Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization and the Canadian Voices of Asbestos Victims announce the Release of the North American Declaration to Eliminate Asbestos-Related Diseases
Declaration Calls on Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama to take action on asbestos
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) which combines education, advocacy, and community to provide a unified voice for asbestos victims, today announced with the Canadian Voices of Asbestos Victims the release of the North American Declaration to Eliminate Asbestos-Related Diseases.
The Declaration initiates an enhanced collaboration between the U.S. and Canadian asbestos disease victims and their families, public health organizations, environmental non-governmental organizations, occupational safety and health (OSH) specialists, and politicians. While ADAO has been individually partnering with Canadian counterparts for education, advocacy, and community initiatives for several years now, the North American Declaration for the Elimination of Asbestos-Related Diseases unifies the demands voiced by American and Canadian asbestos victims to eliminate asbestos-caused diseases.
"It is truly unbelievable that the United States continues to defy decades of science confirming asbestos is a human carcinogen,” said Linda Reinstein, ADAO Co-Founder. "The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reports the United States imported an estimated 820 metric tons of asbestos in the first 7 months of 2010 and that it imports 90% of its asbestos from Canada. There are an estimated 35 million American homes and businesses insulated with Zonolite, asbestos-tainted vermiculite, and countless numbers of families will soon be crawling into their dangerous attics to collect holiday decorations. As a mesothelioma widow, I find this unacceptable because numerous safer alternatives to asbestos exist. The ADAO looks forward to working with President Obama to halt future asbestos imports and prevent future exposures."
“My father was exposed to asbestos while working as a labourer and electrician at the petro-chemical plants in Sarnia, Ontario. In 2008, he died from mesothelioma, just two months after his diagnosis, thirty to forty years after he was exposed,” said Stacy Cattran, Canadian Voices of Asbestos Victims Co-Founder. “Sarnia, like so many industrial towns, has suffered the loss of too many of her citizens to asbestos-related disease. After 130 years of mining asbestos, it is time for Canada to close the mines and transition the affected workers to other forms of industry. No one else should be exposed to this carcinogen. We must take steps now which will prohibit Canada from ongoing export of asbestos to the developing world, where it is exposing millions of workers to the same life threatening hazards as my father experienced. ”
The posting of this declaration and petition on ADAO's website serves as an invitation to all concerned citizens and organizations both in North America and internationally to support the North American Declaration to Eliminate Asbestos-Related Diseases. In February 2012, the ADAO and the Canadian Voices of Asbestos Victims will deliver the North American Declaration and list of supporters to Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama urging them to take action to prohibit the use and export of all asbestos. The leading international health agencies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), state that asbestos is a human carcinogen and that 107,000 workers die annually from asbestos-related diseases.
Despite these findings, with support from the Canadian and Quebec governments, Canada remains one of top countries in the world exporting asbestos. A decision is expected soon from the Quebec government about financial support for reopening an asbestos mine in Quebec, which would allow exports to continue for many years to come.
The North American Petition to Eliminate Asbestos Related Diseases can be accessed at: http://bit.ly/vgtBeX