Asbestos in the News: Issue 46

Asbestos in the News: Issue 46
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 6 stories we thought may interest you!
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FEATURED STORIES (2)
Investigator: Students gut asbestos-filled building: A small religious school is under criminal investigation after several dozen teenage students and others volunteered over several weekends to gut a building containing asbestos, a cancer-causing agent, according to interviews and records. Students as young as 13 who attend the Buckeye Education School spent several weekends removing asbestos-filled materials without any protective gear at the former YWCA on Smith Road in Middleburg Heights, said Cleveland Commissioner of Air Quality George Baker, who also works with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
Asbestos debate rages on at the Faculty Club: The ongoing debate over McGill’s role in producing flawed, industry-funded asbestos research erupted in a shouting match between McGill faculty and an American researcher at the Faculty Club on Monday. The dispute centered on the research of retired McGill professor J. Corbett MacDonald, conducted with nearly a million dollars from the asbestos industry, about the health effects of asbestos extraction in Quebec. A CBC documentary last year suggested that MacDonald tailored his results to suit industry interests. In a landmark paper published in 1998 after decades of research, MacDonald concluded that the kind of asbestos primarily mined in Quebec – chrysotile – was “innocuous” at certain exposure levels.
ASBESTOS and HEALTH (2)
Scientists to hold counter-conference to McGill’s one Sided Conference in Canada: Canadian and American researchers announced today that they will hold a conference on January 7, 2013 at 5:15 pm in the Gold Room at McGill University’s Faculty Club, to present critical information to the public regarding McGill’s ongoing refusal to address damning evidence of asbestos research improprieties and improper conduct by former Chair of McGill’s Epidemiology Department, Dr. Corbett McDonald. “McGill has refused all requests for an independent inquiry into complaints on this matter,” said Dr. David Egilman, Clinical Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Brown University, US, and author of Exposing the “Myth” of ABC, “Anything But Chrysotile”: A Critique of the Canadian Asbestos Mining Industry and McGill University Chrysotile Studies. “Instead, after an inadequate and self-serving internal investigation, McGill presented a report that contained biased, inaccurate and misleading information and dismissed the complaints.
Asbestos in quake-hit homes a ‘health landmine’: Asbestos in the ceilings of more than 4000 earthquake-damaged homes will be left encased behind plasterboard – a situation Canterbury’s leading medical adviser says is a health “landmine”. The Earthquake Commission (EQC) estimates 43,000 Christchurch homes due for quake repairs could contain asbestos.
ASBESTOS in PUBLIC BUILDINGS (1)
HQ EXCLUSIVE: Asbestos Audit Shows BC Ferries Still in Trouble: Two years after a fine was issued against the Queen of Burnaby for asbestos on board, that vessel along with 6 others across the fleet have been highlighted as trouble makers in a recent Asbestos Audit conducted by BC Ferries. Among the 6 other vessels, the North Island Princess. While there is no open asbestos currently on any active BC Ferries vessel, the audits conducted in June, followed by a report in September showed that there are irregularities in the signage and identification of those materials on board 7 of the 10 vessels looked at. Aside from the Princess and Burnaby, the Queen of Alberni, Mayne Queen, Bowen Queen, Tenaka and Tachek were all flagged as having issues.
LEGAL ISSUES and ASBESTOS (2)
Richmond company fined $70,000 for handling asbestos: Richmond-based Mr. Bin Disposal Ltd. has been fined $70,000 for illegally accepting and storing asbestos on Mitchell Island, according to a Metro Vancouver new release Wednesday. The company was licensed to accept municipal solid waste and recyclable materials, not asbestos, a hazardous waste, according to a statement of facts filed in a B.C. court. In September 2011 a Metro Vancouver enforcement officer inspected the Mr. Bin Disposal facility, at 11611 Twigg Pl.
Lowell Housing Authority to pay for workers’ asbestos-poisoning tests: Several months after questions were raised about the Lowell Housing Authority’s possible improper handling of asbestos during a major renovation project, the agency has agreed to pay for and promote the opportunity for its maintenance employees to get tested for asbestos poisoning. LHA Executive Director Gary Wallace said Wednesday he has consented to the request put forth by the union representing the maintenance employees because he wants to allay any concerns LHA workers may have about exposure to asbestos. “It makes sense for some of the older people who might have worries,” Wallace told The Sun. “We also want to put the issue to rest.”
MISC. (3)
Asbestos hazard in Christchurch CBD: The Government is working to contain hazardous asbestos after a street in central Christchurch was contaminated by the potentially harmful material. Loose asbestos fibres from the demolition of BNZ House in Cathedral Square were found in Hereford St and a nearby red-zone site where rubble from the building is being stockpiled. White and brown asbestos were found at five points in Hereford St and nine points on the stockpile site, says a report commissioned by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera), which is managing the demolition.
Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization’s Mission: Much More Than Banning Asbestos: On behalf of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), I have the opportunity to frequently speak to Congress, health care providers, national and international organizations, and families about the deadly legacy of asbestos and the urgent need for a global asbestos ban. However, one of the most frequent questions I am asked is: “What exactly does your organization do?” Today, I would like to answer that question and provide a better idea of what ADAO does, from a typical day in the office to our long-term goals.
Calls for register of homes with asbestos: There are calls for a public register to be made of Christchurch homes containing potentially deadly asbestos. Rather than removing the asbestos, it’s been decided plasterboard will be used to encase it in more than 4000 earthquake-damaged homes due for repair. Canterbury District Health Board medical officer of health Alistair Humphrey says future home owners unaware of the presence of asbestos could be put a risk if they disturb it, for example, while undertaking renovations.

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