Asbestos in the News: Issue 25

Asbestos in the News: Issue 25
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 16 stories we thought may interest you!
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The Parti Quebecois is shattering the conventional wisdom on asbestos: If political strategists have any capacity for introspection, they should be asking themselves some serious questions about the Parti Québécois’ late-innings promise to cancel a $58-million government loan to the Jeffrey Mine in the Estrie, and to end all exports of chrysotile asbestos from Quebec. Objectively, this is a no-brainer. The industry is paltry; exports in 2011 amounted to just $41-million, or 0.07% of Quebec’s total. Even in the town of Asbestos, it employs an insignificant fraction of the population. For that meagre payoff, Canada gets a black eye on the world stage by joining Kazakhstan, Vietnam and Kyrgyzstan in opposing even the addition of warning labels to exports: In June, Postmedia news obtained a briefing memo to Environment Minister Peter Kent indicating that the government had in the past “acknowledged all criteria for the addition of chrysotile asbestos to the [Rotterdam] Convention [on hazardous substances] have been met,” but it nevertheless continues to oppose its addition.
Cassiar asbestos mine workers urged to monitor health: Former workers at the now defunct Cassiar asbestos mine just south of the Yukon/B.C. border are being urged to watch for signs of cancer. The mine operated for about 40 years and an estimated 50,000 people worked there, including many Yukoners. It closed in the 1990s. Mineworkers at Cassiar handled raw asbestos without any protective gear. Asbestos fibres can lodge in the lungs and cause respiratory ailments and cancer decades later.
Federal government won’t block efforts to limit asbestos exports: The Conservative government announced Friday it will no longer be a champion of asbestos on the world stage, effectively conceding the end of the asbestos industry in Quebec with a promise of up to $50 million to diversify the economy of the mining communities. Industry Minister Christian Paradis, who represents a riding at the heart of Quebec’s asbestos mining region, said he didn’t want to abandon the industry, but said Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois left Ottawa no choice. During the summer campaign, Marois, who is now premier-designate of Quebec, promised to cancel an $58-million government loan to revive the Jeffrey Mine, signalling the end to Quebec’s long history of asbestos production.
Ottawa does U-turn on asbestos mining: Canada is ending its much-maligned practice of defending asbestos mining on the world stage, a reversal of a stand that made it a pariah in some international circles. The Harper government, which until Friday unflinchingly defended Canada’s right to export the cancer-causing mineral from Quebec, is blaming the incoming Parti Québécois regime for its change of heart.
Dublin High School Demolition Draws Concerns from Parents in Dublin, CA: Drawing on her professional expertise from the construction industry, Santos raised health and safety concerns with the unfortunate timing of the demolition. “The old 1960’s buildings being torn down have a high likelihood of containing asbestos and lead, both proven to be a health hazard. As far as I am concerned there are NO ‘acceptable levels‘ when it comes to my children. It seems very irresponsible to start the demo during the first week of school,” said Santos. Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals used commercially for their desirable physical properties. Asbestos became increasingly popular among builders in the late 19th century because of its affordability, sound absorption, average tensile strength, and resistance to fire, heat, electrical, and chemical damage. It was used in such applications as electrical insulation for hotplate wiring and in building insulation.
Valley school closed after asbestos found: An elementary school in the Valley was closed on Friday and part of Thursday after workers found asbestos in a wall. Margo Tait, the superintendent of the Annapolis Valley regional school board, said the discovery was made while employees were patching a hole in the wall at Cambridge and District Elementary School. “As is our practice, when we find asbestos, of course we remove it,” Tait said. “We have an asbestos abatement contractor in there removing that.”
Wife died after washing asbestos covered overalls: A wife died from asbestos poisoning after washing her builder husband’s work clothes, an inquest heard. Adrienne Martin, from Victoria Road, Wargrave, died at the Royal Berkshire Hospital on March 27 this year after contracting cancer having been exposed to the substance for several years. At an inquest at Reading Civic Centre on Tuesday, August 21, Berkshire coroner Peter Bedford read a statement from her son Christopher, who was present at the hearing, explaining how his mother may have caught the disease. In it he told how his father was a builder by profession who had worked with asbestos.
Family’s fears over asbestos in home: A FAMILY from South Tyneside want to be moved after housing bosses told them their home contains asbestos. Ian and Rebecca Swindell moved into their South Tyneside Homes (STH) property in Bardon Court, Harton Moor, South Shields, three years ago. They knew the majority of the walls were covered in Artex, but it was only by chance, six weeks ago, that workmen discovered they contained the potentially killer substance. Mr Swindell, 47, said: “They must have been aware three years ago that the Artex was likely to contain asbestos, but yet they still moved us in. “We have children living in this house, and we now don’t feel it’s safe or healthy for them to be in this kind of environment. “All we have been told is not to chip the walls and everything should be fine.
Asbestos was cause of death: A pair of siblings were ‘surprised’ to hear that their ex-Stanton worker brother had died from the effects of inhaling asbestos, during an inquest into his death. James Cope, 85, was taken to Royal Derby Hospital after a fall at his home at Hazelwood Nursing Home, Cotmanhay. He died two days later on February 3, but a post mortem found that he had died from pulmonary asbestosis – something he had never been diagnosed with. Consultant pathologist Dr Andrew Hitchcock, who examined Mr Cope’s body, told Derby Coroner’s Court: “If he had not had his fall and broken his leg, sooner or later –probably sooner – he would have died of pulmonary asbestosis. Perversely if he had not had lung disease he may well have survived his fracture.”
Former soldier who served in Korea died from ‘horrific’ cancer after exposure to asbestos: AN ex-soldier died of a “horrific” lung cancer triggered by contact with asbestos-riddled pipes, an inquest has heard. Peter Turner won compensation from three separate employers after contracting the fatal condition brought on by contact with the now-banned substance formerly used as insulation in buildings. St Pancras Coroner’s Court heard on Thursday how the 77-year-old died about 18 months after being diagnosed with an “aggressive tumour” in his lung.
Upper West Side Library to Close for Asbestos Removal and Renovations: The public library branch at 100th Street and Columbus is set to close for several months at the end of the year for a series of renovations — including asbestos removal, city officials confirmed. The NYPL’s Bloomingdale branch at West 100th Street and Columbus Avenue will be closed beginning in December for asbestos removal, renovations to its windows and better exterior lighting, library and city officials confirmed. Joseph Soldevere, a spokesman for the Department of Design and Construction, confirmed that the 51-year-old building has absestos that needs to be removed, adding that “such [asbestos] abatements are routine for buildings of this age.”
Family to act over asbestos tragedy: The family of a school caterer who died from an industrial disease is preparing to make a claim against County Hall. An inquest heard Joyce Woodward, 80, of Mowbray Road, Fleetwood, died after coming into contact with asbestos during her 40-year career working in schools in the port. Her daughter, Sue Partington, 56, from Thornton, said since the inquest had confirmed an asbestos link, the family would seek legal advice to pursue a claim against Lancashire County Council. She said: “I think it’s what she would have wanted. “There wasn’t a proper diagnosis before she died but now the coroner has recorded her death is linked to asbestos exposure.”
Asbestos Industry Denied Autopsy of Mesothelioma Patient: There has been a recent trend in asbestos litigation for the nasty defendants to request an autopsy from a terminally Ill plaintiff . Disgusting intimidation. So far the tactics have not worked. Last year a NJ judge denied a motion to actually exhume a body. Another story appears below. An asbestos defendant cannot reserve the right to autopsy its terminally ill opponent, a judge ruled, setting a precedent in Missouri and perhaps nationwide. Roy Duncan says asbestos exposure caused him to develop mesothelioma, an especially deadly form of lung cancer.
7 Companies Cited for Exposing Workers to Asbestos in San Antonio: Federal safety regulators have cited seven construction companies for exposing workers to asbestos hazards at a San Antonio construction work site. Proposed penalties total $148,000. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration said three Miami-based contractors and four San Antonio-based subcontractors were cited for 45 serious violations and one other-than-serious violation. A referral by the Texas Department of State Health Services prompted an OSHA inspection in March at the Reserves at Pecan Valley apartment complex located on East Southcross Boulevard. Inspectors found that workers were remodeling apartments without the use of proper clothing and respiratory equipment that would protect them from exposure to asbestos, OSHA said.
Tenn. spouse names 76 defendants in asbestos case: A Signal Mountain, Tenn., spouse is suing 76 companies for a mesothelioma diagnosis and death. On April 28, John Elmer Simons was diagnosed with mesothelioma, from which he died on June 27, according to a complaint filed Aug. 30 in Kanawha Circuit Court. Willie H. Simons claims John Simons was exposed to asbestos during his employment as an electrician from 1953 until 1992.
MISC. (1)
Libby Asbestos Disaster Makes its Way to the College Classroom: Residents of Libby, Montana have lived for decades surrounded by the nasty legacy of asbestos exposure. Now Libby’s teens and young adults who may not have been as ensconced in the disaster as some of their older family members will have an opportunity to take a look at the big picture, thanks to a new elective course offered at Flathead Valley Community College. The school has announced its intention to offer a one-credit course entitled The Libby Legacy Project, a class designed to help residents of any age understand what has transpired in Libby during the years prior to and since W.R. Grace and Co. opened an asbestos-contaminated vermiculite mine in town. A community committee consisting of healthcare workers, local environmental agencies, and officials from the public school district thought it would be a good idea to put together this course so that area college students and other interested residents could get “a truthful and informational course” about the role asbestos has played in the area, notes a story aired on KPAX-TV.

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