The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is the largest independent nonprofit in the U.S. dedicated to preventing asbestos exposure, eliminating asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, and protecting asbestos victims’ civil rights through education, advocacy and community initiatives. It provides reducational resources on their www.adao.us website and and engages the community via its social media presence - highlighting the personal impact via stories from asbestos victims around the globe.
(ADAO) was founded by Linda Reinstein and Doug Larkin in 2004 and is headquartered in Redondo Beach, California. It is led by three boards (Board of Directors, Science Advisory Board, and Prevention Advisory Board), as well as a nationwide State Leadership Team made up of asbestos victims and advocates. Linda Reinstein, ADAO President and Co-Founder, has been invited to and presented at legislative hearings and medical symposiums in more than 20 countries including being invited to testify before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
ADAO was founded to give asbestos victims and concerned citizens a united voice, to raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure, and to work towards a global asbestos ban. ADAO is dedicated to preventing asbestos-caused diseases through national and international education, advocacy, and community initiatives.
ADAO’s goals include the following:
ADAO does not make legal referrals for private lawsuits.
Since 2005, ADAO has hosted its Annual International Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Conference. The yearly event, held each April, brings together global leaders in science, labor, public policy, social justice, nonprofits, and victims of asbestos diseases to discuss the latest trends, educational opportunities, and advocacy.
ADAO is a stakeholder in federal U.S. environmental, public health, and civil rights policies. To date, they have hosted 12 Congressional Staff Briefings to educate members of Congress about asbestos risk and pathways to preventing risk and disease.
ADAO has been closely involved with several pieces of legislation, including:
In addition to the conference, ADAO annually hosts the "Global Asbestos Awareness Week" from April 1–7. Since 2011, this week has been recognized by the U.S. Senate with an official proclamation of this dedicated awareness week via a Senate Resolution.
Embracing traditional and new media, ADAO’s strategic storytelling has served as model for non-state actor communications.
Using art and advocacy, ADAO has worked with national and international artists in TV, film, photography, and music.
In 2017, ADAO published a family centric PSA video (link) in collaboration with Firdaus Kharas, which was published in six languages (English, Russian, Hindi, Portuguese, French, and Spanish), an environmental regulation PSA in partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and an ad with Barbara Minty McQueen, widow of American film star Steve McQueen, which was screened alongside documentary “Steve McQueen: American Icon,” reaching over 100,000 audience members nationwide.
Since 2015, ADAO has sponsored a special photography exhibit called "BADGES: A Memorial Tribute to Asbestos Workers." This exhibit features vintage ID badges along with the brilliant work of photographer Earl Dotter and has been set up to honor to legacy of Dr. Irving J. Selikoff. The 2017 iteration of BADGES honored the work of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, a longtime champion of ADAO’s ban asbestos efforts.