Asbestos In The News: Issue #130
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 some interesting stories we thought may interest you!
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FEATURED STORIES (2)
You might want to think again before buying your child’s crayons or toys online as they might have been contaminated with asbestos. Last Wednesday, a report was released stating that several known brands of children’s crayons and detective kits have been found to contain asbestos fibers. The crayons, that were made in China by a company named Amscan, and the two science kits for children are being sold online in Australia. None of these products seem to be sold over the counter.
An asbestos defense attorney practicing in Baltimore says decisions made in the 1990s to consolidate asbestos suits helped to create a huge backlog. Today, the Maryland judiciary is experiencing a massive backlog in asbestos cases – the number of both “active” and “inactive” cases has reached a staggering 30,000-plus.
ASBESTOS and HEALTH (1)
White asbestos was last month confirmed to be spilling on to the shore opposite Cairns Hospital, amid building material dumped at the site about 30 years ago. The hazardous sheeting material, which was lab-tested by The Cairns Post, originated from Cairns State High School. Cairns Regional Council CEO Peter Tabulo said officers were inspecting the foreshore following each high tide to check for any visible building materials.
ASBESTOS in SCHOOLS (1)
School administrators are cautioned not to disturb it, inspectors warn of its dangers, and the EPA has banned it from new construction, yet asbestos remains in the 34 schools of the Hayward Unified School District, which serves approximately 20,879 students.
LEGAL ISSUES and ASBESTOS (2)
The state Department of Environmental Protection has issued a $45,412 fine to UMass Memorial Realty Inc. of Worcester for improperly removing asbestos-laden floor tiles from the former Worcester City Hospital. UMass Memorial is to pay $15,000 of the penalty, with the remainder suspended for a year “as long as they remain in compliance with the regulations,” according to a DEP news release.
A Milan court has convicted 11 former Pirelli managers, including two former CEOs, on charges of manslaughter and gave them prison sentences for the deaths of about 20 workers who developed tumors or lung disease after being exposed to asbestos. The news agency ANSA said Wednesday the court issued sentences up to seven years and eight months against the defendants, who were Pirelli board members during the 1980s. Prosecutors said the workers at a Milan factory were not properly protected against asbestos.
ASBESTOS in PUBLIC BUILDINGS (2)
Starting in July, WorkSafeBC prevention officers will be increasing inspections of residential demolition and renovation sites to ensure contractors are adhering to health and safety laws when identifying and removing asbestos. “While asbestos does not pose a health risk when left undisturbed, preventable exposures can cause fatal lung diseases with symptoms developing many years later,” said Al Johnson, vice-president of prevention services. “The number 1 way to be exposed to asbestos is by unsafe practices during demolitions and renovations.”
A movement trying to save a historical building in Amarillo is underway. People behind saving the Jackson Square Apartments are taking a new course of action by starting a petition. The hope is to somehow save the building from coming down.
An alarming number of contractors are failing to safely remove asbestos before they demolish or renovate an older home, prompting WorkSafeBC to step up enforcement to prevent a new epidemic of disease in the future. The agency conducted 210 inspections last year and found 43 per cent of hazardous material surveys were inadequate, often failing to detect asbestos that further tests proved was present.