Asbestos in the News: Issue 57

Asbestos in the News: Issue 57
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 13 stories we thought may interest you!
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Highest award for man who battled for asbestos registry: The Canadian Cancer Society celebrated the life of a Saskatoon man with an award for his leadership in asbestos awareness. Jesse Todd, Howard Willems’ stepson, accepted his stepfather’s posthumous award on Monday. Until Willems’ death in November from a rare form of asbestos-related cancer, the former building inspector advocated for an online registry of public buildings that contain asbestos. Willems’ family has continued the fight and says receiving this award is overwhelming.
75% of schools ‘have asbestos’: An education committee hearing will look at the issue of asbestos in schools for the first time today. It is claimed that 75% of all schools in the UK have asbestos, rising to 90% in parts of Manchester and Wales.
Three guilty in asbestos cleanup violation at former Castle base: Three former executives of the defunct nonprofit Firm Build likely will spend nearly two years in prison after being convicted Monday of violating federal asbestos laws stemming from cleanup at the former Castle Air Force Base in Atwater. Rudy Buendia III, 50; Patrick Bowman, 46; and Joseph Cuellar, 73, were accused of cutting corners on a renovation project that used at least nine high school vocational students to remove asbestos from the Automotive Training Center at Castle Commerce Center from September 2005 to March 2006. Investigators say the former executives knew students were being exposed to asbestos while working on an automotive training center, but the teens did not.
Baron and Budd Mesothelioma Verdict Selected to Top 100 Verdicts of 2012: Legal publication The National Law Journal has selected Baron and Budd’s $48 million mesothelioma verdict as one of the Top 100 Verdicts in the nation in 2012.The verdict was reached on behalf of a California mesothelioma patient and his family after finding Dow Chemical subsidiary Union Carbide responsible for the lion’s share of the verdict.Mesothelioma lawyers John Langdoc and Christine Tamer represented the family at trial. This is the largest mesothelioma verdict reached in the nation in 2012. “The chemical industry spent millions to cover up just how dangerous asbestos exposures were,” said John Langdoc, lead trial attorney at Baron and Budd. “My bet is that we only uncovered the tip of the iceberg regarding the decades-long cover up.”
Asbestos concerns at derelict school: Serious health and safety concerns have been raised in light of the recent fire started at the old Bevan Crescent school grounds. After the fire last Friday, which was contained to one classroom, Whyalla mayor Jim Pollock expressed his concern over the possibility of exposed asbestos at the site. In visiting the site, Whyalla Asbestos Victims Support Group co-founder John Arthur said there was asbestos visible in the dilapidated classrooms.
Spencers Calls for Extension of Nationwide School Survey to Include Asbestos in Schools: Spencers Solicitors, in advance of a House of Commons Education Select Committee evidence session tomorrow (Wednesday 13 March 2013) on Asbestos in Schools, is urging the Government to take action to address the long ignored problem of asbestos in our schools. Spencers is calling for the current nationwide survey into the state of England’s schools (the DfE’s Property Data Survey Programme) to be extended to identify the scale of the problem of asbestos in our 23,000 educational premises and then to prioritise those schools that most need action. Asbestos in schools is a vitally important and complex issue, but it has been neglected by successive governments, resulting in the deaths of teachers and other education workers every year. It is time for the DfE to stop delegating responsibility to individual local authorities and schools and for it to oversee the development of a nationwide programme to protect teachers and children from the dangers of asbestos.
The Effects of Asbestos Exposure on Your Health: Because asbestos is a versatile naturally occurring mineral known for its resistance to heat and friction, its fibers have been used in over 3,600 commercial products in the United States. As asbestos is so widely used, it is likely that everyone will be exposed to it at some point in their lives, but an increase in public awareness and governmental mandates throughout the 1970s and ’80s have limited asbestos use in the United States. As a result, general exposure among the public has diminished and it is highly unlikely for this minimal exposure to have a lasting impact on your health. However, significant exposure to asbestos is a known cause of mesothelioma cancer and other asbestos-related illnesses, which can range from mild and benign to malignant and life-threatening. Those most likely to develop mesothelioma worked in a career that exposed them to asbestos for years.
Mesothelioma Nurse Explains Pleural Effusion: Many pleural mesothelioma patients first notice shortness of breath, chest pain, fever, cough, or hiccups before they are actually diagnosed with the cancer. One of the primary causes for these symptoms is pleural effusion, or accumulation of fluid around the lungs. The membranes that surround and protect the lungs and lubricate them so they can function properly, and co-exist with the other organs, are known as the visceral and parietal pleura. However, when there is an accumulation of fluid in these layers of tissue that line the lungs and chest cavity the natural movement of the lung is restricted. Pleural effusion is not a disease – it is a complication of an underlying disorder. Pleural effusion is most often caused by heart failure, pneumonia, pulmonary embolus, tuberculosis, and malignancies or tumors, as in the case of mesothelioma.
Asbestos Claims Rise, So Do Worries About Fraud: Three decades after Manville Corp. collapsed under an avalanche of asbestos litigation, personal-injury claims continue to pile up at a rate of 85 per day. They find their way to a small office building in suburban Virginia, where processors evaluate the paperwork of pipe fitters and welders and shipbuilders who say they contracted debilitating lung diseases from the company’s insulation products. By last March, a Manville bankruptcy trust had already paid out nearly $4.3 billion.
Asbestos Removal at Pfizer Site Hits Snag: Contractors who were removing asbestos from buildings at the former Pfizer property on Route 53 in Morris Plains had to be pulled from the project because of “fines levied by the NJ Department of Labor for violations during asbestos abatement,” the developer of the site wrote in a letter to the state. The state said last week the alleged violations still are under investigation, and information about the case is not yet available to the public.
Trust fined over asbestos at hospital: They were repairing a floor at Belfast City Hospital in January last year when they had to remove a section of ceiling made of asbestos insulation board (AIB). The fabric was banned in 1999 but prior to that had been commonly used in the construction of many buildings. Belfast Health and Social Care Trust knew the estates building contained asbestos, but they did not pass that information on to their maintenance contractors.
Ohio couple name 70 defendants in asbestos suit: A Gallipolis, Ohio, couple are suing 70 companies they claim are responsible for an asbestosis diagnosis. James E. Preston was diagnosed with asbestosis on June 27, 2011, according to a complaint filed March 4 in Kanawha Circuit Court. Preston and his wife, Nancy J. Preston, claim the 70 defendants are responsible for the diagnosis. During his employment as a laborer and instrument maintenance worker from 1953 until 1997, James Preston was exposed to asbestos and/or asbestos-containing products, according to the suit.
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Archway family in fear after living with asbestos for five months: A family is terrified their health has been jeopardised after discovering they have been living with disturbed asbestos in their home for the past five months. Chai Suksiri and his partner Ellen O’Neill first became concerned about the potentially dangerous material when they started work to change tiles in the bathroom of their home in Cardinals Way, Archway, last September and the plasterboard behind began to crumble. The couple called out a council surveyor to inspect the suspect material and he said there was no risk of asbestos, leaving without taking any samples.

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