It is documented that Australia had the highest per capita use of asbestos in the world from the 1950’s until the 1970’s. As a tragic consequence, Australia now has the highest per capita incidence of mesothelioma in the world. With more than 500 Australians contracting mesothelioma per year, it is estimated that up to 18,000 Australians will die from this asbestos related cancer by the year 2020.
Despite the growing awareness of the dangers of asbestos, there are many people who have not heard of Mesothelioma. This asbestos related cancer is defined as: a malignant spreading tumor of the mesothelium of the pleura, pericardium, or peritoneum, arising form the inhalation of asbestos fibers.
One of the most baffling and frightening known facts concerning Mesothelioma is that many years may pass, between inhalation of asbestos dust and its deadly legacy of disease; it is not uncommon for four decades or more to pass before symptoms due to asbestos dust inhalation become apparent.
In November 2004, I was an invited speaker at the Global Asbestos Congress 2004, held in Tokyo Japan. Over 800 participants from 40 countries around the world were in attendance. To be a part of such a large gathering of fellow humans, united in a quest to rid the poison of asbestos from our environments was an intensely moving experience. Having lost my husband to mesothelioma I know first hand the suffering this cruel disease places on its innocent victims.
There were many speakers and each told a tale, of pain, death and heartache. We listened, we understood and we ached for the past, present and future victims of the killer asbestos and its legacy of mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases.We listened and we were shocked and angered to learn that despite the growing awareness of the dangers of asbestos and the increasing incidence of asbestos related disease, there remains some countries who are mining asbestos with little or no regard for their workers or people who will come into contact with asbestos products.
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) continues to raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure and the incurable and often deadly asbestos related diseases. ADAO is quickly expanding and uniting veterans, fire-fighters, shipbuilders, teachers and thousands of other innocent people around the world. Asbestos Awareness leads to education, prevention, new treatments and ultimately a cure.