesothelioma Awareness Day. A bill, sponsored by the Mesothelioma Research Foundation, has been filed in the U.S. House of Representative by Rep. Betty McCollum and Sen. Patty Murray and is currently pending before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. This bill could be the birth of just such a day.
Tentatively scheduled for September 26, the first annual National Mesothelioma Awareness Day is an asset to lobbying efforts and collective action against mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the lining of the chest and abdominal cavities that is predominantly caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos.
On September 26th, the officials of the Mesothelioma Research Foundation will attend the taping of the “Today” show in New York and sponsor huge displays and billboards on the facade of the Rockefeller building. In the meantime, the Mesothelioma Research Foundation continues to sponsor marathons, conferences, publicity events and seminars that benefit patients and their families. The organization’s goal is to raise research funding and increase awareness both in the US and abroad.
Mesothelioma is the cause of 90,000 deaths worldwide and 2,500 deaths in the United States each year. At least 77% of those victims will have been, at some point in their lives, exposed to asbestos. Despite aggressive mesothelioma treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, the disease is almost always fatal.