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16th annual Mesothelioma Awareness Day on Sept. 26 seeks to bring attention to asbestos illness

Mesothelioma Awareness Day (MAD) was founded in 2004 by members of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. The day occurs annually on September 26 to bring community awareness to mesothelioma cancer and other diseases caused by the mineral asbestos. 

Asbestos is a dangerous fibrous mineral that was historically used as an additive in many products. Many people come into contact with the substance daily and may contract cancer once inhaling the fibers. Though rare, mesothelioma is a dangerous disease that deserves awareness and community attention.

“It’s a day we finally have recognition. It’s nice to have a spotlight shining on this disease,” says Heather Von St. James, a thirteen-year mesothelioma survivor. 

People in the construction, defense, first responder, farming and industrial fields are most likely to be exposed. Due to these professions and the up to 40 year latency period of the disease, many mesothelioma patients are male and over the age of 50. However, Von St. James was diagnosed at 36 years old, after giving birth to her daughter.

Recent events like the Beauty Plus cosmetics contamination, Jojo Siwa makeup scandal, Johnson & Johnson talc trials, and 2018 New York City asbestos pipe explosion highlight that anyone can be exposed to asbestos, even if not involved in these occupations. 

Visit to donate to community outreach efforts and to learn more about the particulars of the disease, who it affects, and how to avoid asbestos. 

Von St. James urges people to support this day by wearing blue, educating themselves on both the truth of the disease and how to avoid contact with asbestos.

At 23 years, is one of the longest-standing groups in the mesothelioma advocacy space. All information on the site is reviewed for accuracy by a Ph.D. medical journalist and a team of independent doctors. The site is also Health On the Net Code certified, which makes certain that all information meets a code of conduct for health resources found on the web.

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Last Updated: 27-Sep-2019