Asbestos in the News: Issue 19
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 20 stories we thought may interest you!
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FEATURED STORIES (4)
Tony Rich, “Asbestos: A Photographic Retrospective,” ADAO Conference Video Presentation: ADAO is hard at work, planning for our 9th Asbestos Awareness Conference in Washington DC! Our past conferences have been overwhelmingly successful, and we want to continue sharing the powerful presentations from our last conference. We were honored to have so many amazing individuals come together at the 8th Asbestos Awareness Conference to discuss the impact of asbestos on public health, the environment, and the economy. We are excited to be able to share the inspiring and exceptional presenters, honorees, and discussion panels with our supportive community. Tony Rich, an industrial hygienist and amateur photographer, joined ADAO at the conference to present his collection of asbestos-related photographs. It is a privilege to share the video of Tony’s presentation: Asbestos: A Photographic Retrospective. Thanks to Tony Rich, ADAO has a powerful “Asbestos: See For Yourself” PowerPoint presentation with many of Tony’s photographs.
Rat study shows chrysotile asbestos is strong carcinogen: Chrysotile, a commercially used type of asbestos, induces malignant mesothelioma in the rat peritoneal cavity, with pathogenesis strongly linked to iron overload, according to a study published online Aug. 2 in The Journal of Pathology.
New Quebec party promises to ban asbestos exports: The long-simmering debate about asbestos exports from Quebec to Third World countries took a new turn last week during the provincial election campaign. Critics say the toxic substance represents a lethal threat to workers. François Legault, the head of the newly formed Coalition Avenir du Quebec, announced on August 11 that if his party formed the next government, it would ban any further asbestos imports. His government would honour the Quebec Liberal government’s $58 million loan promised to the Jeffrey Mine in the Eastern Townships. But he said he would urge the company to use it for other purposes. “Exporting a toxic product is morally and scientifically infensible,” Legault told CBC News. “Quebec has to come to terms with an industry that’s stuck in the past.” The Quebec Solidaire Party had already committed itself to opposing asbestos mining and exports as part of its environmental agenda and welcomed the statement from the CAQ.
Asbestos in Quebec, Part 2: Why We Export Death – Perhaps we feel “Lucky”?: While asbestos no longer is used widely in Canada, we still are a major exporter of the product to developing nations such as India. The question I posed at the end of my first article on the Asbestos Industry in Quebec was the following: Are Canada’s efforts to aggressively export asbestos to developing nations as bad as the efforts made by multinationals to market cigarettes, our used and banned drugs, our banned pesticides, and other products that we started in the 1970s and continue to this day? My personal view is that asbestos export is part of a long chain in economic history. Developed nations (and metropolitan centres in the past five to eight thousand years) export dangerous goods, products, drugs and chemicals and import and export alien invasive species. Why? Because we seek to make money by identifying larger markets for the products we produce (e.g. RIM promoting the Blackberry smart phones in India, etc.), cheaper labour sources and inexpensive resources to keep our developed economic engines humming. In my July 5th blog, I awkwardly sought to provide a somewhat cynical, nuanced and at times ironic view of the asbestos export issue, pointing out that, while asbestos is a dangerous substance, the risks associated with its use can be mitigated and minimized with proper procedures, regulations and enforcement. I observed that these procedures and rules are all too often ignored in developing nations but then challenged the federal and Quebec governments to step up to the plate and help with sounder technology transfer to protect the health and safety of workers and residents in the asbestos-importing nations such as India. If we can transfer solar cooker and help install water wells in developing nations, surely we can help them employ our socio-technical systems to more safely use a substance like asbestos as well.
ASBESTOS in SCHOOLS (4)
Asbestos hazard act compliance at Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical: The Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School is in full compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), according to Old Colony Regional Vocational School Superintendent-Director Gary Brown. The North Street vocational school has been in compliance since 1998, he said. The inspection findings and asbestos management plans have been on file in the office of the school’s superintendent-director since that time.
Asbestos to displace Hale Road Elementary students for more than a month: Students who would have attended Hale Road Elementary in Painesville Township likely will be displaced for more than a month for the start of the school year. Asbestos was disturbed during construction at Hale Road Elementary and the cleanup process will take some time to complete. Riverside Schools Superintendent James Kalis will tour the facility that is the most likely candidate for kindergarten through third-grade students today. Those students are expected to take classes at Painesville Assembly of God in Concord Township, while fourth- and fifth-graders will fill empty classrooms at LaMuth Middle School in Concord Township.
Kilbourn closed for asbestos abatement: Asbestos abatement is forcing the Eastman School of Music to close Kilbourn Hall for the entire fall semester, meaning alternate venues will have to be found for all events scheduled for the venue.
Asbestos snafu keeps children out of Deans Mill polling place: A scheduling snafu resulted in a ban on children at Deans Mill School during Tuesday’s primary. The school is the polling place for District 3 voters, but continuing asbestos abatement work inside the building meant no one under the age of 18 could enter the building.
The abatement work began last week, said Board of Education Chairwoman Gail MacDonald, and was still going on Tuesday, when voters were choosing candidates for November’s U.S. Senate and Congressional District 2 contests. State law prohibits children from entering a building where asbestos abatement work is occurring, she explained.
ASBESTOS and HEALTH (3)
Exorcising a hidden killer-Asbestos is the Devil: Steve Mara is an exorcist. But he doesn’t use prayers and a cross. His weapon is a utility knife and the demons he exorcises are asbestos fibres. Mara is a technician with Rescue Restoration, a Burnaby company that specializes in cleaning up asbestos from industrial, commercial and residential properties across British Columbia. It’s hot, dirty, dangerous work that is increasingly bringing him into homes and apartments. “Asbestos is the devil,” says Mara. That’s because when asbestos fibres become airborne they can lodge in the lungs, causing scarring that may eventually lead to asbestosis or lung cancer.
RJ Lee Group Scientists Publish New Study Impacting Risk Models for Asbestos-Related Disease: Asbestos and environmental health experts, Mr. Drew Van Orden, P.E., Dr. Richard J. Lee, Mr. Matthew S. Sanchez, and Mr. Matthew D. Zock, CIH, at RJ Lee Group, Inc., an industrial forensic consulting firm and analytical laboratory, recently co-authored three asbestos-centered publications that are now available on the Annals of Respiratory Medicine website. The scientific and legal impact of these studies is that the results indicate that current models may overestimate asbestos risk by not including fibers which were not able to be identified when the models were developed, but which analytical technology today is able to detect.
The definite link between asbestos and lung cancer: Asbestos is the term used to define a group of fibrous minerals that were used for industrial and construction purposes for many decades. In 1977 and again in 1987, the International Agency for Research on Cancer determined that there is evidence that asbestos causes cancer. Israel also included asbestos in the list of positively cancerous substances. Most of the relevant research finds a definite link between exposure to asbestos and lung cancer, as well as mesothelioma – a unique form of cancer that develops in the lung’s membrane and is caused in most cases (79 percent ) by reoccurring exposure to asbestos. Data collected in 2008 by the Health Ministry determined that lung cancer and mesothelioma rates were often 10 times higher than the national average among residents of Nahariya and its surroundings who were employed in the local asbestos plant active from the 1950s until 1997.
ASBESTOS in PUBLIC BUILDINGS (4)
Asbestos scare at Dykebar hospital sees two wards closed: SICK OAPs will have to wait NINE DAYS to be evacuated from a Paisley hospital – despite potentially-deadly asbestos being found in two wards. Health chiefs claim there is no risk to 46 elderly patients at Dykebar Hospital. However, the wards will be shut next Friday for experts to assess the severity of the problem and how best to deal with it.
It’s understood the toxic substance was found in roof spaces above the wards during refurbishment work.
Asbestos Exposure in The Netherlands: Read it and Weep: The inhabitants of ‘Kanaleneiland’, a district of the Dutch city Utrecht, have recently been evacuated in great haste from their apartment buildings by the combined forces of the municipal council and their housing cooperative. Their streets were barricaded by the police. The reason: after renovations to the buildings, traces of blue and brown asbestos had been found. It hit the news coverage like a national disaster. Which was interesting: it showed the nation how proceedings work in such cases. So-called experts delighted the public by explaining about asbestos. Much of it was exasperatingly wrong. Read and weep with me! Now amongst asbestos victims, The Netherlands is perhaps known for two things. One, for being a very modern, pleasant and civilized country where one might expect a decent knowledge on asbestos. Two, a sizable post-World War II asbestos industry based on huge asbestos imports, which so far has resulted in The Netherlands having one of the highest rates of asbestos victims per capita in the world, possibly the highest for any country without asbestos mining activities. (A fact of which the Dutch themselves are utterly unaware.) Asbestos was banned here in 1993; and that largely put an end to the asbestos industry.
Report urges removal of asbestos from government buildings: A Government commissioned report has recommended the removal of all asbestos from commercial and government buildings by 2030. The Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten has warned of a “third wave” of asbestos related diseases like mesothelioma. As homeowners renovate houses, or buildings are upgraded, researchers warn that tens of thousands of new cases of the disease may be discovered over the next two decades.
Asbestos roof forces Island Bay childcare centre to close: A Wellington childcare centre is being forced to close because the religious order that owns it cannot afford to replace its asbestos roof. The roof of Island Bay’s Aubert Childcare Centre, owned by the Sisters of Compassion, was sealed as soon as the asbestos was discovered a couple of months ago. Now the Order has been told a permanent replacement would cost up to $300,000. Mother Aubert Home of Compassion Trust Board chairwoman Sister Margaret Anne Mills said it had agonised over the decision to close the centre, but it needed to focus its funds on its core mission of helping the frail aged, the sick, the poor and the disadvantaged.
LEGAL ISSUES and ASBESTOS (2)
Man Sentenced For Hiring Homeless To Remove Asbestos: A Pueblo man who hired homeless handymen to demolish his house and remove asbestos-containing materials was sentenced to four years in prison, the state attorney general announced Friday. Thomas K. Tienda had been convicted of eight felonies, mostly related to the airborne release of asbestos. Instead of hiring properly licensed contractors to demolish the multi-family house, he hired homeless handymen to save money and didn’t tell them that his building contained asbestos, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said.
Asbestos Violations Cited on College Maintenance Project: OSHA has cited Sodexho Inc. in a case involving $81,000 in proposed penalties and 12 alleged serious violations, following an investigation by the agency’s Charleston, W.Va. Area Office of an asbestos removal project by maintenance workers at Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi, W.Va. OSHA said the serious violations include failing to provide respirators, protective clothing, and training for employees performing Class II asbestos work; inform workers of the location and quantities of asbestos-containing material; provide workers who voluntarily wear dust masks with Appendix D information of the Respirator Standard on the use of dusts masks or respirators; ensure that Class II asbestos work was conducted in regulated areas and supervised by a competent person; conduct daily monitoring to assess employee exposure and airborne concentration exposure; ensure proper disposal of ceiling tiles; ensure wet methods were used when conducting Class II asbestos work; and equip vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters.
Chinese cars recalled for using asbestos: They’re cheap, but almost 25,000 Chinese cars are expected to be recalled for breaching a ban on the use of asbestos. Almost 25,000 budget-priced Chinese cars are expected to be recalled in Australia to have asbestos components replaced. The importer of Chinese brands Great Wall and Chery could be forced to recall 21,500 and 2250 cars respectively that contain the potentially deadly material in engine and exhaust gaskets. The recall would affect almost all of the vehicles sold by the two brands – among the cheapest in their respective categories – since they went on sale here in 2009 (Great Wall) and 2010 (Chery). The importer of both brands in Australia, Ateco Automotive, has known about the issue for “a period of months” and has been working with various government departments including Work Cover and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to determine a course of action, which is expected to be announced within days. Despite the sensitivities surrounding asbestos – known to cause asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer – it is understood some of the asbestos gaskets may not be replaced due to the complexities with replacing them and the likelihood many will never need replacement through the life of the vehicle.
New Scheme “Does Not Go Far Enough” Says Mesothelioma Lawyer: A £300m government scheme to fund compensation payments to newly-diagnosed victims of mesothelioma has been criticised for not going far enough in providing help to those who need it right now. Bridget Collier, head of the Industrial Disease team at Fentons Personal Injury Solicitors LLP, was speaking after the Department for Work and Pensions announced the new scheme which will allow around 3,000 victims who are unable to claim compensation because they cannot trace a liable employer, to claim compensation from the fund over the coming ten years.
Mum’s asbestos warning: MOTHER-OF-ONE Michelle Warren wants other families to think twice before paying a tradesman upfront. “We don’t want others to be duped the way I was,” Michelle said. Initially hesitant about paying for services upfront, Michelle said she was torn between getting the only asbestos removalist in Gladstone, who would take upfront payment, and another company in Rockhampton.
— Got #Mold?™ (@gotmoldglobal) August 20, 2012