Asbestos in the News: Issue 56

Asbestos in the News: Issue 56
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 15 stories we thought may interest you!
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National Asbestos Awareness Week Sheds Light on Still Unfamiliar Topic: Even today, most people believe that the threat of asbestos exposure is a thing of the past. People may hear about mesothelioma on T.V. or catch a glimpse of a news article on asbestos, but the toxic substance seems to be removed from the general public’s daily life. In fact, many people in the United States believe that asbestos is already banned in the U.S even though we continue to import the toxic substance on a steady basis. Unfortunately, the reality of the dangers of asbestos can become all too clear once you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma, an aggressive and fatal form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Therefore, it is imperative for leaders such as Senator Max Baucus, along with co-sponsors, to continue to propagate asbestos awareness.
Old Floor Tiles May Contain Asbestos and Pose Health and Safety Issues for Building Occupants: A common do-it-yourself project for many homeowners is changing and updating the flooring in a home. What many homeowners don’t realize is that asbestos was used in many floor tiles and improperly removing it may pose a health risk. Many types of flooring, including sheet vinyl, vinyl or asphalt floor tiles and any associated paper-like backing, mastic, adhesive or glue, may contain asbestos. This is due to the fact that in many older flooring products, asbestos was added during its production to increase its strength and durability. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “There is a wide variety of resilient floor covering applications that contain asbestos. The most common are linoleum flooring and vinyl asbestos tile (VAT). VAT is most commonly found in either a 9″x9″ or a 12″x12″ square size. The 9″x9″ VAT’s are normally found in older buildings because they were manufactured earlier than the 12″x12″ VAT’s; however, floor tile sizes and resilient floor covering applications vary greatly since many buildings have been re-tiled several times.”
Asbestos checks at 44 local schools over the next year: NOTTS County Council is to inspect 44 schools across Bassetlaw this year for asbestos, the authority has revealed. The Worksop Guardian obtained new figures under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act which show 20 schools in Worksop and 24 in Retford will be inspected this year. Tim Gregory, corporate director, environment and resources at Notts County Council, said the checks will be made as part of the authority’s annual inspections of schools.
Researchers, FDA Evaluating Experimental Gene Therapy Procedures for Mesothelioma Treatment: According to the BBC (November 2012), geneticists, scientists and the entire medical profession are applauding the European Commission for bringing ‘a new era to medicine in the Western world’ by approving Glycera, a Dutch gene therapy medicine for treating a rare, inherited disorder known as LPLD. While gene therapy has been gaining momentum for years since French scientists first used it in 2000 to treat a rare immune disorder called SCID, Glycera’s approval may be the breakthrough needed to move gene therapy to sufferers of other rare diseases such as mesothelioma. Researchers are working hard to ensure that patients with mesothelioma and other rare illnesses will someday benefit from gene therapy. The U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is eyeing every new development for answers to rigorous questions.
Pleural Mesothelioma Patients Wanted to Test Novel Treatment in Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Clinical Trial: Doctors at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York have recently been conducting a clinical trial to test a Wilms Tumor-1 (WT1) vaccine to see if it delays or prevents malignant pleural mesothelioma from growing back after surgery. Don Smitley, a mesothelioma survivor, was a participant in that trial. Now, researchers at MSKCC have kicked off another clinical trial for pleural mesothelioma patients with malignant pleural effusion.
Asbestos warning in cyclone Rusty’s wake: While cyclone warnings were cancelled on Thursday, Rusty left major flooding in its wake along with some structural damage to buildings, mainly in the tiny community of Pardoo where it crossed the coast. With Pilbara residents now repairing and cleaning their damaged homes and properties, senior asbestos lawyer with Slater and Gordon, Simon Millman, warned of the dangers of disturbed asbestos dust.
Better Quality of Life from Lung-Sparing Mesothelioma Surgery: Mesothelioma patients who undergo pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) may enjoy a better quality of life afterward than those who have extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP). That is the message of a new study published in the Asian Cardiovascular and Thoracic Annals. Pleural mesothelioma arises most often in the thin lining that surrounds the lungs. Because of its close proximity to the lungs, it is not uncommon for pleural mesothelioma to eventually spread to the lung itself, reducing its function. Eventually, the diseased mesothelium also thickens and stiffens, preventing the lungs from expanding adequately with each breath.
Mesothelin May Play Multiple Roles in Spread of Mesothelioma, Other Cancers: Mesothelin is a protein found on the surface of some cells in the human body. Its biological purpose is a bit of a mystery frankly. But it occurs in overabundance in certain types of cancer cells including ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer and mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs and abdomen. Therefore, it’s on scientists’ radar screen.
Asbestos testing ordered for county sheriff’s offices: The air in the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Department offices is to be tested for asbestos. Sheriff Jack Welsh questioned the safety of the air in the building after reviewing a report on a 2009 building evaluation that identified 69 items that contain asbestos. One of the locations is plaster on office walls that has been crumbling and falling onto radiators.
Asbestos warning at Canberra Hospital: Staff, patients and visitors to the Canberra Hospital have been warned they may have come into contact with airborne asbestos fibres. ACT Health issued an alert late on Wednesday afternoon advising about the detection of unidentified airborne fibres in levels seven and nine of the hospital’s main tower block following recent air monitoring. ACT Health Public Health physician Charles Guest said the risk of asbestos exposure was considered remote, emphasising that the steps being taken by the hospital were precautionary.
Kentucky couple sue 57 companies in asbestos suit: An Ashland, Ky., couple are suing 57 companies they claim are responsible for an asbestosis diagnosis. Arthur Benjamin Jr. was diagnosed with asbestosis on Aug. 20, according to a complaint filed March 1 in Kanawha Circuit Court. Benjamin and his wife, Jackie L. Benjamin, claim he smoked for approximately 47 years, starting in approximately 1966, but quit a few times. The defendants exposed Arthur Benjamin to asbestos and/or asbestos-containing products during his career as a laborer from 1968 until 2001, according to the suit.
Lawmakers hear testimony on Kay’s asbestos ‘double-dipping’ bill: There might not have been a vote, but lawmakers heard testimony this week over legislation aimed at preventing “double-dipping” by asbestos claimants. Sponsored by Rep. Dwight Kay, R-Glen Carbon, House Bill 153 would require plaintiffs seeking compensation for their asbestos-related injuries to disclose their trust claims information within 30 days of the start of discovery in their lawsuits. The bill, modeled after recently-passed legislation in Ohio, intends to prevent plaintiffs from filing suits against businesses in court and going after money in the trusts bankrupted companies created to compensate asbestos victims.
Lawsuit claims man died from exposure to asbestos: The family of a man who spent part of his career as a plumber is suing a local plumbing company, saying it’s responsible for his death from mesothelioma after he came in repeated contact with asbestos. Josephine Jaworski, the widow of Joseph Jaworski, filed the suit on behalf of herself and her late husband’s estate in state Supreme Court in Fonda on Feb. 22 against A. Mormile Plumbing & Heating of Amsterdam. Among the claims in the lawsuit are wrongful death, negligence and loss of consortium.
Rapid-American Files Bankruptcy Citing Asbestos Liability: Rapid-American Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection in New York to deal with debt related to asbestos personal-injury claims. Rapid-American, based in New York and formerly a holding company for McCrory variety stores, “was never engaged in an asbestos business” and inherited about 275,000 asbestos claims through a series of acquisitions, according to an account in court papers by company Vice President Paul Weiner. “Recently, Rapid has experienced an increase in the number of mesothelioma claims being filed against it and an increase in the dollar amount sought to settle claims,” Weiner said.
MISC. (1)
How has asbestos affected professionals like dentists and artists?: Many of us associate asbestos with occupations such as construction and pipe-fitting. Over the decades, though, asbestos has been used in varying degrees in many other professions. Lost-wax casting is an ancient molding procedure that has been employed in various lines of work. It is used to form a shape in a wax mold. Jewelers, dentists, artists, and art students have been known to utilize this method in their work. Asbestos was sometimes used in the process, which put users at risk of inhaling the fibers. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can become trapped in the lungs and can result in future development of diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer.

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