Asbestos in the News: Issue 61

Asbestos in the News: Issue 61
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 21 stories we thought may interest you!
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FEATURED STORIES (6)
Libby Mesothelioma Deaths Lead to National Asbestos Awareness Week: For the seventh year in a row, Senator Baucus of Montana proposed legislation designating the first week of April for special focus on the prevalence of asbestos-related disease. The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the resolution and has designated the week of April 1-7 as National Asbestos Awareness Week. Baucus represents the residents of Montana where nearly 300 people died in Libby from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Libby, Montana is the site of the W.R. Grace mine and mill that shut down in 1990 and is blamed for widespread contamination from asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a known carcinogen and is proven to cause lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma, a serious cancer caused by breathing in the asbestos fibers that then become lodged in the thin membrane that lines and encases the lungs.
GOVERNMENT PROCLAIMS ASBESTOS AWARENESS WEEK: The Government of Saskatchewan is proclaiming April 1-7 as Asbestos Awareness Week. This week, marked globally by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, raises awareness about asbestos-related diseases and the risks of asbestos exposure. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 107,000 workers around the world die each year of an asbestos-related disease. “It’s important that workers know about asbestos and how to safely handle it so they can prevent exposure,” Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan said. “Older buildings may contain asbestos, so taking further action, like the creation of a mandatory registry is important for protecting Saskatchewan workers.”
No ban on asbestos factories in Bihar: The state government has not imposed ban on asbestos factories in Bihar, but such factories are to be set up only with Centre’s clearance, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said today. Replying to a short notice question by the BJP MLA Sanjay Singh Tiger in the state Assembly, he said the state government has not imposed ban on setting up asbestos factories nor was there any justification in doing so in the absence of any direction from the Centre.
Asbestos health risk persists, says organization president: Linda Reinstein, president of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), says the United States continues to endanger public health by importing asbestos, a known carcinogen. Reinstein says, “I am especially concerned about workers exposed to asbestos during renovations, construction, and natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy.” She added that since 2003, asbestos-related diseases have claimed more than 100,000 lives, including that of her husband. The ADAO cites statistics that say construction workers are 11 times more likely to develop the lung disease mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure than other workers.
Quebec government about to ban asbestos?: According to today’s Le Soleil newspaper, the Quebec Minister of Health, Réjean Hébert, stated to a Le Soleil journalist that the new Parti Québécois government of Pauline Marois is preparing to ban the use of asbestos. The minister noted that during the recent election campaign in Quebec, “Our government took a position against the mining, export and use of asbestos.” In the past few days, Radio-Canada released a report, obtained via an Access to Information request, which showed that more than a hundred hospitals and youth centres in Quebec contain asbestos.
U.S. Investment Companies and their Mutual Funds Discovered to Invest in Brazilian Asbestos Mine: In 2012 All Asbestos Imported to the United States Originated from Brazil. The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) held a press conference Thursday, April 4, detailing the facts behind the continued, sole-sourced asbestos importation from Brazil – funded in part by U.S. investors potentially unaware of the dangers associated with asbestos.
ASBESTOS in SCHOOLS (4)
Swenson Center move proposed: The Osawatomie school district has an aging building full of small children, asbestos and leaks, three schools with a lack of secure entrances and security measures and an elementary school without a functional tornado shelter on its hands.
Redfield Middle School passes AHERA inspections: In an article covering a recent meeting of the White Hall School Board printed in last weeks edition, the Journal incorrectly quoted a statement that was made by White Hall School Board Superintendent, Dr. Larry Smith, when giving the Superintendents report during the regular school board meeting which was held on March 12. The journal initially quoted Dr. Smith as saying “The Redfield Middle School Facilities are Asbestos free” when in fact, Dr. Smith said that “An AHERA 3 year re-inspection report at Redfield Middle School that was done to make sure we are in compliance with that. As part of that, we did have some samples done on some things that were questioned, and that was some roofing and debris found in the basement and there was no asbestos in any of that.”
Fury over asbestos classroom threat: Children and teachers are still at risk of developing cancer due to asbestos-riddled classrooms, trade unionists in Liverpool heard today. The National Union of Teachers demanded urgent action after the Department for Education told MPs that schools had a “duty to manage” the deadly cladding material – but not to remove it. Officials told the Commons education committee last week that the government’s policy was to “contain and actively manage asbestos and for its removal to be carried out correctly and safely (for example when buildings are demolished or refurbished, or when damage means that asbestos is no longer safely contained).”
School Board OKs Removal Of Asbestos Tile At East Hartford’s Barnes School: The board of education unanimously approved a grant application Monday to help pay for the removal of approximately 15,000 square feet of asbestos floor tile from Barnes Elementary School. If approved by the town council and the State Department of Education, the grant would allow the town to receive a 72 percent reimbursement for construction costs from the state. Removal of the asbestos tile is expected to cost $200,000, according to the grant application prepared by Director of Facilities Albert S. Costa.
ASBESTOS and HEALTH (5)
New Detection System for Mesothelioma: A team of biotech scientists in New York have developed an electrochemical process they say can help clinicians detect mesothelioma cells in blood serum. The system works by detecting a protein (HAPLN1) known to be expressed at high levels in the blood serum of people with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Detecting mesothelioma as early as possible is of critical importance because mesothelioma is such a difficult cancer to treat. Associated with asbestos exposure, mesothelioma starts on the membrane around the lungs, heart, or abdomen. It typically grows quickly and does not respond to conventional treatments like chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Biomarkers like the HAPLN1 protein may be value if they can help clinicians distinguish mesothelioma from other conditions with similar symptoms.
Sensors Implanted into Mesothelioma Tumors Will Be Another Step Towards Personalized Treatment: The World Health Organization estimates nearly 43,000 mesothelioma deaths worldwide each year. According to the latest statistics, nearly 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with the disease each year and close to 2,000 Great Britain residents die from the cancer each year. Now, with new research focusing on implants to monitor cancer tumors, mesothelioma patients may have improved chances of recovery.
Green Tea, Vitamin C, Chemo Fight Mesothelioma ‘Synergistically’: Another study has found that the beneficial compounds in green tea may be powerful mesothelioma fighters – especially when combined with other drugs and nutrients. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most abundant polyphenol in green tea and is a potent antioxidant. A number of studies have suggested that it may help the body combat various types of cancer, including mesothelioma. Recently, a group of Italian mesothelioma researchers combined EGCG with Vitamin C and a chemotherapy drug called gemcitabine to create a treatment combination called AND (Active Nutrients/Drug).
Mesothelioma cuts deep in Sarnia-Lambton: Trish Daubs is doing what she can to advance mesothelioma research so that no-one has to suffer like her parents did. The 53-year-old Forest woman’s father died in 2000 and doctors suspected, although it was never confirmed, he had the asbestos-related lung cancer. John McHenry had spent 35 years as an insulator at Imperial Oil and worked with asbestos all his life. Shortly after his death, Daubs’ grieving mother Georgina began exhibiting similar symptoms — weight loss, nausea and shortness of breath. Doctors at first refused to tell her mother what was wrong, Daubs said, but she was eventually told the truth and that there was no hope. A lung biopsy confirmed she had mesothelioma. She’d gotten sick from washing her husband’s asbestos-laden work clothes.
Non-Invasive Cancer Diagnosis Tool May Prove Useful to Mesothelioma Specialists: Researchers report through their pioneering use of the Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) they have developed a non-invasive process for early detection of cancer. The researchers report that this breakthrough “is a boon to understanding how different types of cells go awry when cancer hits.” This finding may be beneficial for identifying mesothelioma, and other cancers that are difficult to diagnose.
ASBESTOS in PUBLIC BUILDINGS (1)
Dale Farm asbestos find fuels concerns for health of evicted Travellers: The full extent of asbestos contamination of the Dale Farm site in Essex has been revealed, fuelling concern that the health of Travellers evicted from the plot and of nearby residents has been harmed. Two tonnes of waste, containing 13kg of asbestos cement, were identified and removed from the site near Basildon during a recent visit by environment health officers acting for the local council, a freedom of information request has revealed. Basildon borough council officials had earlier claimed that there was no “firm evidence” that asbestos or other contaminants that could affect health were on the site. Travellers allege that the asbestos was released after the destruction of buildings on the site, from which 86 families were evicted in October 2011.
LEGAL ISSUES and ASBESTOS (4)
Drywaller Awarded $27 Million for Asbestos Exposure: A drywall worker who built houses during the California housing boom in the 1970s, when asbestos was used in virtually every type of building material, has won a $27 million jury award for a cancer caused by the toxic substance. When he was still in high school in 1967, Michael Sutherland got a job as a drywaller and continued working on residential and office buildings in San Diego County for over 25 years. Sutherland would rush from job to job, particularly during the housing boom in California, barely noticing the clouds of dust around him.
Asbestos litigation case removed to federal court: A case that is part of the West Virginia asbestos litigation may now be heard in federal court. The action originally was filed in Kanawha County Circuit Court by Barbara E. Amick and her husband, Eldon Amick, against Allied Glove Corporation. In the suit, Barbara Amick said she was diagnosed with mesothelioma because of asbestos exposure from remodeling performed at her home. Amick also said she was exposed to asbestos her husband brought home from work.
OSHA Finds Asbestos at Police Activities League Youth Center: The Oregon Occupational Health and Safety Organization has cited the defunct Police Activities League of Greater Portland for three health violations, after finding asbestos in two restrooms in the PAL youth center in East Portland.
Company failed to protect staff from asbestos in building project: A COMPANY has been fined nearly £80,000 after workers were potentially exposed to deadly asbestos dust during the renovation of a former brewery building in Burton. Optima Cambridge Ltd admitted seven breaches of health and safety law and site foreman Dominik Jaslowski has been given a suspended jail term.
MISC. (1)
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Should Facility Managers Be Concerned About Asbestos?: Asbestos management should always be a priority for any facility manager. If a structure was built before 1980, there is a good chance that it was constructed with asbestos-containing materials. Instead of hiring an abatement contractor to come in and remove asbestos, many facilities choose to manage it in an attempt to avoid exposure and save money. The cost of asbestos removal can be an expensive process and as long as asbestos containing materials are in good condition, they do not pose health risks to employees. Maintenance workers are possibly the most at risk for asbestos exposure in facilities that contain asbestos. Through repairs or the installation of new materials, asbestos can be disturbed and workers typically don’t protect themselves to prevent exposure.

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