Asbestos in the News: Issue 18

Asbestos in the News: Issue 18
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 13 stories we thought may interest you!
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FEATURED STORIES (4)
Sordid asbestos tale could be nearing its end: It seems every day a new bomb drops, showing the utter insanity of the plan to revive Quebec’s bankrupt asbestos industry — a plan Premier Jean Charest and Prime Minister Stephen Harper doggedly support. The project to revive the Jeffrey mine at Asbestos, Que., has been condemned as medically indefensible by Quebec government health authorities, the Canadian Cancer Society and the Quebec Medical Association. Not only is the project a health disaster, however; it is also a financial calamity. The cost to make the Jeffrey underground mine operational is $83 million. After years of trying, Bernard Coulombe, president of Jeffrey Mine, failed to find any investors willing to put up the money.
Quebec opposition leaders take aim at Liberals over asbestos mine decision: Weeks after the Liberals re-launched Quebec’s asbestos industry with a $58-million loan to the Jeffrey Mine, the Coalition Avenir Quebec vowed to put an end to the “morally and scientifically indefensible” product. Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois also criticized the Liberal Party on Saturday for its decision to loan investors tens of millions to re-open the mine in Asbestos, Que., about 160 km east of Montreal. “We were very shocked by Mr. Charest’s decision to announce an investment without holding a debate,” she told reporters on the campaign trail Saturday. She said the PQ would hold a “societal debate” in Quebec’s legislature on the fate of the province’s asbestos industry.
Coalition Avenir Québec wants environmental powers, a ban on asbestos: A Coalition Avenir Québec government would try to obtain all the environmental powers and functions that the federal government now has in Quebec, party leader François Legault says. Prime Minister Stephen Harper should be open to the idea because the environment “doesn’t seem to be his cup of tea,” Legault said, explaining that Harper’s government has shown a general disinterest in environmental regulation. Harper is also a big fan of efficiency, Legault added. “It’s an opportunity for us. We’ll say there should be one wicket for environmental matters in Quebec.”
I would ban export of asbestos: Legault: If he was premier, François Legault would ban the export of asbestos while maintaining a $58-million loan that was intended to reopen what would be Quebec’s last asbestos mine. “Quebec is not a banana republic,” Legault told Sherbrooke reporters Monday, suggesting that while the government would honour its loan, Balcorp Ltd. would have to abandon its goal of reviving the mine. But the company could use the public money for some other purpose. Balcorp was granted the loan, after it failed to find any private-sector backers, a month before the Sept. 4 election was called. “No bank in Quebec would associate its name with the Jeffery Mine,” Legault noted. The Coalition Avenir Québec leader said banning asbestos, a proven cause of cancers, including mesothelioma, is a matter of principle. “We can’t let people die to save a job,” he said. “There are limits.” But the loan, which he finds “abnormal,” was duly negotiated by the Charest government and Balcorp would have to find a new investment project, saying the town of Asbestos, where the mine is located, needs new industries to ween it off the fibrous mineral.
ASBESTOS in SCHOOLS (1)
Students Relocated Due to Asbestos: Officials of the Riverside Local Schools District have come up with a plan on where students will begin fall classes after asbestos was discovered earlier this week at Hale Elementary. “It was a challenge, because we found out about this Monday morning,” said superintendent Jim Kalis. The asbestos was discovered after some construction workers accidentally loosened some floor tiles. The old insulating material is not dangerous when it’s sealed, but has been linked to cancer once it’s airborne.
ASBESTOS and HEALTH (2)
Asbestos, the silent killer: During 1973 I worked on an asbestos mine, Koegas Asbes myn about 20km from Marydale and Marydale is about 75km from Prieska. As a new employee I did not know the ropes and accepted the poor conditions as they were. My work area comprised the surface reduction plant and the underground workings. The surface reduction plant was falling to pieces due to age and lack of maintenance. The ventilation piping was holed over large areas and the fine reject fibres were released into the atmosphere to the extent the air became difficult to see through due to the dust and fibres. Management was request to supply the workers with “nose bags” but we were told to pay for them. Requests were made for the holed ducting to be repaired but it fell onto deaf ears too.
Blue Asbestos Leaves Legacy of Death in South African Town: For decades, South Africans viewed blue asbestos as a prime money maker. But today, as more and more South Africans both young and old succumb to the hazards of asbestos exposure, many are realizing that blue asbestos now represents a national environmental emergency. According to an article that appeared in the Malay Mail, towns like Prieska have been hit hard by the country’s legacy of asbestos mining. “In most of the houses in our street, there is someone who has died of asbestosis or mesothelioma,” said Chris Julius, 58, who was diagnosed with asbestos cancer three months after his mother-in-law died of the disease.
ASBESTOS in PUBLIC BUILDINGS (1)
Asbestos at Birmingham hospital killed our mum, claims family: The family of a great grandmother who died from asbestos-related cancer believes she had been exposed to the deadly dust while working at a Birmingham hospital. Betty Killworth, aged 82, of Weoley Castle, was a cleaner at the old Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Edgbaston, between 1976 and 1988. She was diagnosed with mesothelioma in September last year and died just seven months later. An inquest into her death recorded a verdict of industrial disease. Evidence suggested the only possible exposure that the mum-of-five had to asbestos was when she was at the hospital, which was noted in deputy coroner Sally Scanlon’s summing up.
LEGAL ISSUES and ASBESTOS (2)
Court Rules Manufacturer Responsible For Asbestos Warning: The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a manufacturer has a duty to warn about exposure to dangerous materials when using their products. The case involves Leo Macias; he worked at a Seattle shipyard. Part of his job was to clean and maintain tools that workers used. One of those tools is a respirator that filters out asbestos. Macias developed cancer from exposure to asbestos. He and his wife sued the company that manufactured the respirator.
Seaford widow’s asbestos win: THE widow of a former Toyota employee who died from asbestos-related cancer has received a WorkCover payout of more than $500,000. Lisa Mugg’s husband Farid Moghaddas contracted mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos when he worked at Toyota’s Port Melbourne factory in the 1980s. He died last year. The Seaford woman said nothing could make up for the pain of losing her beloved husband, but the settlement would provide some relief. “I’d describe it as bittersweet,” she said. For many decades, asbestos was mined and widely used in building materials and for insulation, fireproofing and sound absorption. The disease affects mesothelial cells, which cover most organs in the body, and almost everyone diagnosed with mesothelioma has been exposed to asbestos.
MISC. (3)
Consumer board requires stricter asbestos labelling: The Consumer Protection Board (CPB) will now require stricter labelling of products containing asbestos. Deputy secretary-general Jirachai Moontongroy said from now on, the CPB will make more frequent visits to vendors selling products using asbestos, which is a mineral fibre commonly used in building construction materials and products such as cement, roofing, water supply lines and fire blankets. It is also found in automobile brakes and clutches. The CPB has the authority under the Consumer Protection Act to ban imports, manufacturing and sales of products that are potentially dangerous. In 2009, the CPB issued measures that required labelling for products containing asbestos, and in 2010 manufacturers had to include a warning that asbestos may lead to cancer. Manufacturers filed a legal complaint regarding the measure, but the court dismissed it last week.
EPA pushing cleanup of asbestos in Lockport: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to take charge of the asbestos cleanup for an abandoned building and a Dumpster in Lockport’s Lowertown district this week. Spokesman Michael Basile said Friday the EPA is talking to owner Scott J. Krzyzanowski about gaining access to 89 Mill St., where his efforts to clean up the site and construct a neighborhood retail development were torpedoed in 2010 by the state Labor Department’s insistence on an asbestos survey.
Asbestos alert for DIY work: LIVES are being put in danger because homes are not being tested for asbestos before renovations begin, industry sources have warned. The Asbestos Contractors Group says people face serious disease, even death, because there are no laws making it mandatory for homeowners to conduct a hazardous materials audit before they start work. The group says the absence of auditing heightens the risk of previously unknown quantities of asbestos being disturbed. “Unfortunately, tradespeople and, quite often, domestic homeowners are being exposed to asbestos when doing their own renovations, simply because they don’t know it’s there or what it looks like,” group spokesman Pat Pearson said. “There’s no legislation like there is in the general workplaces for an asbestos audit to be carried out.”

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos and Health, Asbestos in Public Buildings, Asbestos in Schools, Asbestos in the News, Legal Issues and Asbestos

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