At a dinner party the other night, I was asked about what I did for work. I replied, “I’m in asbestos awareness and advocacy.”
“We’re trying to get the word out about the dangers of asbestos. Most people don’t realize how dangerous it is, and that it’s not a banned substance in the United States. We’re trying to change that.”
“What is asbestos anyway? Isn’t it an old chemical they used to make in the 1950s?”
This person, a well-educated woman in her 40s, is like the majority of people we here at Ban Asbestos Now meet. Folks who have a vague idea that asbestos is somehow “bad,” but really have no clue what it is (a naturally occurring mineral), how widespread its use was (and still is), and how inhaling it can lead to severely debilitating and fatal illnesses such as mesothelioma and lung cancer.
And even if they are aware of asbestos and its dangers, most do not realize that it is not currently a banned substance in the US, as it is in almost 60 other nations, including those of the European Union. And they are probably also not aware that despite diminished use here in the US, asbestos continues to kill more than 10,000 people a year in the US alone.
We want to change that. And we are, but we need help to do it.
Ban Asbestos Now researches and develops content to educate and inform about asbestos awareness, has been running a letter writing campaign that allows readers to send a letter to their Congressperson urging them to ban asbestos, and continually supports grassroots efforts that raise funds for mesothelioma research, such as the Miles for Meso 8k road race.
We could probably not do this if we were not backed by the American Law Partners.
You see, asbestos law firms have stepped in to fight for the victims of asbestos cancer when the U.S. government has been unable or unwilling to do so. As difficult as it is to believe, the government is beholden to corporate America. And the corporations that dealt in asbestos, and profited mightily from it, were some of the richest and most powerful in the world.
Civil justice law firms like American Law Partners are not beholden to corporations. They are only answerable to the individuals who hire them. So when a pipefitter who has lost his lung capacity and possibly his life to the negligence of a company that makes billions in profits each year, who is going to help him fight?
Asbestos law firms are not the only organizations fighting for this cause. Asbestos advocacy groups such as ADAO and MARF are making significant contributions to the gain traction in Congress towards a definitive and lasting ban on asbestos, as well as educate the public on the dangers of asbestos and raise funding for mesothelioma treatments.
While some people might be predisposed to think that all law firms are greedy and selfish (an assumption that’s not true!) we believe that the only way to make real and lasting changes in the asbestos landscape is to have all voices join together and make a difference. The louder we are, the more they will listen.