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National Asbestos Awareness Week 2010

We thank Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) along with Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), and Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) for introducing a resolution that declares the first week of April as “National Asbestos Awareness Week” that seeks to “raise public awareness about the prevalence of asbestos-related diseases and the dangers of asbestos exposure.”

Text of the Resolution follows:

Whereas dangerous asbestos fibers are invisible and cannot be smelled or tasted;

Whereas the inhalation of airborne asbestos fibers can cause significant damage;

Whereas asbestos fibers can cause mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other health problems;

Whereas asbestos-related diseases can take 10 to 50 years to present themselves;

Whereas the expected survival time for those diagnosed with mesothelioma is between 6 and 24 months;

Whereas generally, little is known about late-stage treatment of asbestos-related diseases, and there is no cure for such diseases;

Whereas early detection of asbestos-related diseases may give some patients increased treatment options and might improve their prognoses;

Whereas the United States has reduced its consumption of asbestos substantially, yet continues to consume almost 2,000 metric tons of the fibrous mineral for use in certain products throughout the Nation;

Whereas asbestos-related diseases have killed thousands of people in the United States;

Whereas exposure to asbestos continues, but safety and prevention of asbestos exposure already has significantly reduced the incidence of asbestos-related diseases and can further reduce the incidence of such diseases;

Whereas asbestos has been a cause of occupational cancer;

Whereas thousands of workers in the United States face significant asbestos exposure;

Whereas thousands of people in the United States die from asbestos-related diseases every year;

Whereas a significant percentage of all asbestos-related disease victims were exposed to asbestos on naval ships and in shipyards;

Whereas asbestos was used in the construction of a significant number of office buildings and public facilities built before 1975;

Whereas people in the small community of Libby, Montana have asbestos-related diseases at a significantly higher rate than the national average and suffer from mesothelioma at a significantly higher rate than the national average; and

Whereas the establishment of a “National Asbestos Awareness Week” will raise public awareness about the prevalence of asbestos-related diseases and the dangers of asbestos exposure:

Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate

(1) designates the first week of April 2009 as “National Asbestos Awareness Week”;

(2) urges the Surgeon General to warn and educate people about the public health issue of asbestos exposure, which may be hazardous to their health; and

(3) respectfully requests that the Secretary of the Senate transmit a copy of this resolution to the Office of the Surgeon General.

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