Asbestos in the News: Issue 75

Asbestos in the News: Issue 75
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 30 stories we thought may interest you!
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FEATURED STORIES (7)

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization Outraged by Shortcomings of the Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013 (USA): The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), an independent non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating asbestos disease, stated today that it cannot support the “Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013” (S. 1009) without significant improvements to protect the public from dangerous chemicals, such as asbestos. While the chemical industry is pleased with the bill, ADAO and the majority of other environmental and public health groups do not support the current language.
Leave asbestos removal to the experts (Australia): THE discovery of asbestos during the National Broadband Network roll-out in Coffs Harbour last week serves as a reminder to home buyers and renovators that this material is still a commonly found potential hazard. Mere mention of the word asbestos and immediately thoughts spring to lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma, but provided the correct precautions are taken, the risks can be minimised. The risk of contracting these diseases increases with the number of fibres inhaled. People who get health prob- lems have usually been exposed to high levels of asbestos for a long time. That doesn’t mean asbestos shouldn’t be treated with the utmost of caution.
Wife Exposed to Asbestos Washing Clothes Wins $27 Million (USA): A worker’s wife who developed mesothelioma from second-hand asbestos exposure won a $27 million jury award. For several years in the 1950s, Martin Gregg worked as an insulation installer handling Kaylo brand insulation products. All those years, his wife, Rose-Marie, shook out and washed her husband’s clothes. At 82, Rose-Marie now suffers from mesothelioma, a cancer of the lung’s lining that is caused by asbestos exposure. The couple sued Owens-Illinois, the maker of Kaylo products. Their attorney, Joseph D. Satterley, argued that the company knew as early as 1930 that asbestos exposure could kill and that test results on Kaylo showed that the products’ asbestos content could cause fatal illness.
Mesothelioma: Surveillance May Reveal Unexpected Exposure Risks (Italy): The researchers explained, “In addition to clusters of malignant mesothelioma cases in activities well known to entail asbestos use, different current exposure circumstances requiring intervention have been evidenced.” In other words, there were mesothelioma patients who were unaware of the danger they were in from asbestos in their home or environment and needed help to get away from it. The researchers say their results support the ongoing nationwide epidemiological surveillance of mesothelioma and other occupational cancers to “foster synergies” within the compensation system.
Ontario appeal court rejects bid to force carriers to cover asbestos claims (Canada): The Ontario Court of Appeal last week ruled in favour of seven insurance carriers who had written liability policies between 1969 and 1980 for Goodyear Canada Inc., whose U.S. parent is facing asbestos-related lawsuits. Goodyear Canada wants those carriers to defend and indemnify the firm against claims made after 1985, when Goodyear says liability insurance for asbestos claims was not commercially available.
‘Third wave’ of asbestos victims diagnosed (Australia): First came the miners, many from the deadly Wittenoom blue asbestos mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara, which closed in 1967. Next were the people who worked directly with asbestos, in factories, unloading it at the docks, or as builders, plumbers, electricians and carpenters. Now, the third or ”bystander” wave is engulfing people such as Krsevan and includes home renovators and women who washed their husband’s dust-laden overalls. Australian mountaineer Lincoln Hall, for example, died last year from asbestos exposure decades earlier, when he helped his father build two cubbyhouses using asbestos cement sheets.
ASBESTOS in SCHOOLS (5)
Man Contests Fines in High School Asbestos Removal Case (USA): The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) claims that a Bend, Oregon asbestos removal firm did not use proper methods to abate toxic asbestos from an area high school, prompting a fine that the firm’s owner is now contesting. According to a story aired on KTVZ-TV, Jack Billings, owner of Alpine Abatement Associates, says he’ll fight the $4500 fine imposed by the DEQ, disputing the allegations and threatening a lawsuit if the DEQ’s declaration of wrongdoing causes loss of business.
Deadly asbestos found in 80 per cent of schools (UK): DEADLY asbestos is present in 80% of the schools in Warrington, research has revealed. A total of 72 out of 90 primary and secondary schools in the area contain the potentially dangerous material. Information, collected via a Freedom of Information request to Warrington Borough Council, also discovered that more than 20,900 school children in the area could potentially be exposed to asbestos in their classrooms on a daily basis.
Schools fail to manage asbestos hazards safely (Australia): Dozens of schools have been caught breaching workplace safety laws by failing to properly manage asbestos, despite the state government insisting schools are ”always safe”. Figures from Victoria’s WorkSafe authority show that in the past two years, 46 schools were put on notice for breaching occupational health and safety rules, renewing calls for a crackdown on the way asbestos is dealt with in the education system. In other incidents, some schools have had to fence off areas due to asbestos scares, and in at least one case a parent removed her daughter from a school after she came home with asbestos found in the yard that children had been playing in.
School asbestos detected (Australia): ASBESTOS is in the process of being removed from a classroom ceiling at Port Dalrymple School at George Town. It is understood the asbestos was discovered by a contractor doing work at the school and had not been previously recorded by the Education Department.
‘Banned asbestos wire gauze still used in high school, college labs’ (Philippines): The cancer-causing asbestos wire gauze is still used in high school and college science laboratories despite the ban ordered two years ago. The Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) reported having again seen the same hazardous wire gauze they saw in several school science laboratories two years ago.
ASBESTOS and HEALTH (6)
Mesothelioma Chances Increase in the Downwind Direction and Closeness to the Asbestos Source (Spain): Researchers have reported that chances of developing mesothelioma increases in the people living close to the industrial asbestos source. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops in the protective lining of the internal organs of the body. It is most commonly caused by asbestos. In the present study, researchers worked on an area of Barcelona province (Catalonia, Spain), where 24 cases of environmental pleural mesothelioma were diagnosed in the years from 2000 to 2009. This area was home of a fibrous cement factory for 90 years. Although the plant closed in 1997 but the rate of mesothelioma in the area continues to be high.
Asbestos-related Diseases (UK): The risk of asbestos-related lung disease increases with the duration and degree of exposure and also depends on the type of asbestos fibre. People exposed to asbestos often develop lung disease after a long latent period.
Verastem Investigational Mesothelioma Treatment Gets Orphan Status in EU (Europe): Verastem Inc. (VSTM) was granted orphan status by European regulators for its investigational treatment for mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer with limited treatment options. The cancer-drug developer, which is focused on developing drugs to treat cancer by the targeted killing of cancer stem cells, also is seeking orphan status for the treatment–known as VS-6063–from the U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration.
NF2 Clinical Trials With Mesothelioma Drugs (France): 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.
Mesothelioma Lung-Sparing Proponents Increase (USA): A distinguished group of experts in lung-sparing mesothelioma treatment techniques say there is more reason than ever for patients with this deadly cancer to be hopeful.
Asons Solicitors Warn of Secondary Exposure to Asbestos After Women Dies Of Mesothelioma (UK): According to the BBC, a mother-of-three has died as a result of mesothelioma she contracted as a direct result of sharing childhood embraces with her father.
ASBESTOS in PUBLIC BUILDINGS (3)
Asbestos dumped near childcare centre (Australia): ASBESTOS was illegally dumped on two roads in western Sydney just metres from a childcare centre early this morning. Sheets of the deadly material were found lying in the middle of the road on Wilson Avenue and Wilson Lane just off Canterbury Road in Belmore about 2.15am. The asbestos was dumped next to a sign on Wilson Avenue pointing to the nearby Canterbury Children’s Cottage about 25 metres away.
Asbestos confirmed (Jamaica): The Ministry of Health has finally admitted that the hazardous lung cancer-causing material, asbestos, has been found in a section of the St Joseph’s Hospital in St Andrew. This has raised fresh concern about the quality of due diligence done before millions of taxpayer dollars was spent to purchase the 12-acre property in 2008 by the then Bruce Golding-led administration.
Asbestos confirmed in Centennial Park (Canada): Soil test results have confirmed city officials’ fears that asbestos is in a wider portion of Centennial Park. “All test results from 131 holes are in and there are some with traces of asbestos, others that exceed what’s allowable,” said city manager Lloyd Fennell Monday. When tests in mid-May revealed asbestos in the soil near the playground, the city took the precaution of fencing a large portion of the waterfront park stretching the entire length of the northend field. About half the park where most of Sarnia’s summer festivals usually take place is closed to the public.
LEGAL ISSUES and ASBESTOS (6)
Asbestos builder faces prosecution (Australia): The Canberra builder accused of exposing a young family to asbestos is the subject of an investigation by WorkSafe ACT which could result in a prosecution. The ACT government could withdraw the business’ licence if it is found employees worked with the toxic substance without permission. ACT Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe is seeking the introduction of $5000 on-the-spot fines for builders who do not dispose of asbestos properly.
Asbestos victims will get to speak (USA): Merced County high school students who were exposed to cancer-causing asbestos soon will have an opportunity to confront in court the three men responsible for risking their health. A federal judge has set an Aug. 19 sentencing date for Rudy Buendia III, 50, Patrick Bowman, 46, and Joseph Cuellar, 73. They were convicted in May after pleading no contest to state charges of felony treating, handling or disposing of asbestos in a manner that caused an unreasonable risk of serious injury to students, with knowing or reckless disregard for the risk.
States Wrestle with Mesothelioma Laws & Violations (USA): The city of Paterson, New Jersey is facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for putting city workers at risk for deadly mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases. A state labor department inspection determined that Paterson had committed 43 OSHA safety violations, including 13 “serious” violations related to asbestos removal. The labor department says the city failed to properly supervise, train or monitor employees charged with removing asbestos ceiling tiles from a city building. They’re also charged with failing to provide the workers with the proper safety equipment. Asbestos is the primary cause of malignant mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer. Workers exposed to the asbestos now face an increased lifetime risk of developing mesothelioma. Paterson could face fines of $4,500 per day for each OSHA violation unless it complies with state safety requirements.
Asbestos lawsuit filed by former worker’s ex-wife claiming secondary exposure caused lung cancer (USA): A St. Tammany Parish woman is suing a number of companies her ex-husband where her ex-husband worked for the lung cancer she claims she contracted through exposure to asbestos he brought home from those jobs. Julie Lavigne, individually and on behalf of her minor children, filed suit against Shell Oil Company, Shell Chemical, Shell Chemical Company, Kellogg Brown & Root Inc., Brown & Root Inc., Lenny’s Plumbing Inc. and American Do All Corporation in the 24th Judicial District Court on April 18.
Asbestos victim wins compensation battle (UK): A PENSIONER who contracted an incurable cancer linked to asbestos during his time working at a Worcester factory has won his battle for compensation. Fred Penn who worked for Worcester Engineering in the 1970s, before the company was acquired by the Bosch Group in 1992, spent several years working in an environment thick with asbestos dust without any protection.
Estate Agent Censured on Asbestos Claims (New Zealand): A Palmerston North real estate agent has been reprimanded, ordered to repay expenses and attend a training course, after misrepresenting the possible presence of asbestos in a property she was selling. The Real Estate Agents Authority has found Rachel Wright guilty of unsatisfactory conduct over a sale completed in January last year. As well as reprimanding her, the authority ordered Ms Wright to pay $2900 to the buyer as “part relief” for their expenses.
MISC. (3)
Telstra asbestos probe widens (Australia): Unions are calling for investigations into asbestos issues at Telstra Corporation Ltd’s communications pits to widen to include the company’s exchange buildings, according to The Australian. Some of the National Broadband Network’s (NBN) interconnection points will be located in the exchange buildings, which unions warn are in a state of disrepair and could contain asbestos that would be disturbed by NBN work.
Outrage of asbestos veterans denied compensation despite exposure on Royal Navy shipbuilding sites (UK): Current rules mean sailors, soldiers and airmen who develop the fatal condition mesothelioma cannot get payouts from the MoD if they were exposed to asbestos before 1987. Ministers today face urgent calls to end the “outrage” of 200 military veterans being denied compensation despite developing a deadly asbestos disease after serving their country. Many servicemen were exposed to asbestos while working on shipbuilding sites for the Royal Navy.
Telstra admits poor asbestos training caused problems (Australia): Telstra has conceded poor supervision and insufficient training for subcontractors removing asbestos material from underground pits contributed to potential mishandling of the deadly fibres.

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