As April begins, I hope you are all staying healthy and safe. Though times are hard right now, ADAO will remain here to help and support our community. While our state, national, and international governments are focused on this global novel coronavirus emergency, ADAO has paused many of our prevention and policy actions, efforts, and events to eliminate all asbestos-caused diseases.
This includes postponing our annual International Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Conference previously scheduled for April 3-5 in Washington, D.C. In light of the recent developments in regards to COVID-19, and after conversations with medical experts and ADAO board members, ADAO believed it was best to put the health and safety of our community first. There is no new date set yet, but as soon as a plan is in place, we will update all of you.
We urge our community — both those suffering from an asbestos-related disease and their caretakers — to remind anyone suffering from an asbestos-related disease to take every recommended precaution during the COVID-19 outbreak to protect yourself and your family from this devastating outbreak. Arthur L. Frank, MD, PhD our Science Advisory Board Co-Chair, emphasized that any patients diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses must closely follow the precautions and guidelines set out by the Center for Disease Control. You can learn more through our blog here.
This week, ADAO also sent a letter to Administrator Andrew Wheeler,
asking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to postpone its Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) meeting to review of the draft Asbestos Risk Evaluation document. Sadly, the EPA has scheduled the meeting for April 27 - 30.
As we work to adjust to our new normal, ADAO remains hard at work and has exciting things in the pipeline as we approach Global Asbestos Awareness Week (GAAW), which begins April 1 and lasts until April 7. We are excited to collaborate with IOSH and McOnie too! We are committed to bringing you seven days of great content to raise asbestos awareness and increase prevention. Each day of GAAW includes information about our education, advocacy and art efforts, and has downloadable or watchable resources. Be sure to join in the conversation with the hashtag #GAAW.
ADAO will begin having video lunches every two weeks that can be joined by any member of our community. The first Zoom lunch will take place on Friday, April 3rd with Dr. Arthur Frank and myself, where we will discuss COVID 19 and ways to accept our new normal. If you’d like to join the virtual lunch, please RSVP via this google doc. Once you have RSVP-ed we will send you the password to join the lunch. We hope to see many of you there!
Please stay safe, stay healthy, and stay connected.