Asbestos in the News: Issue 32

Asbestos in the News: Issue 32
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 12 stories we thought may interest you!
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Majority of Canadians Want Registry of Buildings with Asbestos: The majority of Canadians want the federal government to create a public registry of buildings that contain asbestos, according to a poll by the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS). Over 80 percent of Canadians indicated in the poll that having a public list of these buildings is important, and 78 percent believe it is Ottawa’s responsibility to create one. The current estimate on the number of low-rise homes containing asbestos across the country is around 240,000. “Very clearly three quarters of Canadians feel that the federal government should play a role in establishing a national registry so that there’s a list of buildings, so that when you’re working in a building or when you’re living in a building that you would know how to protect yourself from asbestos,” says CCS spokesperson Dan Demers.
Activist blasts McGill’s absolution of asbestos researcher: The investigation into misconduct charges aimed at a former McGill University professor’s asbestos research was biased and a “whitewash,” a group of doctors and anti-asbestos activists say. McGill’s report, released last Wednesday, cleared retired Professor John Corbett McDonald of allegations of misconduct related to his research on into the health of Quebec asbestos workers. McGill Research Integrity Officer Abraham Fuks said McDonald acknowledged he received financial support from the asbestos industry. In his report, Fuks said McDonald’s research was replicated by other groups and that its “robustness has endured many critical analyses and legal inquiries.”
Call for national asbestos audit: Unions are calling on Westminster to follow the lead of the Welsh Government and order a national audit of the asbestos in UK schools. Wales’ Education Minister Leighton Andrews has asked all local authorities in Wales for reassurances about the asbestos in their schools following a call for a national audit after Cwmcarn High School near Caerphilly closed unexpectedly on 12 October due to concerns about the safety of asbestos in its buildings. The Westminster government claims to be working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to make sure asbestos is managed properly by schools, yet HSE will no longer proactively inspect UK schools.
Iqaluit elementary school gets major clean-up, repairs: A month-long asbestos clean-up and repair job at Nakasuk School in Iqaluit starts Nov, 1, a consultant with Indoor Air Quality Ottawa said Oct. 18 during a presentation at the school library. This work comes after a 2011 fire marshal’s report and a “designated substance survey” prepared for Nunavut’s education department this past August. The consultants’ survey noted that asbestos could be found in the school’s pipe elbow insulation, mud joint compound, older floor tiles, ceiling tile mastic (glue), sink underlining, and insulated cement pipe fittings.
Administration at Cal State Chico Downplays Asbestos Concerns: Asbestos is most likely between the walls, in ceiling tiles, in the ventilation system, and in other places at Butte Hall at the California State University in Chico, but lately it’s always come between faculty and administrators as the two factions bicker about whether or not the toxic material had something to do with the death of a sociology professor and administrative assistant from cancer. According to an article in The Orion, the school newspaper, attempts by a faculty member to continue to alert others about the presence of asbestos in the busy building fell short when school officials removed the warning signs he placed outside the facility.
CO School District Misplaced Asbestos Abatement Funds: Nearly 15 years ago, School District 6 in Northern Colorado received funding from a class action lawsuit for asbestos abatement projects. However, after an anonymous local politician started asking questions regarding the funding and settlement, it turned out that School District 6 does not have any record of the funding, if it was spent or even if it was received. Questions regarding the settlement funding came to light after it was determined that John Evans, a former school in the district scheduled for demolition, needed nearly $1 million in asbestos abatement funding. The anonymous politician asked the Chief Operations Officer, Wayne Eads, whether the school district applied for federal grant money for the asbestos removal. Eads said that the school district had applied for grant money and did receive asbestos abatement funding for John Evans, but Eads did not know what happened to the funding.
Fibulin-3 Biomarker Becomes Latest Breakthrough for Mesothelioma: The search to uncover easier and earlier ways to diagnose mesothelioma took a step in the right direction with the latest findings from the laboratory of New York University Langone Medical Center and renowned thoracic oncologist Harvey Pass, M.D. Researchers there have found that fibulin-3 – a new protein biomarker found in blood – can reliably predict the presence, or absence, of mesothelioma cancer cells. This finding could open the way for a long sought-after screening tool for anyone exposed to asbestos. “There is reason to be encouraged,” Pass said in recent interview with “Stay tuned. There is a real interest in this research because the real gain will be made by finding it (mesothelioma) earlier, when the treatments can be more effective.”
Asbestos settlements part of ‘global’ deal: Lawyers for Libby asbestos victims are working toward settlements with W.R. Grace & Co., BNSF Railway Co. and certain insurance companies in what Grace has deemed a “global resolution.” The settlements would give victims varying amounts of financial compensation for exposure to toxic asbestos dust linked to the former Grace vermiculite mine near Libby. Since the extent of the disease and death caused by asbestos exposure came to light in late 1999, the Center for Asbestos Related Diseases clinic in Libby has acquired a caseload of more than 2,800 patients and has continued to add new patients.
Baron and Budd Announces California Jury Awards One of the Largest Mesothelioma Verdicts of the Year to the Family of a Mesothelioma Patient: Union Carbide, a Dow Chemical subsidiary, and several other asbestos companies were forced to pay a $48 million verdict to the family of a mesothelioma patient. The Los Angeles Superior Court jury awarded the verdict after finding Union Carbide and others responsible for the client’s asbestos exposure and subsequent mesothelioma diagnosis. The mesothelioma verdict is one of the largest of its kind in the nation in 2012. Baron and Budd represented the patient’s family at trial.
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Agnico-Eagle moves on asbestos control at Nunavut gold mine site: Although it’s business as usual at the Meadowbank gold mine near Baker Lake, some of the 1,050 workers on site now wear special gear, such as disposable outerwear and respirators, when they’re on the job. That’s because this past January, Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. found naturally-occurring asbestos fibers in the dust samples taken from the secondary crusher building at its Meadowbank mine. A second sample in March confirmed the presence of asbestos, which, with prolonged exposure, is linked to a variety of lung ailments and cancers.
EPA Investigating Possible Asbestos Contamination at PA Demolition Site: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inspectors have been called in to assess findings at a Shamokin, Pennsylvania demolition site that may point to potential asbestos contamination. Both the EPA and local Shamokin officials are conducting independent evaluations on the debris collected from the work site. Officials are also mobilizing an asbestos abatement or asbestos removal crew to safely decontaminate the demolition site as soon as the test results are in. Such precautions will kept the surrounding community safe. Currently, the demolition site is being watered down – a common practice to ensure that if there is any asbestos and it is damaged, it remains solid. This practice also ensures that any asbestos present does not become airborne, risking asbestos exposure.
Asbestos in 10% of homes: HOUSES built in Bundaberg before 1985 would probably have asbestos in them, according to a roofing specialist. Charlie Walker runs Rum City Roofing, and part of his business used to be getting rid of the asbestos in houses. He was commenting on the announcement of a $1.5 million State Government program to remove some of the most dangerous forms of asbestos from government buildings. Housing and Public Works Minister Bruce Flegg said the initiative was part of the Government’s broader long-term asbestos management strategy.

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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