Asbestos in the News: Issue 66

Asbestos in the News: Issue 66
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 23 stories we thought may interest you!
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FEATURED STORIES (5)
City identifies asbestos in municipal facilities: The City of Saskatoon is taking a step toward establishment of an asbestos registry. A report tabled at city council Monday reveals 14 municipal buildings contain asbestos while another 75 are also likely to contain the harmful substance.
Contractor in fight with Public Works after asbestos exposure: Don Garrett says it should have been one of the simplest construction jobs he’d ever done. Instead, the British Columbia contractor said he was exposed to high levels of asbestos, almost lost his business and has been fighting with federal government bureaucrats for more than three years. “I was taking this material home, it was on my clothes. I didn’t know I was dealing with asbestos so it entered my household,” said Garrett. Garrett said Public Works didn’t follow its own requirement to produce a pre-construction, hazardous materials report. Garrett owns a construction business in Hope, B.C. In 2009, he was contracted by Public Works Government Services Canada to replace 160 sinks and toilets inside the Kent Institution — a maximum security, federal prison in B.C.’s Fraser Valley.
Hospital Tells Patients about Possible Asbestos Exposure: Officials at Strong Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center, prompted by a story aired on a local TV station, made the decision to inform recent patients that they may have been exposed to asbestos during demolition work at the facility’s rehabilitation unit. A news story outlining the situation first appeared on Your News Now Rochester late last week. Prior to that, the hospital had pretty much kept the situation quiet. But after the story explained how asbestos materials were disturbed during demolition inside the former Blood and Bone Marrow Wing, now a rehab area, the hospital decided they needed to disclose the details to those who could have been exposed to the toxic dust during their stay.
Report shows asbestos present in a number of city buildings: The City of Prince Albert has been presented with a fresh report about asbestos in city facilities which could cost up to an estimated $1.1 million to remove it all, if needed. A report accompanying the asbestos report, and prepared for council by facilities manager William Hill, states that the information about asbestos in city-owned facilities will be used for the 10-year plan.
Mesothelioma Rates Steady Despite Declining Asbestos Use: Although asbestos use in the United States has been in decline for more than 30 years, the threat of mesothelioma is still very real. A new CDC analysis of data from the National Program for Cancer Registries and the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results program shows that mesothelioma rates in the U.S. remained steady from 2003 to 2008. The National Program for Cancer Registries is a national database of all cancer cases in the U.S. It allows the CDC to observe and track trends and find patterns in cancer occurrence. The newly-released CDC mesothelioma analysis was based on the theory that “the decline in asbestos use in the United States may impact mesothelioma incidence.” But according to a summary of the findings in the International Journal for Occupational and Environmental Health, that has not happened. In the five- year period studied, there were an average of 1 – 5 mesothelioma cases diagnosed per 100,000 people in the U.S. The overall number of cases diagnosed each year remained relatively level, although the number of men contracting mesothelioma did decrease. Among women, the incidence of mesothelioma remained steady.
ASBESTOS in SCHOOLS (4)
Asbestos scare at pre-school: A potential asbestos scare at Eden Pre-school has Bega Valley Shire Council on the front foot to quickly identify if the fibres discovered are asbestos and if so, what, if any risk they pose to pre-schoolers and staff. The asbestos was discovered when work was being carried out on an electrical panel at the back of the building, in what is normally a locked storeroom, at the end of term on Friday, April 12.
Asbestos removal, demolition contracts for Coultrap OK’d: The Geneva school district will spend $140,200 to remove asbestos-containing material from the former Coultrap School, and $545,900 to tear the building down. The school board Monday approved contracts for the work. Holian Asbestos and Encapsulation Corp. of Spring Grove was the low bidder for the asbestos work. Alpine Demolition of Batavia received the demolition contract. It was the second-lowest bidder, but the lowest bidder withdrew because it made a mistake in its calculations.
Mill asbestos blaze scare shuts school: ASBESTOS had to be removed from a school by specialist contractors following a blaze at a neighbouring historic mill. Gilnow Primary School will stay closed until a fire investigation has been completed after the fire ripped through Valley Recycling at Gilnow Mill in the early hours of Tuesday.
Asbestos regulations gap exposed between Wales and England, campaigners warn: Wales is in danger of falling down a “devolutionary crack” in regulations over the monitoring of asbestos on schools, campaigners have warned. The Right To Know: Asbestos in Schools Wales campaign has warned existing regulations issued in England do not apply to Wales, meaning neither educational or health and safety guidance would apply.
ASBESTOS and HEALTH (6)
Asbestos toll mounts: BETWEEN 30,000 and 40,000 Australians are expected to die from asbestos-related diseases in the next 20 years, a Senate inquiry has heard. The Inquiry into the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency Bill took evidence in Hobart yesterday from a range of groups with experience with the deadly building material, which is capable of causing fatal diseases even years after fleeting and minor exposure.
Basic Items to Have on Hand for Home Mesothelioma Care: My job takes me to a lot of different environments, including homes, hospitals and assisted living facilities. As I care for mesothelioma patients, I pay close attention to their “setup” and obstacles and look for ways to offer suggestions to help improve their lives. I know that dealing with mesothelioma is challenging, so I hope that anything I can do to make things easier for them will be well received.
Man died from disease caused by asbestos exposure: A retired gas and heating engineer died of a disease triggered by asbestos exposure, an inquest heard. Mervyn Higgs died in Frimley Park Hospital on November 23 last year from a type of pneumonia as a result of lung cancer caused by asbestosis.
Can Robotics Make Mesothelioma Surgery Safer?: A Chandler, Arizona man is recovering after becoming the second person in the world to undergo robotic surgery for mesothelioma. Carlos Tarazon, a 67-year-old former construction worker, was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma after spending more than 20 years in the construction industry. He had exhausted his treatment options when he was referred to University of Arizona Medical Center thoracic surgeon Farid Gharagozloo, MD, who elected to perform robotic-assisted extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP). Gharagozloo had performed the world’s first robotic EPP just days before.
Asbestos Major Workplace Hazard, Report Highlights on Workers’ Memorial Day: There were 32 fatal on-the-job accidents in Massachusetts last year and an estimated 300 plus deaths due to occupational diseases – over 90 due to asbestos-related illness – according to a report released this week.
Location Can Affect Mesothelioma Risk: People who live close to ancient rock formations called ophiolites are at higher risk of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. That is the conclusion reached by a team of researchers in the thoracic surgery department of a Turkish hospital. In a report published in the medical journal Respiratory Medicine, the team explained the findings of a study of 2,970 volunteers living near Turkish ophiolite formations. Ophiolites get their name from the words “snake stone” in Greek. They appear to be pieces of ancient ocean floor that have been pushed to the surface over time and are rich in asbestos and other types of rock and minerals. Approximately 85% of the world’s asbestos, a mineral closely-linked to mesothelioma and a range of other health problems, comes from ophiolite sites.
ASBESTOS in PUBLIC BUILDINGS (3)
Hearing told asbestos removal cost $1.5b: THE estimated cost of removing asbestos from state-owned Tasmanian buildings is up to $1.5 billion, and the cost in the private sector is expected to be much higher. Workplace Standards general manager Roy Ormerod told a Senate committee in Hobart yesterday that it would cost about $400 million to remove all asbestos from Housing Tasmania’s 10,000 properties and replace it with another material.
Asbestos Contamination Stalls Revitalization Project on Chicago’s North Side: A rebuilding project that would have taken a troubled former nursing home and turned it into a sparkling new apartment and retail complex was halted after it was discovered that workers were removing asbestos without proper attire and wearing only paper masks to prohibit the inhalation of dangerous fibers. An article in Medill Reports, a publication of Northwestern University, profiled the saga of the property on Sheridan Road on Chicago’s North Side, noting that community leaders believed this project could have been the “linchpin” for the revitalization of the area. Now they are concerned that the project may be stalled indefinitely.
Fears after surgery asbestos discovery: WORRIED staff at Clydebank Health Centre have said they are fearful for their health after the discovery of asbestos. Workers have claimed the discovery was made earlier this month during refurbishment to the Kilbowie Road facility when ceiling tiles were pulled down. Asbestos is the single greatest cause of workrelated deaths in the UK as the prolonged inhalation of its fibres can cause serious illnesses, including lung cancer.
LEGAL ISSUES and ASBESTOS (3)
CSX seeks additional fees in fraud case against asbestos attorneys: As it argues for attorneys fees in a fraud case against Pittsburgh asbestos attorneys, CSX Transportation says it is incurring even more fees and wants repaid. The company supplemented its original motion for attorneys fees and litigation expenses on April 12, claiming it is owed another $268,323 from the former law partners Robert Peirce and Louis Raimond and radiologist Ray Harron. A jury found in December that the three conspired to fabricate asbestos claims filed in West Virginia.
Your Homes Newcastle housing bosses are reported for asbestos danger: A housing provider and its contractors accused of discovering and then leaving asbestos spores in a family home have been reported to health chiefs. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has confirmed it has been informed of the incident on April 12 which saw pregnant Michelle Lee left fearing for the health of her and seven-year-old daughter Regina. It’s also emerged Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) – which manages council-owned homes in Newcastle – has previously been subject to a HSE improvement notice, put in place to ensure information about asbestos was passed on to contractors.
City of Casper cited for asbestos testing: The Department of Environmental Quality recently served the city of Casper with a notice for allegedly failing to fully test for asbestos before demolishing a residential building. The city contracted with Recycled Materials for inspection of an abandoned house at 1427 Oakcrest Ave., and the DEQ Air Quality Division notice states that the company failed to sample enough material. There was insufficient sampling of lathe and plaster material and spray-on acoustic material as well as no sampling of the floor tile or asphalt roofing, according to the notice.
MISC. (2)
Shining light on asbestos compensation fund: Congress is currently debating an important piece of legislation that will help reform the asbestos compensation fund, which provides benefits to those who suffered from asbestos-related illnesses. The legislation, the Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act (H.R. 982), will help prevent abuses to the fund. There is evidence revealing an unfortunate pattern of fraudulent claims being made.
The asbestos litigation was a lengthy and expensive process. It wreaked havoc on businesses. It has forced businesses, both large and small and in many cases, family-owned small businesses, to shut their doors. This has had a negative impact on not only the business owners and their families, it has also had a negative impact on the numerous employees at those companies who have lost their jobs. Today, there is a fund with $36 billion in assets that has been set aside to provide compensation for asbestos victims.
Russia presents case for chrysotile: Russian investors are concerned their lack of participation in talks on a chrysotile asbestos ban in Thailand will jeopardise annual bilateral trade in the product worth US$30 million. Vladimir Romanov, Russia’s acting trade representative to Thailand, said the Industry Ministry has so far failed to respond to a request made two years ago by his country. An official letter sent from Russia’s Economic Development Ministry in 2011 suggested a joint working group be set up to study the chrysotile asbestos issue using documentation prepared by international scientists.

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