Asbestos in the News: Issue 23

Asbestos in the News: Issue 23
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 19 stories we thought may interest you!
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FEATURED STORIES (6)
Asbestos’s Legacy: No one is tracking the health of former residents of Cassiar, B.C.:

Will costs of asbestos action outweigh costs of inaction?: More Australians have died from asbestos poisoning than died during the First World War and it’s claiming new victims even now. Even though authorities started to phase out the once-loved building material decades ago, the Federal Government is struggling to manage all the asbestos still out there. A specially-commissioned review recommends its removal from all government and commercial buildings by 2030 plus new rules for private homes too. But with the budget already stretched, the money for asbestos removal may not be available.
Some former B.C. asbestos workers living in fear: Hundreds of former residents of a B.C. asbestos-mining town may have a time bomb ticking in their lungs – and because no one is tracking their health as a group, many of them might not be aware of the potential danger they face, CBC News has learned. An estimated 50,000 people were employed over the lifetime of the Cassiar mine, which closed in 1992. They lived with their families in the now-abandoned town, about 220 kilometres south of the B.C.-Yukon border. It takes about 20 years for asbestos-related cancers like mesothelioma to show up in the lungs, and workers say they were routinely exposed to the dangerous mineral without any protection. “There was no face masks there,” said former worker Rolly Gunville, who has been diagnosed with the lung disease asbestosis, which can be a precursor of mesothelioma. “I asked for face masks. And what happened, this safety guy came up and he brought me this little container of salt pills,” Gunville said.
Asbestos alert for renovators: DO-IT-YOURSELF home renovators are being urged not to become the next generation of Tasmanian victims to the “silent killer” of asbestos. With every house built before 1990 expected to have some asbestos, experts warn that many have little idea of the dangers. Asbestos Free Tasmania CEO Susan Wallace said yesterday about 15 people are diagnosed in Tasmania with mesothelioma every year, and she fears the new wave of victims will be renovators. “Australia has the highest recorded rate of asbestos-related deaths from the dreadful cancer, mesothelioma, 600 to 700 per year,” Ms Wallace said.
September Becomes A Month To Make Progress Against Mesothelioma: You don’t have to wait until Sept. 26 to start observing the official Mesothelioma Awareness Day. The whole month should do just fine, becoming a key time to make progress in the fight against this dreaded disease. Some of the best scientific minds, and some of the most skilled surgical hands in the world, will be gathering for the 11th International Mesothelioma Interest Group (IMIG) Conference in Boston. More than 500 experts from different specialties, all relevant to mesothelioma, will huddle Sept. 11-14, hoping to spark new ideas in therapeutics, surgery, pathology, genomics and other novel strategies to deal with this rare but intricate cancer.
Asbestos: The Urban Environment’s Hidden Killer: When most people think of the environment, the first thought that comes to most peoples’ minds is Global Warming, Deforestation in Brazil and the melting of the Polar Ice Caps. However there is another manufactured threat built within the fabrics of the environments we all live and work in; Asbestos. For a number of years, the subject of Asbestos was much overlooked after the use of the three main types of Asbestos were banned, Crocidolite in 1985 Amosite in 1986 and finally Chrysotile in 1999 from use in construction and in number of products ranging from insulation, soundproofing, fireproofing to brake linings in cars, along with a number of other every products and uses.
ASBESTOS in SCHOOLS (2)
Students Back In Wofford Dorm After Asbestos Removal: Doors open Monday at a Wofford College residence hall after it was closed last week for asbestos removal. School officials say air quality tests show the Marsh dorm, a first-year student dormatory, is now ready to be occupied. The opening of the building was delayed when repairs required the removal of ceiling coating that contained asbestos.
Schools first in asbestos removal plan: SCHOOLS are likely to be a top priority in a federal government plan for a nationwide reduction in the presence of asbestos. The federal government is setting up a new office of asbestos safety which will in turn create a national anti-asbestos agency to co-ordinate removal of the banned cancer-causing material from all types of buildings.
ASBESTOS and HEALTH (2)
Asbestos-exposed kids dying of aggressive cancers: A new study has found adults who were exposed to asbestos as children in the West Australian town of Wittenoom are dying of aggressive cancers at excessively high rates. Asbestos mining was stopped in 1966, and the town later closed, after it was discovered asbestos fibres were causing serious diseases. WA’s Institute for Medical Research estimates more than 2,000 children under the age of 15 were exposed to asbestos in Wittenoom.
Asbestos deaths still rising: AUSTRALIAN deaths from asbestos-related diseases have not yet peaked, Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten has warned at the launch of a new agency to oversee the staged removal of the toxic material from all buildings over the next 18 years. Mr Shorten said the new Office of Asbestos Safety would begin work on community awareness and education and would work to ”ultimately remove asbestos from the Australian built environment”.
ASBESTOS in PUBLIC BUILDINGS (3)
ALP pushes for national asbestos agency: THE federal government will act on the recommendations of its own asbestos management review by setting up a national agency to oversee the removal of the deadly material from all government and commercial buildings by 2030. Federal Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten will address a union summit on asbestos removal in Sydney today. “The government fundamentally believes we need a national approach to asbestos – it can’t just be left to local government, state government and different federal agencies,” he told ABC radio ahead of the summit. “There’s no doubt in my mind the federal government – part of their response will have to be a co-ordinated national body to assist with the research, education and identification of asbestos risk.”
SA parliament gets asbestos all-clear: The South Australian parliament has been given the all-clear after an asbestos scare forced the closure of the main chamber for several weeks. Speaker Lyn Breuer detailed the major clean-up works conducted during the winter recess when parliament resumed on Tuesday. She said asbestos fibres had been detected in June and were sourced to a canvas awning found in the ceiling space above the House of Assembly.
Asbestos delays demolition of wing at Danvers High: Demolition of the three-story Dunn Wing at Danvers High has been delayed due to the discovery of asbestos in the adhesive material used to glue in windows. The plan had been to demolish the structure before school started, but now, demolition will “consume most of the month of September,” Town Manager Wayne Marquie said. Work has been ongoing to remove or abate asbestos before the building is torn down.
LEGAL ISSUES and ASBESTOS (4)
Owens-Illinois, Inc. Issues Statement Regarding Favorable Asbestos Ruling: Owens-Illinois, Inc. (NYSE: OI) today issued the following statement concerning a favorable ruling handed down last Friday by a McLean County, Illinois, judge regarding a verdict issued on March 11, 2011, in an asbestos case. “On August 31, 2012, a McLean County, Illinois, trial judge granted Owens-Illinois’ motion to vacate O-I’s portion of a nearly $90 million 2011 jury verdict in a case involving allegations that Owens-Illinois and other companies participated in a conspiracy to conceal or misrepresent information about the health risks associated with asbestos exposure. The McLean County trial judge entered judgment in O-I’s favor, a judgment that is subject to appeal. Of the damages vacated by this ruling, $9.6 million in compensatory damages had been assessed against all defendants and $40 million in punitive damages had been assessed against Owens-Illinois.
OAP wins asbestos case – 60 years on: A SOUTH Tyneside pensioner exposed to deadly dust as an office boy more than 60 years ago has won “substantial” six-figure compensation after developing fatal asbestos cancer. Sep Boulter, 78, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs, in December last year. Experts say the roots of his terminal condition can be traced back to his time as a 15-year-old office boy at the former Mercantile Dry Dock Company in Jarrow, in 1949, and was exposed to asbestos fibres.
Asbestos Trusts and Medicare Liens-Medicare Wants its Money Back: Millions of people have been affected by medical conditions due to asbestos exposure. While a financial award cannot relieve the loss of a loved one or reduce the pain and suffering experienced, it often helps with expenses due to treatment or loss of income. Our firm works hard for clients to help them recover their losses from asbestos-related diseases. In doing so, we must take into account the government policy and statutory requirements regarding reimbursement to medical providers, including Medicare. So we warn our clients that the financial award may not all be theirs for the keeping—Medicare may demand reimbursement.
Asbestos legal action against state govt: A man who believes his mesothelioma was caused by asbestos fibres exposed during renovations at his school in the Great Southern could take legal action against the state government. John McDonald, 49, was diagnosed with metastatic mesothelioma in July last year. His lawyer, Tricia Wong from Slater and Gordon said there was evidence confirming James Hardie’s asbestos building materials were used in renovations and additions to the school. “It is likely that a claim would be made against the state government as the occupier of the school, as well as James Hardie as manufacturer of the asbestos cement building materials,” she said.
MISC. (2)
Recommendations for action on asbestos: One month ago, on July 24, the Joint Policy Committee of the Societies of Epidemiology (JPC-SE), which represents a number of national and international epidemiology organisations, for the first time, launched a call for a global ban on asbestos. The JPC-SE stated that a rigorous review of the epidemiologic evidence confirms that all types of asbestos fibre are causally implicated in the development mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and other diseases. It noted that this conclusion is based on the full body of evidence, including the epidemiology, toxicology, industrial hygiene, biology, pathology, and other related published literature.
Sheffield son’s asbestos fear after work: A SHEFFIELD resident is living in fear of asbestos exposure after contractors carried out an unannounced visit to his home. Glyn Lambert was left without flooring in one room after contractors arrived at his home on Archdale Road, Manor, and ripped up the kitchen tiles without explanation – even lifting his oven from the floor while his dinner was cooking inside. It was only after Mr Lambert, aged 54, and his mother Pat called Kier, which was working on behalf of property owner Pennine Housing, that they were told the tiles had been removed due to the risk of asbestos. The news has worried them both, as contractors did not appear to be using specialist protective clothing or equipment.

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