Asbestos in the News: Issue 59

Asbestos in the News: Issue 59
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 15 stories we thought may interest you!
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FEATURED STORIES (3)
Asbestos still a major threat to citizens in Europe and beyond: There are still asbestos mines in Canada, Russia, China and Kazakhstan – and Europe’s old ships are being scrapped in developing countries where tonnes of asbestos are openly treated by unprotected workers – warns MEP. Since the European Union-wide asbestos ban was brought in back in 1999, it would be natural to assume that asbestos is no longer a problem. But in Europe and around the world there are still millions of buildings, offices, ships and pipes which contain asbestos. And as time goes by, fewer and fewer people are being trained in how to work with and remove asbestos from contaminated areas.
Hidden asbestos risk could lurk in old furnaces: Keith Tremblett got a nasty surprise when he started renovating his family’s old home in Colinet, St. Mary’s Bay. It wasn’t the usual culprits — rotting foundations, leaky roofs, or substandard plumbing. It was the furnace. He found a gasket, which acts as a heat shield inside the furnace, had deteriorated until it was almost gone. Replacing it would have been easy for Tremblett, who has worked as a mechanic for over 20 years. But he hesitated. “In the process of taking it apart and doing the repairs, I was looking at the gasket and I was saying, ‘Jeez, I wonder what material that’s made out of, and should I be concerned here with what I’m dealing with?’ ” he recalled.

Asbestos linked to reno boom: QUEENSLAND’S ombudsman has recommended a new department be set up to handle the problem of asbestos, as the state braces for an increase in asbestos-related diseases linked to the home-renovation boom. A report tabled in State Parliament yesterday said any buildings built before 1990 in Queensland could contain asbestos but there was a lack of co-ordination and understanding about how to deal with it.
ASBESTOS in SCHOOLS (3)
Concern over asbestos in Sunderland schools: CONCERNS over levels of asbestos in schools have been highlighted days before a Wearside MP meets the Education Minister to discuss the problem. Part of Hetton School is closed off due to asbestos, disturbed when recent high winds disrupted tiles on the deteriorating building.
Handyman’s asbestos fear over college: A former Preston College handyman has come forward with his fears over asbestos in and around classrooms. Ron Entwistle, 76, has spoken out after reading last week’s Evening Post story concerning death of former lecturer Cynthia Clarke from asbestos-related mesothelioma. Mr Entwistle, of Sunningdale, Woodplumpton, who knew of Ms Clarke during his employment from 1987 to 1998, had prepared a witness statement in her legal action against Lancashire County Council, but the case was settled quietly out of court after her 2010 death.
Two thirds of Sunderland schools contain asbestos: ASBESTOS is present in more than 65 per cent of schools in Sunderland, the Echo can reveal today. Seventy nine out of the city’s 117 school buildings, including nurseries, contain the potentially deadly material. Now concerns have been raised that delays to millions of pounds of funding, earmarked to rebuild many schools, is only increasing the risk of exposure to staff and pupils. Many of Wearside’s school buildings, built in the mid 20th Century, have exceeded their original life-expectancy but are still being used to capacity.
ASBESTOS and HEALTH (2)
A Week to Focus on Asbestos Awareness and Mesothelioma in April: The U.S. Senate has designated the week of April 1-7 as National Asbestos Awareness Week. The Senate on Wednesday unanimously passed Senate Resolution 66 urging the U.S. surgeon general to warn people about the public health issues surrounding asbestos exposure and designating a week of special focus on the prevalence of asbestos-related disease. The resolution, sponsored by U.S. Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, states that asbestos fibers are invisible and cannot be smelled or tasted. But inhaling asbestos fibers can cause significant respiratory damage, including cancer and asbestosis, a chronic scarring of the lungs. Mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of chest cavity and abdominal cavity is caused by exposure to asbestos. Approximately, 2,500 to 3,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with mesothelioma.
Systemic Chemotherapy Ineffective in Peritoneal Mesothelioma?: Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare cancer that occurs in the membranous lining of the abdomen. This virulent cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos. Because it is so aggressive, most patients with peritoneal mesothelioma are treated with multiple modalities, or a variety of different treatments, in an effort to attack the cancer from all sides. For patients whose mesothelioma is considered operable, surgery is frequently preceded by a round of preoperative chemotherapy. Also referred to as neoadjuvant chemotherapy, preoperative chemotherapy aims to shrink the tumor as much as possible before cytoreductive surgery. Later, during surgery, the same peritoneal mesothelioma patient may have intraoperative chemotherapy (HIPEC) in which chemotherapy drugs are washed through the body cavity where the cancer was found. The procedure may be followed by postoperative systemic chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.
ASBESTOS in PUBLIC BUILDINGS (2)
University admin: No plans to renovate FDH despite asbestos: UNLV’s Flora Dungan Humanities building, home to UNLV’s English department, has asbestos in its floors. Asbestos, a building material, is known to cause many serious illnesses such as lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis. Asbestos was also used for fire resistance in roofing and flooring in the 1970s. There is no official ban on the substance, but regulation of it began with the passing of the 1970 Clean Air Act.
Deadly asbestos lies dormant in 24 Northern Ireland hospital buildings: The extent of potentially deadly asbestos present in Northern Ireland’s hospitals has been revealed. The dangerous fibres have been found in 23 of our hospitals, including maternity units, children’s wards, labs, staff accommodation and kitchens. Described as a hidden killer, asbestos can lead to serious illness such as lung cancer and mesothelioma.
LEGAL ISSUES and ASBESTOS (3)
Montana asbestos victims ask judge to drop $4 million in attorneys’ fees: Victims of asbestos exposure in northwestern Montana have asked a state judge to deny $4 million in fees and costs requested by attorneys in a legal settlement with chemical company W.R. Grace and Co. In letters submitted to state District Court Judge James Wheelis, about 20 people, including victims, said the money should instead be spent on medical care for those sickened by asbestos dust from a Grace mine near Libby.
Ruling cracks open asbestos bankruptcy records: Documents in 12 major asbestos-related bankruptcies could be unsealed for the first time next month in a novel bid by a manufacturer to bolster its defense against a barrage of claims that its products caused deadly cancer and mesothelioma. Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC won access to lists of clients of plaintiffs’ attorneys after a federal judge in Delaware on March 1 reversed a bankruptcy court judge who kept the documents from the public. The bankruptcies include Pittsburgh Corning Corp, W.R. Grace & Co, Kaiser Aluminum Corp and nine others. Law firms that opposed opening the records called the volume of material “staggering” and “of almost unprecedented scope.”
Asbestos Victims and Families Objected Today to Anti-Victim Bill Being Rushed Through Subcommittee Vote: “Why Don’t Members of Congress Want to Hear From Us?”: Asbestos victims had objected to an anti-victim bill up for mark-up today before the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law of the House Judiciary Committee. The meeting was set for Wednesday, March 20 at 10 a.m. in Room 2141 Rayburn HOB. In a letter previously sent to Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte, (R-VA), Subcommittee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) and Ranking Members Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), one asbestos victim and two surviving wives had pleaded with subcommittee members not to rush the bill through in the space of a week without hearing from the victims who will be so affected. Susan Vento, wife of former Rep. Bruce Vento; Genevieve Bosilevac, who has beaten death from mesothelioma for years ; and Judy Van Ness, whose husband just died in August.
MISC. (2)
Asbestos dumped outside childcare centres in Ultimo: The City of Sydney is appealing for help from the public to find who dumped more than two tonnes of asbestos, in broad daylight, outside of two childcare centres. On Friday the 14th of December last year, at around 4pm, a load of asbestos from a truck was illegally dumped in Wattle Lane, Ultimo, near a playground in the City’s McKee Street Reserve and between two local childcare centres.
Body to tackle threat of asbestos-related diseases: A national body will be created to prevent more Australians being exposed to asbestos, described by Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten as the ”worst industrial menace”. Mr Shorten introduced legislation to Parliament on Wednesday that he said marked a historic step, making Australia the first nation moving towards the ultimate elimination of asbestos-related diseases.
Our aim needs to be to remove this menace once and for all. Asbestos was a clear and present danger at workplaces, to workers, tradespeople and to public safety, he said.

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos and Health, Asbestos in Public Buildings, Asbestos in Schools, Asbestos in the News, Legal Issues and Asbestos

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