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National Asbestos Awareness Week fills first week in April

In January 2014, the US Senate passed a resolution establishing the first week in April as "National Asbestos Awareness Week." The week was established at the urging of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) to disseminate information about the mining of asbestos, the manufacturing of asbestos-containing products, and the diagnosis and treatment of diseases caused by exposure to asbestos. The important facts about asbestos are generally known to many people in North Carolina, but National Asbestos Awareness Week provided some important memory refreshers.

According to the ADAO, 107,000 people die every year from exposure to asbestos-containing products. Asbestos is the only known cause of the rare lung cancer known as mesothelioma. Many countries have banned both the mining and use of asbestos, but neither the United States nor Canada has taken such action.

Individuals stricken with an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma or asbestosis, can seek damages in a lawsuit against manufacturers of asbestos-containing products which led to the person's exposure. While many people are familiar with the causative link between asbestos and mesothelioma, very few are aware of the widespread use of asbestos in the manufacture of valve gaskets, brake linings and fire-proofing materials such as sheet rock. Lawyers with experience in asbestos litigation can assist a person who may have contracted an asbestos-related disease in obtaining a definitive diagnosis and effective treatment and in commencing a product-liability lawsuit to recover damages.

The ADAO concluded Asbestos Awareness Week with a candlelight vigil for asbestos victims and a call for a worldwide ban on asbestos. Taking legal action, when necessary, can help further that goal.

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