Asbestos in the News: Issue 42

Asbestos in the News: Issue 42
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 10 stories we thought may interest you!
Please share this information so that we can continue to increase awareness of asbestos and asbestos related illnesses. Follow us on twitter because we tweet asbestos news frequently.
Society Disappointed Federal Government Voted Against Asbestos Motion: The Canadian Cancer Society is deeply disappointed and frustrated that a motion to protect Canadians from asbestos was defeated in the House of Commons on December 5. Conservative and Bloc Quebecois Members of Parliament voted against an NDP motion (M-381), introduced by François Lapointe, calling for: the creation of a federal registry of buildings containing asbestos; the inclusion of asbestos on the Rotterdam Convention list of hazardous substances; and, an economic diversification plan for regions that still depend on the asbestos industry. “All forms of asbestos cause cancer and the Society is very concerned about Canada’s lack of leadership on this important health issue,” says Paul Lapierre, Vice President, Public Affairs and Cancer Control, Canadian Cancer Society. “It’s imperative that the health of Canadians and people around the world be put first.”
Manitoba school shutdown due to asbestos: A remote northern Manitoba First Nation has shut down its school. They did so amid fears that generations of children may have been exposed to cancer causing asbestos.
School asbestos to be reviewed: THE province has launched a review to determine why 25 bags of asbestos were stored underneath a First Nations school. Berens River band council ordered the community’s kindergarten-to-Grade 9 school closed last week after a worker discovered the asbestos in the school’s crawl space. Community leaders felt is was unsafe for the school’s 350 students and 100 staff to go into the school until an independent investigation determines there is no health danger. Officials from the province’s workplace safety and health division ordered the school closed on Friday until results from further tests deem it safe for children to return.
Asbestos cleanup almost complete at Iqaluit school: Nakasuk Elementary School in Iqaluit will be back to normal next week – crews are almost done removing asbestos which was found in the school’s old construction materials. Crews worked on the school every night for the past six weeks. “I would suggest that it was a very successful project,” said Barry Cornthwaite, who is with the Department of Education.
West Des Moines Schools Schedule Public Hearings on Asbestos Removal, 2013-2014 Start Date: The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education will hold two public hearings, a workshop on the district’s audit report and budget, and a regular meeting on Monday, Dec. 10 All are open to the public. The WDMCS Board of Education will hold a workshop session to review the district’s most recent audit report. The audit document is available here. In addition, WDMCS CFO Paul Bobek will provide an update on the district’s budget. At the regular meeting, the board will be asked to accept the audit. Please see the agenda and board packet for the full listing of topics to be addressed at the meeting.
University of Pennsylvania to Study Asbestos-Exposed Community: When an asbestos factory shuts its doors for good, the fight is only halfway over. Workers may no longer face daily exposure, but asbestos often lingers in the community. Former employees and their spouses become ill, and children grow up in a town where the toxin persists in the air and the soil. Years pass and outrage fades. Once the media trucks leave, residents are left to deal with their town’s legacy on their own. Such was the case in Ambler, Pennsylvania – until now.
TDSB Witheld Knowledge of Asbestos Presence from Office Tenant: Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has been withholding potentially vital health hazard information from one of their tenants for the past four years, Toronto Standard has learned. After reviewing a leaked document that revealed a presence of Chrysotile asbestos in the vinyl floor tiles at 17 Fairmeadow Avenue, Janet Sherbanowski has now been forced to seek a new place to work. In late August 2012, Sherbanowski, the Executive Director of Crime Prevention Association of Toronto (CPAT), ripped up the carpeting in the office she leases from TDSB to accommodate a young woman with cerebral palsy who – it was deemed by an employment agency – would not be able to walk properly on the carpet for her placement with CPAT. Over the course of two weeks, the aging carpet was pulled up and thrown away leaving the floor tiles exposed. On November 27, Sherbanowski got her hands on a 2008 lab report from an anonymous source. The report revealed that the floor tiles from her office had been tested by TDSB and showed it contained asbestos. For more than four months CPAT staff and volunteers worked inside that environment in a room where ventilation is poor and the atmosphere is stuffy.
Pfizer asks Supreme Court to disallow bankruptcy-related asbestos suits: Drugmaker Pfizer Inc. is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a federal appeals court’s ruling that allows certain asbestos-related lawsuits against the company, even though the subsidiary that was the main target of the suits went through bankruptcy reorganization. Pfizer Inc. v. Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos, No. 12-300, response requested (U.S. Nov. 6, 2012). The ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals “frustrates the congressional purposes” of the law written to deal with asbestos-related bankruptcies, Pfizer says in its petition for a writ of certiorari.
State Senator Michael Skindell speaks out against asbestos bill: State Sen. Michael Skindell, D-23 of Lakewood, today voted against substitute House Bill 380. He said, in a press released issued by his office, that the legislation will make it much harder for Ohio workers who suffer from asbestos-related diseases to successfully sue for compensation. “This legislation is another example of the 129th General Assembly’s war on Ohio workers,” Skindell said in the release. “The bill is creating additional procedural and evidentiary hurdles, roadblocks, rules and other requirements that will make it impossible for a dying asbestos plaintiff to get a fair trial on their case.”
Court says it takes ‘balanced approach’ on asbestos cases: The Nevada Supreme Court says it is taking a “balanced approach” in cases where an individual claims his exposure to asbestos dust caused lung cancer. The court has ruled that the survivors of Randy Holcomb can proceed to trial in Las Vegas in their suit against three companies that used products that emitted asbestos dust in construction jobs. The unanimous decision, written by Chief Justice Michael Cherry, overturns the pre-trial summary judgment by District Judge Douglas Herndon in favor of Georgia Pacific, Kaiser Gypsum and Kelly Moore Paint Co.

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