Asbestos in the News: Issue 49

Asbestos in the News: Issue 49
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 8 stories we thought may interest you!
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FEATURED STORIES (2)
IARC in the dock over ties with asbestos industry: Alleged links between the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the asbestos industry have been condemned on the eve of a crucial UN conference. David Holmes reports. Does asbestos corrupt more than just DNA? That is the question now being asked of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) after a series of recent decisions triggered a storm of protest from governments, non-governmental organisations, and health campaigners and left the agency, which is an arm of WHO, open to accusations that range from the relatively benign charge of poor judgment to allegations of corporate capture by the asbestos industry. The row erupted late last year, when IARC accepted an invitation to send one of its scientists, Valerie McCormack, to present data at a conference in Kiev, Ukraine, entitled Chrysotile Asbestos: Risk Assessment and Management (panel 1). That decision sparked a flurry of emails and letters to the Director-General of IARC Christopher Wild, including one seen by The Lancet from the Italian Minister of Health Renato Balduzzi, on behalf of the Italian Government, imploring IARC to shun the conference over suspicions that the organisers were in cahoots with the Russian asbestos industry.
McGill challenged on asbestos industry financed research: Over the past ten years, several researchers and I have written letters of complaint questioning the integrity of the ongoing McGill/McDonald studies on asbestos. Recently, Dr. Abraham Fuks submitted an investigation report regarding the McDonald studies to Dean David Eidelman. To sum up our concerns briefly, the data used for the 1998 paper was so problematic that the authors actually wrote that “taken at face value” the results indicated that asbestos exposed workers had lower cancer rates than the general population. This was a nonsensical result since after the Selikoff conference in October 1964 no one disputed that asbestos was a lung carcinogen. The McGill researchers then deleted data points until the data showed that asbestos exposure was “innocuous.”
ASBESTOS and HEALTH (2)
Asbestos poses hidden hazard: There are hidden hazards in renovating older homes. The one I’ll touch on is asbestos and I’ll leave the other nasty till next week. Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals that have been mined and used for more than 4500 years, but wasn’t mined extensively until the late 19th century. All six minerals are carcinogenic to humans.
Killer asbestos: Where it’s hiding: At one of our recent Contractors’ Asbestos Awareness workshops, I realized how dangerous this substance can be for any renovator or contractor working on older homes. It hides, lying in wait. Once disturbed, it becomes dangerous and releases airborne fibres. Once these fibres are breathed in, they could well shorten your life, by causing asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma (cancer of the lining of the chest and or abdomen). This highly toxic material was used widely in the construction industry until the 1980s. You are likely encountering it, whether you realize it or not. Asbestos hides in many places. You can find it in pre 1980 drywall joint compounds, in plaster walls, ceilings, in attics with vermiculite insulation, in cement shingles, acoustic tiles, textured ceiling pipe insulation, duct heating tape, soffits, light fixtures, caulking materials… literally hundreds of different home improvement products.
ASBESTOS in PUBLIC BUILDINGS (1)
Asbestos scare shuts library: The premises, at the junction of Western Road and Sackville Road, had been closed earlier this month while contractors were busy refurbishing the first floor.
LEGAL ISSUES and ASBESTOS (1)
Mesothelioma Victims Center Now Urges Victims of Mesothelioma To Pursue Compensation Regardless of Age and Offers The Names Of The Best Law Firms To Help Them Get Results: The Mesothelioma Victims Center says, “We now fear hundreds of families across the United States do not pursue financial compensation for their loved one victim of mesothelioma because they are in their late 60’s, 70’s, or even 80’s, and we are doing everything possible to change this sad fact.” Families of diagnosed victims of mesothelioma are urged to contact the Mesothelioma Victims Center anytime at 866-714-6466 for their unequaled services that include providing a victim, or their family members with the names, and contacts of the best mesothelioma law firms in the nation.
MISC. (2)
Asbestos threat to fire and flood victims: There are concerns asbestos fibres in homes damaged in the Warrumbungle fire near Coonabarabran in northwest NSW have already spread. Initial assessments by Warrumbungle Shire at 36 properties found 31 sites contained asbestos, and the council’s public works committee now working on an asbestos management plan.
Progress on asbestos in Iran: On January 16, 2013, I had the privilege of making a presentation on asbestos to a group of medical doctors and interns at the University of Tehran Medical Sciences centre. University of Tehran Medical Sciences centre. Presentation on asbestos, January 16, 2013
The medical community in Iran is well aware of the health hazards posed by asbestos and have made significant progress in stopping its use. They are hopeful that asbestos will, at some point soon, be banned. Import of asbestos by Iran has plummeted over the past decade. Figures from Iran’s customs authorities show that only 9,000 metric tons of asbestos were imported in 2011 – a 90% drop from the 2003 figure of 83,000 metric tons

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