Mesothelioma Awareness Day Appearance In Front of “Today Show” Cameras
Advocates visiting New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza for Mesothelioma Awareness Day on Sept. 26 performed a vital service to the public by educating them about the relatively unknown form of asbestos-related cancer, New York personal injury attorney Joseph W. Belluck said today.
According to the Meso Foundation, volunteers perched on 30 Rockefeller Plaza for a chance to appear on “Today Show” segments that are filmed outdoors.
“Many people may have heard that asbestos is dangerous, but don’t know why,” said Belluck, whose law firm, Belluck & Fox, LLP, recently won separate verdicts in the Supreme Court of New York that collectively exceeded $51 million for two clients with mesothelioma. (Ronald Dummitt and Doris Kay Dummitt v. A.W. Chesterton, et al., No. 190196/10 and Crane Co. and Elliott Turbomachinery Co. No. 090134/10).
“But the fact is that mesothelioma is aggressive and deadly,” Belluck said, “and our firm applauds everyone who works hard to get the word out.”
Mesothelioma is a malignant cancer of the lining of the lung and abdomen closely associated with inhaling microscopic asbestos dust. Typically, the symptoms of the disease can take anywhere from 15-50 years to develop after exposure. About 2,500 to 3,000 Americans die each year of mesothelioma and thousands more die of lung cancer related to asbestos.
Asbestos is found in residential and commercial settings today, as well as during renovations of older structures. Asbestos exposure has also been linked with military service, with approximately one-third of mesothelioma cases shown to have involved Navy personnel who worked in shipyards.
“Those are sobering facts for people who risked their lives for our country,” said Belluck. “But it’s not entirely surprising, either. Researchers expect the incidence of mesothelioma to remain elevated above historical levels until 2050.”
Although many nations have banned it, the United States is not one of them. Both the House and Senate have tried to pass asbestos bans in prior years without success.
But there is some good news on the U.S. front, Belluck noted.
“Earlier this month, Congressofficially designated Sept. 26 as National Mesothelioma Awareness Day for the first time since the event began in 2004,” the New York lawyer said. “It seems that grassroots efforts have begun to pay off. Even though we still don’t have an asbestos ban, at least we have some indication that the federal government sees how serious a problem that mesothelioma is.”
Medical researchers have yet to find groundbreaking treatment options for people who suffer from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. There is only one approved treatment for mesothelioma that extends average survival by only three months, according to the Meso Foundation. The median survival rate for patients with the disease is just one year.
“Scientists are continuing to look into cellular biology and how genetics play into potential therapies, and that is obviously crucial in order to find possible cures for mesothelioma,” said Belluck. “At Belluck & Fox, our greatest hope is that volunteer efforts, along with medical research, can increase funding for even more studies.
“But until that happens, our lawyers are here to make sure that victims who suffer from this entirely preventable disease are compensated for their sacrifices,” he said.
For more information, contact the firm at (877) 637-6843 or through the online contact form.