Asbestos in the News: Issue 58

Asbestos in the News: Issue 58
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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Sask. backs mandatory asbestos registry for public buildings: The Saskatchewan government says it will back proposed legislation to make reporting of asbestos in public buildings mandatory.
Labour Minister Don Morgan said Thursday that a private member’s bill will go to committee that will consider things such as what information would have to be provided on the registry. “The bill would make it mandatory across a wide range of public entities and that’s something we would want to work out at committee as to which entities we properly have jurisdiction over or should control,” Morgan said Thursday.
Bill would require asbestos labels for home building products: People buying supplies for a home remodeling project might not realize that they have asbestos in them. The state Senate says the product should say so, right on the label. This week, it passed a proposal sponsored by a Spokane senator to require such labels on a 47-2 vote. If the House agrees, labels on everything from wallboard to shingles to floor tiles to caulk would have to say if there’s asbestos inside.
Tragic woman’s final warning: The sister of a former college lecturer who died from an industrial lung disease, has warned that thousands of other students and staff may have been put at risk. Cynthia Clarke of Fulwood taught in the English Department of Preston College for nearly 25 years, having joined the staff in 1971 when it was known as Tuson College. In July 2008 she was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a form of cancer that is almost exclusively caused by exposure to asbestos. Despite chemotherapy treatment, she died in April 2010 aged 66.
The Two Faces of Asbestos Transparency: Since at least the 1930s, asbestos manufacturers and their insurers deliberately hid the dangers of asbestos from their own workers and the public. For example, in 1933, the Johns-Manville Company settled with an attorney for 11 former Manville employees, all asbestosis victims. The attorney received $30,000 for the victims, in exchange for a written promise that he would not “directly or indirectly participate in the bringing of new actions against the Corporation.” This fact did not come to light for more than 45 years. In the meantime, the company was able successfully to avoid damages suits while continuing to poison people. Had the public known about this settlement, the hazards of asbestos would have come to light decades earlier. In other word, lives would have been saved and lawsuits prevented if Big Asbestos had been even the slightest bit transparent about the dangers almost a century ago.
Estrogen May Impact Mesothelioma Prognosis: Researchers in New South Wales, Australia may have found one of the reasons for survival differences in men and women with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma. The key may be in their hormones. The sex hormone estradiol is produced by the ovaries and the adrenal gland in women and is an active metabolic product of testosterone (though in much lower levels) in men. The most important form of estrogen in the body, estradiol has been shown to be involved in cellular proliferation of a number of cancers and acts mainly through estrogen receptors.
Changes in Lung Function after Mesothelioma Surgery: Mesothelioma patients pursue surgery in the hopes that the operation will — at least partially — reduce their symptoms. But what if their surgery makes those symptoms worse? According to a new study, patients who opt for an extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) may lose a significant amount of their lung function. Because the procedure removes one full lung and its lining, that’s not completely unexpected. However, many patients have a much harder time breathing after their operation — and that’s saying a lot, considering the amount of stress mesothelioma tumors place on the respiratory system.
Get checked for asbestos: A SWINDON GP has claimed all organisations with a building should make sure they are inspected to ensure they are safe from the threat of asbestos-related diseases. Dr Peter Swinyard, the chairman of The Family Doctor Association, said that building owners have a responsibility to make sure that those who use them are protected. The warning comes following claims that asbestos may be found in up to 75 per cent of schools in the UK. “If you have a building which you may consider toxic of course it is your responsibility to make it safe for whoever uses it be it children or teachers,” Dr Swinyard told Radio Five Live.
Asbestos Mesothelioma Risk Increased By Other Fibers: Asbestos is a fibrous mineral mined and used for decades in products ranging from insulation to cement, floor and ceiling tiles, adhesives, and friction products. It has been more than forty years since scientists confirmed the link between asbestos and malignant pleural mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer of the lining around the lungs and its use is now heavily regulated in the U.S. In recent years, another mineral called erionite, has also been implicated in mesothelioma cases. Now, a study conducted in France suggests that two other types of mineral particles used in industry may increase the risk of mesothelioma, particularly in people who are also exposed to asbestos. Researchers in Bordeaux, France compared the cases of 1,199 male industrial workers with mesothelioma with 2,370 healthy industrial workers, paying close attention to each worker’s level of exposure to asbestos, mineral wool and silica.
Mesothelioma Experts to Meet for 3rd International Symposium on Lung-Sparing Therapies for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma May 18th: Mesothelioma experts will gather on Saturday, May 18th 2013 for the 3rd Annual International Symposium on Lung-Sparing Therapies for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma at the Sheraton Delfina in Santa Monica, CA. Dr. Robert B. Cameron, M.D., Director of the UCLA Mesothelioma Comprehensive Research Program, Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center and Scientific Advisor at Pacific Meso Center (, will again lead this year’s symposium. Dr. Cameron has been a leading proponent of lung-sparing pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) surgical procedures for malignant pleural mesothelioma for nearly 20 years.
New Mesothelioma Cell Analysis Technique May be Borrowed from Astronomers: Cancer researchers are now taking tips from astronomers when it comes to analyzing cell slides. In order to definitively diagnose many cancers, especially rare cancers such as mesothelioma, a tissue biopsy must be examined through a microscope to identify abnormal cells. However, if researchers in the UK have their way, an automated process borrowed from their science comrades who focus on outer space could make microscopic analysis a thing of the past.
Health region and city ready for asbestos legislation: With government legislation coming through that would allow the public to know what buildings contain asbestos, the local health region and city are being proactive. At the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region, an asbestos survey that began in 2008 was completed a couple months ago.
Humphrey Considers Legal Action Over Asbestos: A Canterbury medical officer of health is considering legal action to force EQC to reveal how many homes contain asbestos hidden by earthquake repairs. EQC came under fire for refusing to divulge the number of homes with concealed asbestos at a Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) meeting yesterday. CDHB medical officer of health Dr Alistair Humphrey told the board he had asked EQC to provide the information and the name of the health and safety expert who signed off on the asbestos process, but said the commission had declined his request. Humphrey’s call for a moratorium on the process has “basically been ignored”.
Labour Euro MPs lead initiative to remove asbestos from the EU: Labour Euro MPs have been successful in getting a new initiative on removing asbestos from public buildings in the EU overwhelmingly accepted by the European Parliament by a large majority (558 votes in favour – 51 against). The report called for the removal of asbestos from all public buildings and buildings requiring public access by 2028, an EU-wide model for screening and registration of asbestos, and a roadmap for its removal.
Consultants prosecuted for providing false and misleading information about asbestos: The NSW EPA has successfully prosecuted another environmental consultant for making a false statement about asbestos, in a signal that the EPA is taking waste management laws very seriously. It’s a timely reminder for land owners, occupiers and developers to take care in engaging consultants and reviewing their work, and for consultants to ensure their work is true and accurate and withstands scrutiny, even if they are only trying to assist their clients. The Court’s decision in late February in Environment Protection Authority v Aargus Pty Ltd [2013] NSWLEC 19 also indicates the tough line the EPA is taking in alternative sentencing options, with potentially severe commercial consequences, and the Court’s preparedness to consider those options.
MISC. (1)
Federal officials seek mine cleanup in NWT over arsenic, asbestos fears: Federal officials are scrambling to clean up a crumbling, abandoned northern gold mine that is in imminent danger of releasing massive amounts of arsenic, asbestos and other toxins. “It’s pretty scary stuff,” said Mark Palmer, senior adviser on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development’s Giant Mine Project, which describes a proposed cleanup of collapsing, poison-filled buildings and caverns on the shore of Great Slave Lake as an emergency response. “We are worried they are going to fall down and if that happens there will be a release.”

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