142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

History and impact of asbestos on OHS in U.S. and internationally

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 1:02 PM - 1:18 PM

Mark Catlin, BS , Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Washington, DC
Linda Reinstein , Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), Redondo Beach,, CA
Asbestos has caused one of the largest man-made disasters.  Between 1900 and 2013, the U.S. consumed 31 million metric tons of asbestos, which has given rise to continued occupational, environmental, and consumer exposure. Globally, an estimated 2 million tons of asbestos is mined each year, and the U.S. continues to import more than 1,000 tons annually.  The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates more than 107,000 people die each year from asbestos-related lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis resulting from occupational exposures.  Asbestos not only impacts a vulnerable high-risk worker population, but an increasing number of younger patients under the age of 50 with no known occupational exposure.  Equally problematic is the long latency period for asbestos disease to present that results in misdiagnosis and under-reporting. More than 50 countries have banned asbestos, but the U.S. has not. This presentation will provide a brief historical overview of the global asbestos crisis describing U.S. policies and legislation, the corporate “scientific” studies funded by the pro-asbestos industries and their impact on legislation and civil justice, and the emergence of digital activism for change. The presentation will also address the inaccuracies in morbidity data, inadequacies in occupational health and safety protections, and regulatory violations.  U.S. and global strategies to identify risk and new resources and policies for risk management will be discussed.  The presentation will review progress and challenges in asbestos legislation, health education strategies and global advocacy to prevent exposure and to eliminate asbestos-related diseases.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Environmental health sciences
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Discuss how asbestos deaths still continue today due to failures in regulation and education Explain the need for global advocacy to protect the public from asbestos disease Describe examples of occupational, environmental and consumer asbestos exposure Identify strategies for addressing the international asbestos public health crisis

Keyword(s): Prevention, Occupational Health and Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved in occupational and environmental health technical, training and policy work around asbestos issues for more than 30 years. My experience included investigating workplace and environmental exposure to asbestos, teaching and managing asbestos certification training programs, reviewing employer asbestos management policies and commenting on proposed asbestos regulations. In the late 1980s, I was appointed by the State Commissioner of Labor to a committee drafting State of Alaska OSHA regulations for asbestos.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.