Earth Day Highlights Asbestos Risk Among Other Environmental Hazards

Syracuse, NY 4/22/2009 09:05 PM GMT (TransWorldNews)

There can be no doubt that in the past 30 years, we have made tremendous strides in adopting more environmentally conscious policies and behaviors. Each year, Earth Day allows us to not only reflect upon the progress we have made, but also to consider the next steps in ensuring that we preserve our planet to the best of our ability.

One of the areas within which we still need improvement is the hazard that asbestos still poses to millions of people in the United States. Cleaning up dirty industries such as the burning of fossil fuels and other carbon waste does not end with tightening emission standards. It includes cleaning up all facets of dirty industry; including the copious amounts of asbestos in oil refineries and other processing infrastructure of carbon fuel industries.

Strict regulation of asbestos began in approximately 1980. Unfortunately though, many older installations and fixtures still feature the asbestos components that have made so many people sick in the past quarter-century. As these materials become older, they only become more hazardous, as damaged or aging asbestos materials are much more likely to present a human hazard than those which are stable and intact.

Inhaled asbestos fibers have been conclusively linked to a myriad of respiratory disorders including lung cancer, asbestosis, and the devastating mesothelioma. Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related conditions are often slow to develop and will frequently not manifest until 20 or 30 years after a harmful exposure. At the time of diagnosis patients typically have few mesothelioma treatment options beyond pain management drugs and palliative therapies.

The Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Center would like to commend environmentally-friendly efforts that we have undertaken and offer praise for the progress we have made in developing a national and international environmental conscience. This is certainly no small accomplishment and it is a feat that we all should be applauded for. Let us not forget however, that we still have a long road ahead of us. Let us ensure that not only are industries safe for our environment, but also that they are safe for workers and others who are affected by them directly.

By expanding our perspective on what Earth Day means, we can not only ensure that we preserve the human planet for our children, but also that we can protect its inhabitants today.


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