Asbestos in the News: Issue 55

Asbestos in the News: Issue 55
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 14 stories we thought may interest you!
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FEATURED STORIES (3)
Sask. groups say voluntary asbestos registry not enough; petition for mandatory list: Health groups and the family of a Saskatoon man who died from an asbestos-related cancer want a mandatory registry of public buildings with the material. The Saskatchewan Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization and the Lung Association of Saskatchewan have started an online petition to support a private member’s bill dubbed Howard’s Law.
Recent Stats Reveal Lung Cancer, Including Asbestos Lung Cancer, New Leading Cause of Death Among Women in 2012: According to the American Lung Association, lung cancer was the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in 2012. At a massive toll of 72,590 female lives, the number is nearly twice that attributed to breast cancer. Over the last 33 years, the rate of new lung cancer cases has surged 106 percent for women, compared to a drop of 22 percent in men. Moreover, a Boston University Department of Medicine study reports lung cancer is on the rise for women who have never smoked (Never Smoker Lung Cancer, January 24, 2013). Heather Wakelee, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Stanford Cancer Institute, says, “A number of environmental pollutants and occupational exposures, including asbestos, are thought to cause cancer in never-smokers, but these links have not been unquestionably proven. Eventually showing which factors increase the chances of never-smokers developing lung cancer will allow doctors to understand, at a molecular level, how the cancer works.” And this, Wakelee hopes, will lead to new treatment options.
“Net of Evidence” Supports Brake Dust/Mesothelioma Link: A new report seeks to put an end to the debate over whether or not asbestos-containing brake dust has the potential to cause mesothelioma cancer. Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral used in manufacturing and linked to mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other serious illnesses. The debate over the risk posed by its presence in brake dust has gone on for years. While asbestos brake linings were largely phased out after the arrival of front-wheel drive vehicles in the 1980s, industry experts say they are still sometimes used in higher-end vehicles and are available for aftermarket sale.
ASBESTOS in SCHOOLS (1)
Council in court for ignoring asbestos threat in school: Thurrock Council has been fined after admitting to failures in how it managed asbestos across its schools. Basildon Crown Court heard today (1 March 2013) that despite being made aware of asbestos concerns in a boiler room at Stifford Clays Junior School, no action was taken. A specialist contractor tasked with carrying out an asbestos survey by the council in 2004 said that dust and debris found in the boiler room containing asbestos fibres should be removed immediately under licensed conditions.
ASBESTOS and HEALTH (4)
Cholangiocarcinoma: The Next Asbestos-Related Disease?: More than a dozen diseases are currently associated with asbestos exposure. Some (like mesothelioma) have a confirmed connection. Others are not officially linked, but show evidence of a loose association. And because asbestos is a known carcinogen, researchers are continuously studying its relationship with various diseases. Recently, the Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine at the University of Bologna noted an odd coincidence.
Mesothelioma Victims Center Now Urges All Victims Of Mesothelioma In Any US State To Call Them For The Names Of The Best Mesothelioma Law Firms-Don’t Get Shortchanged: The Mesothelioma Victims Center says, “Mesothelioma is an incredibly rare form of cancer that is a direct result of exposure to asbestos, and we are now on a mission to make certain every diagnosed victim of mesothelioma gets to the absolute best mesothelioma law firms in the US, because the best mesothelioma law firms get the best financial compensation results for their clients. We believe most victims of mesothelioma, and their families get shortchanged because they hired a local personal injury law firm that supposedly has skill practicing law for victims of mesothelioma law, or because the victim fell for some phoney ad on the Internet. If a victim of mesothelioma, or their family members are serious about financial compensation for mesothelioma please call us at 866-714-6466 for the names of the who’s who of mesothelioma law firms in the United States. There is no other group offering this vital service, and when we say financially shortchanged we are talking about possibly hundreds of thousands, or millions of dollars.” According to the US Centers for Disease Control between 2000, and 3000 US citizens will be diagnosed with mesothelioma this year. Of this group about one third will be Veterans of the US Navy.
Sharp Rise in Mesothelin May Signal Mesothelioma: Another study has confirmed that the biomarker mesothelin may be a valuable warning sign of mesothelioma in asbestos-exposed workers. In fact, it may rise sharply in the months preceding the onset of symptoms. Medical researchers have long known that exposure to the mineral asbestos dramatically increases the risk of developing malignant pleural mesothelioma. But doctors have struggled to find a way to identify which asbestos-exposed people are at highest risk. It is a significant problem because, as the authors of a new German study on the subject observe, “In patients developing malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) or lung cancer, using effective tumour markers is the quickest way to ensure early diagnosis and improve survival time.”
Ex-factory girl’s asbestos plea: A FORMER factory worker fears her health has suffered as a result of the conditions she used to work in. Sandra Anne Peterson, née Raine, from South Shields, was diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma in April last year. The 57-year-old believes she was exposed to the deadly dust as a teenager working at Filtrona UK and Plessy’s in the 1970s. She is now appealing for ex-colleagues to come forward, and help identify how she came into contact with asbestos.
ASBESTOS in PUBLIC BUILDINGS (2)
Asbestos scare forces closure of Newport Village Hall: Peter Gibson, chairman of the village hall committee, is fighting hard to find a quick resolution to the problem and will meet with the parish council on Monday to try and get more money. The hall has been closed since February 18, when contractors working on the ceiling discovered asbestos in the roof, and the hall has already received a lot of support from the community. Mr Gibson said: “We were in the process of having a new ceiling and light installed but the contractors quickly saw the asbestos which came as quite a blow.
Asbestos at courthouse could cost $165K more: Asbestos in the basement of the existing Columbia County Courthouse, which wasn’t anticipated and budgeted for, could cost the county an additional $165,000, which is more than the entire amount planned on for asbestos removal. The county’s $8 million courthouse project has approximately $700,000 in allowances for change orders such as the asbestos removal, said Department of Public Works Commissioner David Robinson on Wednesday.
LEGAL ISSUES and ASBESTOS (3)
French Socialist bigwig Aubry hopes to dodge asbestos charges: Former French Socialist Party chief Martine Aubry is seeking to have manslaughter proceedings against her dropped. She is being investigated for allegedly failing to protect French workers from toxic asbestos fibres when she was a senior civil servant with the French labour ministry in the 1980s. Asbestos was widely used as a building material and manufacturing before being banned in France in 1997. The French Senate says that over three decades 30,000 people have died from inhaling asbestos.
Critics say proposed bill would hold up asbestos lawsuits until plaintiffs die: While deaths from asbestos are still on the rise, one state lawmaker is proposing a law that trial attorneys say will string out asbestos-related injury cases until the victim dies. State Rep. Andre Jacque, R-DePere, says the bill, AB 19, prevents overzealous attorneys from “double-dipping” on jury awards. “It basically addresses the fact that you have trial attorneys, plaintiffs’ counsel, that in zealously advocating for their clients are trying to seek additional awards beyond what fair compensation might be, as a result, in some cases depleting trust funds that should be available to compensate other victims,” Jacque says.
Goodyear Sues Travelers For Continued Asbestos Claims Coverage: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has filed a lawsuit against Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. over the insurer’s denial of defense and indemnity costs for future asbestos-related claims. According to the lawsuit moved from state court to the U.S. District Court in Western Pennsylvania, Goodyear seeks a declaratory judgment against Travelers for its alleged breach of contract on various primary and umbrella policies issued from the 1960s to the 1980s by Travelers and predecessor Aetna Casualty and Surety Co.
MISC. (1)
Things Worse Than Nuclear Power: Asbestos: This past Sunday, a violent storm devastated parts of the town of Kiama in New South Wales, Australia. Neighbors of some of the homes which were destroyed have been told not to return to their homes, perhaps for a week, because of the risk of asbestos from the wreckage. The front page of a neighboring town’s newspaper Tuesday was almost completely filled with photo of a team of asbestos specialists in protective clothing crossing an intersection where both roads have been barricaded with caution tape.

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