Recently, we came across an updated fact sheet from the World Health Organization with information about what the group is doing to eliminate asbestos-related diseases worldwide. The sheet does a great job providing background about why asbestos is still a major health hazard, as well as explaining the steps being taken to prevent asbestos exposure and the development of diseases like mesothelioma in countries that are still currently using asbestos products.
We wanted to share some of the report’s key pieces with you. First, the bad stuff:
- Currently, about 125 million people in the world are exposed to asbestos at the workplace.
- More than 107,000 people die each year from asbestos-related lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma resulting from occupational asbestos exposure.
- “Several thousand deaths” annually can be attributed to exposure to asbestos in the home.
While these numbers are shocking, fortunately the WHO has taken a number of steps recently to prevent this global epidemic, including:
- Passing a resolution (World Health Assembly Resolution 58.22) urging that increased, special attention be paid to cancers resulting from avoidable chemical exposures
- Collaborated with labor groups like the International Labor Organization to encourage countries still using asbestos to replace it with safer, substitute materials
- Improving early diagnosis and treatment of asbestos-related diseases, including creating registries of people with past and/or current exposures to asbestos.
The WHO is doing their part to squash asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma – now do yours! Please take a moment to sign our letter to Congress and make your voice heard today!