Advocacy organizations dedicated to eradicating asbestos exposure through an asbestos ban in the United States, and who are fighting for mesothelioma patients’ rights will continue to fight in 2021. Foremost among plans shared by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) are a complete ban of asbestos use in the U.S. and the creation of a national mesothelioma patient registry. Asbestos exposure is linked to the development of mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer, as well as lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases.
The ADAO, under the direction of Linda Reinstein, has been working tirelessly to enact a complete ban on asbestos and protect public health in the United States. The organization is working with Congress to enact the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now (ARBAN) Act. The legislation is named for Ms. Reinstein’s late husband, who passed away from mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure.
ADAO has been working on passage of the bill for several years, but made great strides in 2020 and the bill has bipartisan support. The organization is hopeful it will pass in 2021. The bill is H.R. 1603 in the House and S. 717 in the Senate. ADAO is calling on its members to contact their congressional representatives and urge them to pass the bill in the first 100 days of the new Biden-Harris administration.
The Meso Foundation in 2020 continued to work toward the establishment of a national mesothelioma patient registry. The organization is working to fund the program. In the past two fiscal years, the Meso Foundation has secured $200,000 from Congress for a feasibility study conducted under the umbrella of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The foundation needs an additional $400,000 to complete the project.
Although it acknowledges the pandemic has made its efforts more complicated, in a news release the Meso Foundation notes that the pandemic also has illuminated the need for a central database to help connect mesothelioma patients, caregivers, researchers and advocates. The national registry is a project of the foundation’s Advocacy mission. Additionally, the organization continues its work in three other areas – Research, Support and Education.
More information on the ARBAN Act, as well as other projects currently underway, can be found on the ADAO website. Information about the national mesothelioma patient registry and other activities and plans for 2021 can be found on the Meso Foundation website.