This Labor Day, Let’s Reflect on Those Exposed to Asbestos on the Job
Today we reflect on what Labor Day is and has become.
According to the official definition from the Department of Labor website, “Labor Day is an annual holiday to celebrate the economic and social contributions of workers to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the country.”
In the United States, Labor Day is a federal holiday currently observed on the first Monday of September. The first Labor Day was celebrated on September 5,1882. Labor Day has its origins in the labor union movement which advised 8 hours for work, 8 hours for recreation and 8 hours for rest. Through their movement they help shine a light on workers conditions and change laws to regulate working conditions.
Labor Day is also the unofficial end to summer often that is what many people associated with this holiday. As we enjoy our families and friends this last unofficial weekend of summer, we should stop and remember the people who are battling illnesses related to their occupations.
Asbestos is the number one cause of work related deaths worldwide. More than 39,000 lives are lost to asbestos related illnesses each year. Although many think asbestos has been banned in the United States 1.3 million workers are at risk of exposure.
Malignant mesothelioma and asbestos related diseases have historically affected the working man and women. From the asbestos mines, to servicemen serving our country the exposure to asbestos through insulation, and the many products made with asbestos has continued to affect the health of many workers.
People that are diagnosed with Malignant Mesothelioma can often pinpoint their exposures to jobs held many years ago. The incubation period from exposure to asbestos and development of Malignant Mesothelioma can be as long as 50 years.
Enjoy the holiday and hopefully in the not so distant future we can add banning asbestos to one of the movements that contributed to improved workers health and safety.