Advocates push for complete asbestos ban in the U.S. amid rising health concerns

February 20, 2024

IAFF urges action in ongoing battle against asbestos exposure

In 2003, Linda Reinstein faced a life-altering moment when her husband, Alan, was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

Despite Alan’s passing in 2006, Linda transformed her grief and anger into action by co-founding the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) with Doug Larkin, who also experienced the toll of Mesothelioma within his family.

Together, they aimed to combat the continued risk of asbestos exposure through awareness, advocacy for stricter regulations, and community support.

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization’s mission

Established in 2004, the ADAO has been at the forefront of raising awareness about the dangers of asbestos.

Under Linda Reinstein’s leadership as president, the organization works closely with the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) to urge Congress for a complete ban on asbestos.

This partnership recently sponsored a billboard in New York City’s Times Square, urging the public to demand Congress act against asbestos use.

The campaign underscores the absence of a safe asbestos exposure level, the alarming annual death toll of 40,000 Americans, and the heightened risk fire fighters face regarding Mesothelioma.

A call for legislative action

The fight against asbestos has garnered attention from major publications and led to significant advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C.

IAFF General President Edward Kelly highlighted the risks fire fighters face from asbestos, which can contaminate gear and spread to homes.

Linda Reinstein’s advocacy is driven by the personal tragedy of losing her husband to an asbestos-related disease.

Her efforts contributed to the establishment of Asbestos Awareness Day, and she continues to push for the passage of the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act, which aims to end the use and importation of asbestos in the U.S.

FSJA Comment

For over two decades, Linda Reinstein and the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) have led a significant campaign against asbestos exposure in the United States.

Their relentless pursuit of a complete ban on asbestos underscores the material’s persistent threat to public health, particularly among fire fighters and workers in industries still encountering this carcinogen.

Despite legislative efforts and increasing public awareness, the U.S. has yet to fully eliminate the use of asbestos, a known deadly substance.

The ongoing struggle highlights the need for stronger regulatory measures and federal action to protect future generations from asbestos-related diseases.

The collaboration between ADAO and the IAFF, along with the support from various organizations and individuals, reflects a united front in this critical public health issue, demonstrating the power of advocacy in effecting change.

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