Mesothelioma Awareness Day is a national holiday that takes place each year on September 26th. Throughout the month of September, mesothelioma patients and their advocates work hard to spread awareness about the dangers of asbestos and the cancers it causes. Experts estimate between 2,500 and 3,000 people in the U.S. die each year from mesothelioma.
What is Mesothelioma Awareness Month?
Congress established National Mesothelioma Awareness Day in 2010 to educate Americans about the danger of asbestos. Members of the mesothelioma community have unofficially celebrated the holiday for nearly two decades to pay tribute to those who lost their lives. While Mesothelioma Awareness Month is not officially recognized, those affected by mesothelioma and their advocates understand the importance of celebrating and spreading awareness all 30 days of September.
Backed by research foundations and asbestos awareness organizations, the movement continues to bring attention and raise funding to mesothelioma research. Movement supporters wear blue or mesothelioma awareness ribbons to observe the holiday.
Why Do We Need to Celebrate It?
Despite efforts to improve education and awareness, over a million workers in the United States still come into contact with the toxic mineral in the workplace. Thousands of new patients receive a new mesothelioma diagnosis each year. Deaths from the rare form of cancer and other asbestos-related conditions are nearly entirely preventable with awareness and education about the dangers of exposure.
Asbestos is still legal in the United States. There could be a greater push for a total ban if more people knew about the risk thousands of our country’s hardest workers and first responders take when they come into contact with asbestos while on the job. Over 3,000 commercially available products in the U.S. still contain a small amount of asbestos.
Who is the ADAO and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation?
Several organizations work hard to raise awareness about mesothelioma and asbestos exposure. Non-profit cancer organizations like the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation and the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) dedicate themselves to find a cure for mesothelioma and spread awareness of its causes.
After its incorporation in 1999, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation continues to offer hope and support to patients and families through education, assistance in finding treatment specialists, and emotional support. The organization helps the effort to find a cure by finding promising mesothelioma research projects around the world.
The ADAO was founded in 2004 and is the largest independent asbestos victims’ organization in the U.S. The organization is dedicated to unite concerned citizens and raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos. Through education, advocacy, and community initiatives, ADAO works to prevent asbestos-caused diseases.
What is Mesothelioma Hub Doing to Support Mesothelioma Awareness Month?
This year, we are joining the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation in their “Paint the World Mesothelioma Blue” campaign. To share our commitment to educate the community and continue serving as advocates for patients and their families, we’re creating a blog series.
The series, called Mesothelioma Journey: Exposure, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Living a Life After Mesothelioma, will dive into five topics over five weeks during Mesothelioma Awareness Month. You can follow along the journey here or through our Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
How Can I Participate?
If you or a loved one is struggling with mesothelioma, you can raise community recognition to show support. If you can, donate to organizations dedicated to eradicating mesothelioma and spreading awareness about asbestos.
Those unable to donate can help spread awareness by sharing information on social media, wearing blue throughout Mesothelioma Awareness Month, or start conversations with people in your community about the issue.
Other ways to get involved:
- Attend, organize, or lead an official event in your area
- Write your legislators to encourage a ban on asbestos
- Share your own mesothelioma story
- Seek legal counsel to hold employers accountable for asbestos exposure
- Sign a petition to ban asbestos in the U.S.
Join Mesothelioma Hub on September 26th in wearing blue to show support in raising awareness.