Asbestos in the News: Issue 15

Asbestos in the News: Issue 15
At Got Mold? our goal is to keep our followers aware of asbestos related news stories. Each day, we scour the internet looking for relevant information. Here are 11 stories we thought may interest you!
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Invader in white: Activists demand an immediate rollback of Canada’s decision to resume mining of carcinogenic asbestos that causes a range of health ailments to people in countries where it is exported to, including India. After the only two remaining asbestos mines in Canada’s Quebec province wrapped up operations in 2011, the country became asbestos-mining free for the first time in 130 years. But, in a recent move that has stunned several environmental, health, labour and human rights organisations, the government of Quebec has sanctioned a $58 million loan to revive the inoperative ‘Jeffrey Mine’ to resume asbestos mining. With an estimated 90 per cent of Canada’s asbestos being exported to developing countries like India, advocacy campaigns in both India and Canada have strongly condemned this turn of events, renewing calls for a ban on the mining. Toxics Watch Alliance (TWA), an Indian advocacy initiative and one of two members of the Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) movement, has stepped up its lobbying with the Central government to stop asbestos usage by banning imports. In a statement, TWA said: “India has taken a position which considers white asbestos a hazardous substance. Mining of asbestos is technically banned in India. Trade in asbestos waste (dust and fibres) is also banned. The government should take the next logical step and phase out asbestos use.” Despite calls for bans, India remains particularly infamous as the one of the largest importers of asbestos. On the proliferation of asbestos usage in India, TWA’s convener Gopal Krishna said: “Artificial pricing through governmental patronage has made asbestos cheaply available.”
Why to Avoid Asbestos at All Costs:: LATE last year, Jennifer Marohasy posted an article offering her opinion on why asbestos use has a place in modern society. We recently reached out to her about offering another perspective, and she graciously opened the floor up for us at The Mesothelioma Center to explain our dissenting opinion. As advocates for those who suffer from asbestos-related diseases, The Mesothelioma Center certainly has a different position than Dr. Marohasy. The more that we connect with patients suffering from debilitating asbestos-related diseases, the more we believe that there is no place for asbestos use in an enlightened era of educated decisions and non-carcinogenic alternatives.
Heat And Frost Insulators Union Declares War On Mesothelioma At 30th Quinquennial Convention: General President James A. Grogan described the Insulator’s Union 30th national convention as “inspiring and life-changing,” lauding the organization’s wide-ranging achievements of the July 15-18 gathering in Las Vegas. President Grogan, who was unanimously re-elected for another five-year term, said emphatically “we now have a comprehensive and well-funded plan of attack against mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases that emphasizes prevention and early diagnosis, better treatment and longer, quality lives for our members and their families.” He spoke passionately, asking convention delegates and guests, “If we don’t do this, who will?”
Summer Work at Albemarle Schools, Asbestos: Albemarle County is dealing with asbestos in six of its schools this summer, in addition to some major construction at one of their elementary schools. Henley Middle School, Jack Jouett Middle School, Walton Middle School, Albemarle and Western Albemarle high schools, and Scottsville Elementary School are on the list for asbestos removal.
International Group Calls for Global Asbestos Ban, Acknowledges Link to Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer: For the first time ever, organizations from across the globe joined together to call for “a global ban on the mining, use, and export of all forms of asbestos.” A committee of scientists from 13 epidemiology societies issued the statement this week after confirming “that all types of asbestos fiber are causally implicated in the development of various diseases and premature death.” The group specifically cited mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis as debilitating diseases caused by exposure to the toxic mineral.
Asbestos uncovered in Darwin Botanic Gardens: The Northern Territory Government is developing a management plan to deal with the removal of asbestos uncovered in Darwin’s George Brown Botanic Gardens. A Department of Natural Resources and Environment spokesman says asbestos was discovered in the gardens more than a month ago. It is believed to be among rubble dumped in the gardens area in the wake of Cyclone Tracy.
Cheltenham retailer and contractor prosecuted after asbestos exposure: A Cheltenham contractor and a retailer have been prosecuted after a construction worker was exposed to asbestos during a refurbishment project. Simon Cooper was engaged by Hutchinson HiFi and Vision Ltd in February 2010 to refurbish an empty shop unit in Cheltenham High Street, which involved replacing a suspended ceiling.
Widow sues husband’s former employers over asbestos negligence: The widow of a man who died after developing mesothelioma has sued her late husband’s former employers under the Jones Act, claiming that they failed to provide him with a safe place to work. The Jones Act allows injured seamen to seek compensation for injuries that resulted from the negligence of their employers or co-workers during the course of their work on a vessel.
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RIL making polyster fibre as short cut for asbestos: The late Dhirubahi Ambani, the founder of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), was labelled as the ‘polyster prince’ much before the group’s mainstay became petroleum at the end of the 1990s. Now, the company’s invention of a polyester short cut fibre is covering the sheds that need asbestos and are dependent on imports. RIL’s research and development (R&D) wing has developed a polyester fibre coated with a special chemical, which would substitute asbestos used by the construction industry in roofing applications.
Community wants voice in asbestos mine plan: People in Barraba, in the New England region of northern New South Wales, have demanded to know why they were never invited to sit on the taskforce implementing a remediation plan at the derelict Woodsreef Asbestos mine. About 90 people packed the amphitheatre of The Playhouse Hotel last night in Barraba for a progress report on the Woodsreef mine, which was abandoned in 1983 and never cleaned up.
Minty McQueen Goes To Washington to Lobby for Asbestos Ban: Barbara Minty McQueen, the wife of former movie star Steve McQueen, lived up to her earlier promise to finally join the fight to help ban asbestos in this country. Minty McQueen, who watched her husband die from mesothelioma cancer more than 30 years ago, spent this week in Washington D.C., speaking on Capitol Hill at a United States House of Representatives staff briefing. She was there as part of a contingent from the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), lobbying for the Safer Chemicals Act of 2012, which passed through a key Senate Committee on Wednesday.

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