Asbestos in the News: Issue 52

Asbestos in the News: Issue 52
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 13 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.
Asbestos Timeline: Excellent health time line infographic of asbestos!
Defenseless against Asbestos on Navy Ships: Stretching from World War II until the late 1970’s, members of the U.S. military, particularly the naval branch, were among those most affected by asbestos exposure. Asbestos was widely used for insulation purposes on a number of navy ships including aircraft carriers, destroyers, and transport vessels. Asbestos was used because of its remarkable strength, its fire resistant abilities, and its capacity to withstand massive amounts of heat. Since there was an abundance of heat-producing equipment aboard, asbestos was the perfect solution to alleviate the risk of potential fires in case of a malfunction or an attack. During World War II asbestos helped the US military manufacture ships quickly, efficiently, and at a low cost. What the government and citizens didn’t realize were the dangers and health risks connected to asbestos exposure. Asbestos manufacturing companies knew of the hazards, but withheld the information from the government and sold the asbestos-containing products anyway.
TRU gym remains closed after asbestos scare: Thompson Rivers University is still trying to determine whether a substance that fell out of the gym’s walls Friday was in fact asbestos. It will take until the end of the week for test results to confirm what the material was, said Christopher Seguin, vice-president of advancement at the university.
EPA fines six Arizona school districts for asbestos violations / More than 15,000 students to be protected by additional inspections, asbestos plans: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined six Arizona school districts a combined total of $94,575 for Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) violations. More than 15,000 children attend the 25 schools not in compliance with the federal AHERA in these districts. During inspections conducted in 2011, EPA inspectors discovered numerous violations, from failing to inspect facilities for asbestos containing materials, failing to re-inspect campuses with known asbestos containing materials, and failing to have an Asbestos Management Plan. All of the school districts have since taken necessary actions to comply with the law, with the cost of compliance reducing the penalties in most cases to zero. “Asbestos in schools has the potential to harm the health of students, teachers, and maintenance workers,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “EPA takes these violations seriously, and we are satisfied the schools have now conducted inspections and put their asbestos plans in place.”
Rid Schools of Asbestos Roofs, Govt Told: Parliament has ordered the government to phase out the use of Asbestos sheets as roofing materials in all schools and technical colleges to avert the health and safety hazards associated with its usage. Debating a report of the committee on science and Technology on the status of science and Technology in Ugandan colleges yesterday, MPs recommended that government replaces all asbestos roofing in educational institutions and replace them with iron sheets that are health friendly.
Dumbarton Middle asbestos warnings part of routine work, spokesman says: Signs warning of asbestos contamination at Dumbarton Middle School in Towson appeared this week and set off some concern from students and parents. However, school spokesman Charles Herndon said the signs were precautions taken in advance of minor renovations scheduled for the weekend. Dumbarton Middle School Assistant Principal Chuck Bolger said a sink will be replaced in a second-floor custodial workroom, and that a small number of tiles that contain asbestos and were laid when the school opened in then 1950s must be removed.
Guilford to vote on asbestos removal: Voters soon will decide whether a contractor should remove asbestos from Guilford Central School. School Board members will ask Town Meeting voters for approval of a special article granting permission to spend $18,167 for the asbestos project in fiscal year 2014. That would be the first installment of a three-year loan aimed at getting rid of the potentially hazardous construction material.
Anger at council’s handling of Cwmcarn asbestos affair: The latest twist in the tale comes four months after the school was closed amid health concerns that there is an “elevated risk” of asbestos.
Sequestration Cuts Will Hurt Funding for Mesothelioma, Cancer Drug Research: Cancer research and the development of new drug therapies to fight the disease will be slowed significantly if the across-the-board federal spending cuts are implemented March 1 as expected, according to a variety of health-care professionals. Although Medicare and Medicaid, the country’s two major health entitlements, will be protected from the automatic cuts, programs involving medical and scientific research, mental health and substance abuse and new drug approvals will be impacted.
Grace neighbours fear asbestos, rats during demolition: On the eve of abatement and demolition of the former Grace Hospital, neighbours are concerned about what it could mean to them. Some fear asbestos particles flying around as demolition is being done. Last week, Budget Environmental Disposal of Hamilton estimated there are several thousand tonnes of asbestos on the site.

South Yarmouth tenant protests asbestos removal in apartment: Beth Harris got very upset when she received a letter that the vinyl flooring in the kitchen and bathroom of her Swan Pond Village apartment were to be replaced the following week and that she could expect some debris. What the letter from the management company didn’t mention was the debris contained asbestos, a hazardous substance, although she knew there was asbestos underneath the floors. Harris initially questioned the plan because she didn’t see the need to replace floors that were intact in her unit and not causing any harm. The letters went to at least three other apartments in her building and perhaps others in the 150-unit affordable housing complex that was built in 1978 off Long Pond Drive in South Yarmouth. The complex operates under federal Housing and Urban Development guidelines with a Section 8 contract to provide housing for low-income and disabled people.
Clay company owner ordered to pay more than $400K in asbestos case: More than a decade of improper asbestos removal will cost a Clay company owner nearly half a million dollars, a U.S. Dist. Court judge recently ruled. John Leathley, of Pompey, pleaded guilty in 2008 to conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act and to commit mail fraud. He was sentenced at the end of December. He and other co-conspirators were accused of stripping and bagging asbestos-containing material and disposing of asbestos into water when working on renovation and demolition projects. Leathley was also accused of providing his clients with false air monitoring results in order to convince them that his company, Aapex Environmental Services Inc., was working in compliance with the law.
EPA Fines 6 Arizona School Districts For Asbestos: Six school districts in Arizona have done compliance work to avoid hefty federal fines for asbestos violations. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fined the school districts a combined total of nearly $95,000. More than 15,000 children attend the 25 schools not in compliance in the six districts – three in Apache County, two in Pinal County and one on the Fort Apache reservation.

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