Asbestos in the News: Issue 69

Asbestos in the News: Issue 69
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 25 stories we thought may interest you!
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FEATURED STORIES (4)
Asbestos U-turn denies families compensation: HAMPSHIRE families whose relatives die after asbestos exposure will be denied compensation after a Government U-turn condemned as a “disgrace”. The Queen’s Speech promised a Mesothelioma Bill to provide payouts to sufferers unable to trace the employer who exposed them to the deadly dust. The move has long been demanded in areas such as Southampton, which – because of its docks and the use of asbestos in ships – is a known blackspot for asbestos deaths.
Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization Outraged that Seven Countries Prevented the Inclusion of Chrysotile Asbestos in the UN Rotterdam Convention List of Hazardous Substances: The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), which combines education, advocacy, and community as the leading U.S. organization serving as the voice of asbestos victims, is outraged after the 2013 United Nations Rotterdam Convention failed to reach consensus to add chrysotile asbestos to the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) list of hazardous substances. All six types of asbestos are carcinogenic, but chrysotile is the only type of asbestos not included in the list. The Convention does not prohibit trade of the listed substances, but requires exporters to establish protocol to inform purchasers about the hazards related to the substances. Of the 143 countries attending the conference, seven countries – India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe – opposed the listing.
Queen of England Addresses Plight of Asbestos Sufferers: Even the queen of England recognizes the serious of asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma and, this week, she told the public that the next parliament will see that there is legislation in place to provide payments to mesothelioma suffers when no liable employer or insurer can be identified or traced. An article in The Post profiles the Queen’s speech, which spoke of a plan by the Association of British Insurers to set up a program that would see that mesothelioma victims be paid via a levy on all employment liability insurers. She noted that she expects the plan to be in place by July 2014, but only those diagnosed with mesothelioma after July 2012 will be able to make a claim.
Special Report: Asbestos: Dying for a buck: It’s no secret that asbestos is dangerous. But it might come as a surprise how some businessmen willfully put young labourers – college and high school students among them – in serious harm’s way, and just to save a buck. “I have been to many funerals over the years,” says one Surrey consultant, with 25 years in the asbestos abatement business. “It’s like putting a loaded gun to a worker’s head except the exposure doesn’t show up for 20 to 25 to 30 years.”
ASBESTOS in SCHOOLS (2)
Asbestos scare at Adelaide school: It has been revealed 47 students and four teachers at an outer metropolitan school in Adelaide may have been exposed to asbestos in 2009. South Australian Education Minister Jennifer Rankine told State Parliament the possible exposure occurred when interactive white boards were being installed at the school, which has not been named. She said work was done to attach boards to the walls of two classrooms where there was a low-grade type of asbestos.
Powys Council finally reveals which school buildings have asbestos: A SCHOOLS survey has revealed asbestos is present in a Swansea Valley school, following a complaint to the Information Commissioner. The building material, which is not considered dangerous unless it is disturbed, is present in most school buildings built before 2000. The survey confirmed it was present in Maesydderwen school in Ystradgynlais.
ASBESTOS and HEALTH (7)
New Study Helps To Prevent Mesothelioma Disease: Preliminary findings about new drug showcase some amount of success that prevents spread of the deadly disease – Mesothelioma. NF2 is an active gene produced in the body to prevent occurrence of tumor. Mesothelioma is caused due to longer exposure to asbestos. Patients who are diagnosed with the diseases are often found to expire between 9 and 17 months.
Asbestos: The Killer We Allow To Remain With Us: Governments, unions and companies were, and remain, culpable for the spread of the killer asbestos – the result of their handiwork is that over 50,000 Australians have died. Every day in this state another person dies as a result of exposure to this terrible product. There is no safe level of exposure to it and there is no cure for the diseases it causes, but somehow we still allow the killer asbestos to remain with us. The diseases that asbestos causes are horrible, particularly the effects of mesothelioma, which has been described to me as akin to being slowly strangled to death, or having concrete set in your lungs. The period from exposure to diagnosis can be a very long time but once diagnosed there is no cure and it is a death sentence.
Combination of asbestos exposure, asbestosis, smoking amplified lung cancer risk: Lung cancer risk associated with asbestos exposure, asbestosis and smoking was significantly increased when risk factors were combined, according to study results. However, quitting smoking was found to considerably reduce the risk for developing lung cancer after long-term asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma Researchers May Benefit from Latest Discovery of Cancer Fighting Protein: Mesothelioma, the signature cancer of asbestos exposure, is difficult to treat due to its resistance to many cancer treatments. The aggressive disease often fights off even the strongest of medicines allowing the cancer cells to continue to grow and divide. Many researchers have looked at a defective p53 protein as one cause of metastasis in mesothelioma and other cancers. Now, researchers believe p53 holds an even larger role in cancer prevention than previously thought.
‘Ticking time bomb’ of asbestos exposure: A man died of a tumour brought about by his long-term exposure to asbestos, and inquest heard. John Woolhouse worked at Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) for many years since joining as a youth trainee in 1960, and for a long time he worked as a forklift truck driver. Blackpool Coroner, Anne Hind, heard every couple of years, the company would shut down and the asbestos lagging was removed from the pipes and vessels for maintenance and inspection.
Nurse Finds that Reiki May Help Soothe Mesothelioma Patients When Other Attempts Fail: As all mesothelioma symptoms are individual, so too is everyone’s journey – the patient, the family, caregiver – when dealing with the disease. Recently, while taking care of a mesothelioma patient whose fears and anxiety were consuming him, I was struggling to help him cope. He could not ‘shut his head off.’ He knew that he was safe and on the road to recovery, but it wasn’t enough at this point to calm his emotions.
NUMB Gene May Suppress Mesothelioma: Researchers at Shandong University in China have pinpointed the connection between low levels of the protein NUMB and a poor mesothelioma prognosis. NUMB is known to act as an anticancer protein in part by binding to the tumor suppressor p53 and preventing its breakdown. Low levels of the NUMB protein have been linked to several types of cancer.
ASBESTOS in PUBLIC BUILDINGS (1)
European Buildings May Be Safer by 2028: A British politician says the country should stand behind a new European Parliament report calling for the removal of asbestos from all public buildings by 2028. Asbestos is the number one cause of mesothelioma and Britain has the highest mesothelioma rate in the world, with a death occurring about every five hours. An estimated 4,000 British people die of mesothelioma each year, a full 1,000 more than are typically seen in the U.S. At greatest risk are the many people who have worked with or around asbestos in construction and various industrial jobs. But Britain’s high number of quickly-built, inexpensive, post-WWII era buildings – many of which are now crumbling – has also been blamed for the high mesothelioma rate.
LEGAL ISSUES and ASBESTOS (7)
Ex-Sunderland shipyard worker’s mesothelioma fight: A FORMER shipyard worker diagnosed with mesothelioma today welcomed moves to make is easier for victims of asbestos-related cancer to claim compensation. John Birkett, who was told he had developed the illness after complaining of “extreme tiredness” and undergoing a series of hospital tests, said the measures to set up a new support scheme were a “positive step”. Many sufferers are unable to claim compensation from employers because the disease takes many years to develop and the companies they worked for may no longer exist.
Mesothelioma Bill to provide greater financial support to employee claimants: Victims of asbestos-related cancer in the workplace will receive increased financial support and benefit from a simpler claims process under a new Bill introduced by the government. The Mesothelioma Bill aims to ensure that employees who have suffered from mesothelioma cancer are provided with a secure support system that enables them to trace an employer or insurer and provide a level of payment to the victim.
Southwestern Ill. businessman sentenced to 8 months confinement in asbestos-removal case: A southwestern Illinois man who admitted violating the federal Clean Air Act by having asbestos illegally removed from a former industrial site has been sentenced to eight months of confinement. Franklin “Al” Bieri, 54, of Lebanon, Illinois, was sentenced Friday in federal court in East St. Louis to five months in prison, followed by three months of home confinement. Bieri, who pleaded guilty in October 2011, also was fined $3,000.
Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery says Mesothelioma Bill could bring justice for many cancer victims: Justice for thousands of asbestos-related cancer victims may be a step closer as a result of a new Bill, a North East MP has claimed. The Bill, which has had its first reading in the House of Lords, aims to introduce legislation which will create an improved and faster compensation system for mesothelioma sufferers who are unable to trace a solvent employer or insurer to claim against. It has been welcomed, with some reservations, by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Health and Safety, which has held talks on the compensation issue with both the previous and current Governments.
Nottingham plumber is fined £5k for blunder on asbestos: A PLUMBER has been fined after he put his own son and a young family at risk of exposure to asbestos. Dean Fisk had been employed to replace a water tank in the loft of a house in Gardendale Avenue, Clifton.
Company boss given six month sentence after demolishing asbestos laden factory: A company owner who demolished a disused factory in a built up residential area despite knowing there was more than 250 tonnes of asbestos has been handed a six month jail term. However John Lewis, trading as John Lewis Plant Plant Hire and Contracts, walked free from Belfast Crown Court after His Honour Judge Kinney suspended the jail term for two years.
Lung cancer widow claims asbestos damages: A WIDOW stricken by terminal lung cancer due to years spent washing her husband’s asbestos-contaminated overalls is now battling for record £500,000 compensation – following his death from the same disease. Monica Haxton, 66, watched her husband Ronald succumb to mesothelioma – an incurable cancer of the lining of the lungs associated with asbestos exposure and caused by his years spent working as an electrician for Philips Electronics UK Ltd in Guildford.
MISC. (4)
EPA Awards Grant to Connecticut Town for Clean Up of Former Mill Contaminated With Asbestos, Other Toxins: The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded a Connecticut town $200,000 grant to help defray costs associated with preparing a contaminated former mill for redevelopment this week. Residents of Plainfield are elated at the prospect of cleaning up the former InterRoyal Mill property as it poses serious health threats to the community and has detracted from the town’s revenue.
Could a New Asbestos-Detecting Device Reduce Mesothelioma Incidence?: Until now, a handheld device that can detect invisible asbestos fibers in real time has evaded scientists. The concept sounds like a magic wand, but the U.K. researchers who have developed the device aren’t wizards, just heroes. Researchers from the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom are in the final stages of developing the first portable, real-time airborne asbestos detector.
Rwanda: Govt to Eradicate Asbestos Roofing By 2016: More than one million square metres of asbestos roofing have to be cleared and disposed of by 2016, an exercise that will cost both government and the private sector an estimated Rwf23b. Eradicating the material not only requires logistical support, but also specialised experts to ensure that the toxic substance is handled in a way that will not harm human life.
Glare on asbestos risk U-turn: India’s environment ministry has ignored domestic laws and reneged on its own pledge by telling a global convention there is not enough evidence to show that asbestos is hazardous to health, a non-government group said today. The group, called Toxics Watch Alliance, has complained to the Centre that the ministry delegation’s position at the UN’s Rotterdam Convention in Geneva earlier this month was contrary to Indian laws and the ministry’s own earlier decision. Toxics Watch Alliance said the ministry delegation had told the convention that studies by Ahmedabad’s National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH) had shown no hazards from white chrysotile asbestos, widely used in the construction industry to make asbestos-cement material.

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