Researchers, activists and survivors from around the country and across the globe joined the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) for its 13th Annual International Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Conference in Arlington, Virginia.
Held April 7-9, 2017, the conference drew 60-plus attendees who gathered to support ADAO’s mission of preventing asbestos-related disease. Topics ranged from anti-asbestos efforts in developing nations to asbestos prevention in countries that already have a ban on the known human carcinogen, as more than 55 counties around the world do. Union leaders from the Australian Council of Trade Unions, the Canadian Labour Congress and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations spoke of their challenges and triumphs as did activists from South Africa, Brazil and Portugal.
“We need each of you to become connected and share and walk this journey with us,” Linda Reinstein, ADAO president and CEO, said at the conference’s opening. “It is truly accurate from our perspective that sharing makes us stronger.”
Twenty-four speakers shared their knowledge and perspectives with those in attendance or those streaming the event live. Keynote speaker David McCumber, investigative journalist and author of An Air That Kills, spoke to the issues anti-asbestos organizations are facing nationally and globally. “All of us must channel our anger and use it to fuel our fight,” he said to conference attendees. “Power not used is power wasted. The power of the grassroots (organizations) is to speak up, to demand the government of the people do the right thing for human kind — not for money-hungry corporations. The stakes have never been higher.”
For the remainder of the week, MyMeso will highlight topics discussed at the conference.