Asbestos in the News: Issue 39

Asbestos in the News: Issue 39
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 14 stories we thought may interest you!
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Asbestos fears over DIY craze: Television home renovation shows have fuelled a do-it-yourself craze that campaigners fear will lead to the next wave of asbestos victims – many of whom will be women. Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia president Barry Robson said yesterday that shows such as The Block, The Renovators and Better Homes and Gardens had been embraced by women, who had taken up DIY renovation with gusto. Many had unwittingly become exposed to potentially deadly mesothelioma-causing asbestos fibres present in almost all homes built before 1987. “Unfortunately, we’re heading for a third wave of victims . . . because home renovation is getting so big,” Mr Robson said at the launch of a nationwide awareness campaign. “An unfortunate by-product of this is the increase in the number of women now presenting with meso.”
Deadly asbestos still claiming lives: Asbestos continues to kill hundreds of people a year in Australia more than two decades after it was phased out of building products. Some victims may only have had contact with the deadly fibre during a home renovation decades ago, or from washing contaminated clothes. Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia president Barry Robson has seen victims of every tragic example of exposure. ‘‘I stopped going to funerals a long time ago,’’ he said, ‘‘it was just too much for me.’’
Unacceptable levels of asbestos leads to closure of Welsh high school: A specialist industrial disease lawyer has said that the closure of a Welsh high school after ten times more than acceptable levels of asbestos were found comes as no surprise, adding that the hidden danger of asbestos in our schools has been known for years. Bridget Collier, head of the Industrial Disease team at Fentons Personal Injury Solicitors LLP and a specialist in asbestos claims, said that the shock closure of the 900-strong Cwmcarn High School was potentially just the tip of the iceberg.
Minister ‘not assured’ by councils’ action on asbestos in schools: The Welsh education minister has raised questions over whether local councils are dealing with asbestos properly in the wake of the Cwmcarn High School crisis. Leighton Andrews said in a written statement to AMs that responses to a call to all local authorities to confirm they were undertaking their duties under law over asbestos, had been “varied”. “As a consequence, and based upon, the responses received I do not feel sufficiently assured at this stage that local authorities are discharging their statutory duties to manage asbestos and have sufficient plans in place,” he wrote.
Penn Medicine Receives Grant For Asbestos Study In Ambler: Penn Medicine has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health for a five-year study that will document the lives of those affected by asbestos exposure in Ambler and help them move forward and assist local lawmakers in making decisions about the future of a former Asbestos factory site in that community. University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Associate Professor Dr. Fran Barg says Ambler has been profoundly affected by mesothelioma.
The word that should strike fear into our hearts: Some words strike fear into your heart but some others don’t. Despite it being almost impossible to be killed in this country by either sharks or terrorists, most people pay attention as soon as those words are mentioned. Asbestos, however, is quite a benign everyday word that has none of the sinister overtones of terrorists or sharks. Asbestos is a real killer to which there is no safe level of exposure so it is a shame that mentioning it doesn’t strike the same fear into us.
Govt funds handed out for research into asbestos illnesses: Researchers from the Queensland Mesothelioma Project, Southern Cross University and the University of Queensland were among eight recipients of money to help people suffering from asbestos-related illnesses. The money was awarded through the Asbestos Innovation Fund, which was launched by the Federal Government in 2010. Dr. Kimberly Stannard from the Queensland Mesothelioma Project will receive $150,000 to test a new treatment regime that combines chemotherapy with tumour specific immune therapy.
Asbestos: don’t touch it: Local renovators are being warned to steer clear of handling asbestos in their homes. Port Augusta Asbestos Victims Association representative Geoff Maul said he was aware of people resorting to illegally removing and dumping their asbestos because of the high price of disposing of the material. But his advice is: “asbestos, don’t touch it”. “It will kill you,” he said.
Asbestos safety in spotlight: TENTERFIELD Shire Council is promoting National Asbestos Awareness Week this week as the last asbestos-affected mulch is removed from the shire. Mayor Peter Petty said council and the community had faced significant issues in relation to asbestos since the fire at the Sunnyside Loop Waste Transfer Station in January and the discovery of low levels of asbestos in mulch earlier this year. Cr Petty said the issues highlighted the dangers posed by asbestos and the need for everyone to take the necessary precautions.
Asbestos Removal to Close Madison Library: The Madison Public Library will close for about two weeks starting Nov. 26 for an asbestos abatement project, the library announced. All library programs scheduled for that period are canceled, but meetings scheduled by other organizations in the Chase Auditorium will go on as planned because the room has its own HVAC system, library director Nancy Adamczyk said. Adamczyk said it’s unfortunate the library has to close again so soon after Superstorm Sandy knocked out power for almost a week. It held extended hours when it reopened the Friday after the storm, and had thousands of visitors over the weekend with people keeping warm, charging cellphones, using wireless Internet, watching movies, browsing magazines and borrowing materials.
The Mesothelioma Law Firm of Baron and Budd Achieves $8.4 Million Verdict for Widow of Mesothelioma Victim: The widow of a mesothelioma cancer victim was recently awarded an $8.4 million verdict by a Dallas County jury after they found Hercules, a subsidiary of Ashland, Inc., liable for the patient’s mesothelioma diagnosis. Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer of the lining of the lung caused by asbestos exposure. (Case No. DC10-08454-D, Civil District Court of Dallas County, 68th, TX.) The ruling is said to be the first mesothelioma verdict that Hercules has been convicted of for asbestos exposure at the Dow Chemical refinery. The case could set a precedent for similar results in the future. Baron and Budd mesothelioma attorneys John Langdoc and Alana Kalantzakis represented the late John Gensler, and his widow Martha Gensler, in the mesothelioma lawsuit. The Hon. Judge Martin Hoffman presided over the case. This is not the first time Hercules has faced fines and liabilities due to its manufacturing of carcinogenic products, according to court documents. The chemical company has been found liable for exposing military veterans to carcinogens including Agent Orange and asbestos, which Hercules manufactured. Hercules has also spent hundreds of millions of dollars on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fines due to the Superfund clean up of harmful dioxins and other herbicides.
MISC. (3)
Asbestos, Asbestos Everywhere!: Asbestos: from the greek word meaning “the best” – the best at being virtually indestructible and causing chronic and fatal diseases. Actually it comes from the Greek word meaning “inextinguishable”. How bad is asbestos really? “It’s a fire retardant, sound absorbing, naturally occurring mineral. What could possibly go wrong” said every contractor pre – 1981. Fortunately it’s only about number 6 on the world’s Most Dangerous Minerals List. And, if I’ve got this correct, it’s actually a combination of several minerals (with varying degrees of lethalness) which form a super mineral.
Government Introduces Policy to Fight Asbestos Risks: Asbestos can raise health concerns for one, if accidentally inhaled. It is, therefore, that the government of New South Wales has formed a Model Asbestos Policy meant for local councils. It reportedly contains the practice that can best deal with the fatal compound. It is being said that the policy would raise awareness about the issue and would save lives of many home renovators. The state councils would be taught on how to cut the risks imposed by asbestos on home renovators. The aim is also to protect DIY enthusiasts, the report says. Don Page, NSW Minister for Local Government, said while launching the campaign that home renovators should, from now on, leave the disposal of asbestos to experts.
Renovators must leave asbestos to experts: NSW councils will be given guidelines on how they can minimise asbestos risks for home renovators as part of a campaign to protect DIY enthusiasts. Campaigners fear that many home renovators are at risk of exposure to asbestos, which is found in most homes built before the mid-1980s and can cause deadly cancers if the fibres become airborne and are inhaled. To raise awareness of the issue the state government has compiled a Model Asbestos Policy for local councils, which contains best practice for dealing with the deadly substance.

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