Asbestos in the News: Issue 47

Asbestos in the News: Issue 47
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 8 stories we thought may interest you!
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Protest against asbestos factory: Villagers of Bihar’s Vaishali district took out a protest march in the State capital on Wednesday against an asbestos-based factory in Chaksultan Rampur Rajdhari. Organised under the banner of Khet Bachao Jeevan Bachao Jan Sangharsh Committee,they submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar demanding stoppage of work at the West Bengal-based company Utkal Asbestos. The villagers have been raising concerns of cancer and other health risks in light of the hazardous factory. Last June the district administration stayed the construction of the factory. However, work on the facility started again in December.
Pakistan May Ban Asbestos to Reduce Mesothelioma: Pakistan may be on the brink of banning the leading cause of mesothelioma. The mineral asbestos, used for decades in various industries, is believed to be responsible for nearly all cases of mesothelioma, an intractable cancer of the linings around organs. Now, the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Human Resource Development in Pakistan is recommending that the use and importation of asbestos be permanently banned in the country. The committee made the recommendation after a series of hearings on asbestos and its link to mesothelioma. Federal Human Resource Secretary Raja Ahsan told the committee that asbestos presents a “major threat” for mesothelioma and cancer among Pakistan’s industrial workers. Asbestos consumption continues to rise in Pakistan; One study shows that the figure quadrupled from 1,590 tons to 9,170 tons from 2000 to 2004 alone.
School in Big Trouble After Using Students to Haul Asbestos Materials: A group of teenage students in Northeast Ohio thought they were volunteering their weekends for a noble cause, helping renovate the old building that is expected to become their new school. They had no idea the risks they were taking. The Buckeye Education School, a small religious-affiliated school in Middleburg Heights, is now under criminal investigation for exposing those teenagers to a variety of asbestos materials as they helped gut the former YWCA building that was purchased recently.
Phillipsburg High School eyes Monday reopening after pipe, asbestos work: Phillipsburg High School should reopen Monday after completion of a water-pipe repair that required asbestos abatement because old floor tiles had to be removed, the school district superintendent said today.
“Our repairs are ongoing,” Superintendent George Chando said this afternoon, “but we anticipate being able to open (the) school Monday.”
Asbestos limit found exceeded in 17 disaster-hit spots in Japan: The safety limit sanctioned by the World Health Organizaition (WHO) as regards to asbestos levels were found to have been exceeded in 17 locations at building dismantling sites in places devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, according to government sources. This is a big surprise to the Ministry of Environment (MOE), who have found only four locations to have exceeded such asbestos limit from testings done between 2008 and 2010. The WHO safety standards of asbestos is less than 10 strands per liter of air. Based on data gathered June 2011 through December 2012 at building dismantling sites and debris processing sites monitored by the MOE and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW), the asbestos levels found ranged from 10.6 to 783.5 strands per liter. However, an expert, commenting on the new-found locations, said, “We have no proof that even levels under the WHO standards bring no adverse health effects, and a swift response to this asbestos problem is crucial.”
Cover up of Asbestos in Post-Quake Christchurch: Covering up asbestos in earthquake-damaged homes is “completely immoral”, a Christchurch man exposed to the material says. Ernie Patterson, 75, was “completely shocked” when he found out recently that he has two small asbestos lesions on his lung, and he is urging New Zealand authorities to “use common sense” to avoid asbestos-related diseases and deaths. The Earthquake Commission (EQC) estimates 43,000 Christchurch homes due for quake repairs could contain asbestos.
Pfizer Gets High Court Inquiry on Asbestos Suit Shield: The U.S. Supreme Court signaled interest in Pfizer Inc. (PFE)’s bid for a shield from some asbestos lawsuits connected to its Quigley Co. subsidiary, a bankrupt unit that stopped most operations in 1992. The justices today asked the Obama administration for advice on Pfizer’s appeal of a ruling that opened the New York- based drugmaker to some claims related to Quigley. That company made asbestos-containing products for the steel industry from the 1940s to the 1970s. Pfizer acquired Quigley in 1968. Asbestos, once widely used an insulator, was later shown to cause cancer.
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Colorado asbestos regulations under review: As goes the Colorado review process for other regulations, Colorado’s Reg 8, which is the regulation for monitoring and removal of asbestos containing materials, is under review and undergoing editing and changes. Steve Fine, Manager of Indoor Environmental Program stated, “The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) published their findings and recommendations in their report “2012 Sunset Review: Colorado Asbestos Control Act” on October 15, 2012. DORA recommended continuation of the program, and that the next sunset review take place in 2022.”

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