Asbestos in the News: Issue 62

Asbestos in the News: Issue 62
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 20 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.
What is Mesothelioma?: No doubt you’ve seen commercials about mesothelioma and know that it is usually caused by exposure to asbestos and that there a lots of law firms in the country eager to represent victims. Have you ever met someone with mesothelioma? I haven’t, but I was recently contacted by Cameron Von St. James, whose wife Heather was diagnosed with it seven years ago. He wanted to know if I would be interested in sharing their story on my Catching Health blog. At my request, he sent me additional information. When I started reading it, I quickly realized that they both write for a mesothelioma web site sponsored by a law firm, which raised a red flag for me. I told him so and decided that I needed to think carefully about how to proceed. My conclusion was Heather Von St. James’ story is compelling and should be shared, if for no other reason than because it’s an opportunity to be inspired by a young woman with a deep appreciation for life — her own and others.
Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) Identifies US Financial Institutions and Investment Funds who are Shareholders in Brazilian Asbestos Mining Operations: The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) today unveiled the facts behind the continued importation of more than 1,000 tons of asbestos from Brazil mining operations that are in part funded by U.S. investors potentially unaware of its dangers. Some of the US financial institutions and investment funds Eternit S.A. shareholders include: Mellon Capital Management Corporation, The Vanguard Group, Inc., and State Street Global Advisors. In addition, California, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Texas have been identified as ports of entry for Brazilian asbestos.
U.S. asbestos imports condemned by health experts, activists: More than 50 countries have banned asbestos, a toxic mineral used in building materials, insulation, automobile brakes and other products. The United States isn’t one of them. Last year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, 1,060 metric tons — more than 2.3 million pounds — came into the country, all of it from Brazil. “Based on current trends,” the USGS says, “U.S. asbestos consumption is likely to remain near the 1,000-ton level …” Public health experts and anti-asbestos activists find this distressing.
Mesothelioma News: U.S. Surgeon General Releases Statement on Asbestos: Importance of National Asbestos Awareness Week (April 1 to 7), Dr. Regina Benjamin, the Surgeon General of the United States, issued a statement to the people of the U.S., stressing the dangers of asbestos exposure. Benjamin began her statement by urging Americans to educate themselves about the dangers of the toxic mineral, explaining its natural occurrence in the environment and outlining its use in construction materials. The Surgeon General also explained the risks of disturbing existing asbestos and outlined the major health concerns associated with the inhalation of fibers, which can occur when an individual encounters the friable form of the material. In addition, she cited those who should be most concerned about asbestos exposure and at high risk for developing diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma.
Woman to sue council after contracting cancer which she believes is due to asbestos-riddled school: A FORMER school pupil is taking legal action against a council after she was diagnosed with cancer. Sandra Naylor has mesothelioma, an aggressive form of lung cancer, caused by exposure to asbestos dust. The 50-year-old, whose maiden name is Turner, was at Caldervale High School, Airdrie in the 70s, shortly after the building was constructed.
Deadly Asbestos Resides in Three-Quarters of British Schools: Asbestos now kills nearly four times as many teachers in the UK than in the 1980s. This is just one of the harrowing statistics to come out of Spencers Solicitors research into the killer disease. In support of International Asbestos Awareness Week (1-7 April) Spencers has released an infographic to visualise the severity of the asbestos threat in Britain’s schools. It’s the latest effort from the law firm that is determined to push the issue higher up the political agenda and see justice for innocent victims. With mesothelioma, a form of cancer directly related to asbestos, more than twice as prevalent in the UK than in France, Germany or the United States, the on-going Spencers campaign is aimed at helping to drive the killer disease from British schools.
Potential Breakthrough for Early Mesothelioma Diagnosis: Another potential breakthrough in the quest for early detection of malignant mesothelioma may be on the horizon with some help from lactic acid … and you don’t need to suffer a muscle cramp to get results. One of the biggest reasons that a mesothelioma diagnosis often still comes with a grim prognosis is that the cancer has spread before it is positively identified, eliminating surgery as a treatment option.
Overall Number of Cancer Survivors Increasing, Number of Mesothelioma Deaths Rising Slightly: After recovering from the initial shock of being diagnosed with mesothelioma, most patients turn their thoughts to their treatment plan. Their primary goal is to kill as many of the cancer cells as possible offering them a longer, higher quality of life while battling the disease. Ultimately, mesothelioma patients want to become cancer survivors.
Asbestos exposure found at Britannia Hotels: A leading hotel chain has been hit with a £200,000 bill after construction workers and guests were put at risk of asbestos exposure at a Kent hotel. Cheshire-based Britannia Hotels Ltd failed to ensure a full asbestos assessment was carried out before refurbishment was undertaken at a wing of the Grand Burstin Hotel in Harbour Way, Folkestone, in spring 2010.
‘Asbestos producer must pay for half Galilee cleanup’: Ruling against the appeal of a former asbestos production firm, the High Court of Justice decided on Tuesday that the Etanit company will remain responsible for half the cost of cleanup of the dangerous chemical in the Western Galilee. “This is a precedent-setting ruling and groundbreaking toward everything that touches upon responsibility of the manufacturer,” said Amit Bracha, executive director of Adam Teva V’Din (Israel Union for Environmental Defense).
Govt rules out closure of asbestos factories in Bhojpur: Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Tuesday ruled out closure of asbestos factories in Bhojpur district. Replying to a starred question of Sanjay Singh Tiger of BJP, Modi said the two factories at Gidha and Bihiya in Bhojpur were running with the approval of the pollution control board and after getting clearance under the Pollution Control Act of 1986. Modi said the factories would not be closed. According to him, even the Supreme Court while deciding a case in 2004 had observed that there was no authentic study to suggest pollution from asbestos factories causing cancer.
Asbestos case: Authorities drop probation revocation: Federal authorities have moved to dismiss probation revocation proceedings against a former Amarillo business owner who pleaded guilty to negligently releasing asbestos into the air. Jack R. Coiner, owner of Asbestos Maintenance Services Inc., pleaded guilty in 2009 to the asbestos charge and was sentenced in 2010 to four years’ probation.
Asbestos waste dumper gets suspended sentence: Dib Hanna was given a three-month suspended prison sentence for dumping 80 tonnes of the dangerous material in Sydney’s south-west. Hanna dumped eight truckloads of waste at a private property on Henry Lawson Drive at Picnic Point across Easter last year.
State lawmaker defends asbestos lawsuit changes: Asbestos-exposure lawsuits would be slowed until plaintiffs reveal how many businesses their attorneys plan to go after under a bill introduced Thursday by a Republican lawmaker, who said the measure would prevent lawyers from hiding multiple claims in hopes of maximizing awards. Rep. Andre Jacque of De Pere told the Assembly Judiciary Committee during a public hearing that his bill would inject transparency into asbestos claims. The bill would help judges and jurors see how many defendants may be at fault for one person’s illness, ensuring they divvy up damages fairly, he said.
Judge approves $4M for Libby asbestos attorneys: A state judge has ruled that lawyers for victims of asbestos exposure in a contaminated Montana town are entitled to more than $4 million in fees and expenses out of a $19.6 million settlement with chemical manufacturer W.R. Grace and Co. Some victims had objected to the amount as excessive. They wanted the money to go toward future medical care for more than 2,200 people sickened by asbestos dust from a Grace mine near Libby.
Bills would reduce corporate taxes, increase mesothelioma payouts in Missouri: Around 100 Lake area businesspeople gathered at Tan-Tar-A resort on March 27 for the Lake of the Ozarks Business Conference. State Representative Diane Franklin and Associated Industries of Missouri representative Ray McCarty got right down to business, updating the group on recent legislative issues in Missouri that hold specific impacts for businesses.
Asbestos incident leads to $850,000 judgment against owner: A Jefferson County judge has ordered Arthur David Sugar and several of his affiliated companies to pay an $850,000 civil penalty resulting from the improper demolition of the former Weirton Steel facility in Steubenville and the subsequent asbestos contamination. “Asbestos is widely known to be a dangerous, cancer-causing material which must be abated in any demolition,” Attorney General DeWine said. “The aggressive penalty issued against the defendants in this case shows that endangering Ohioans by failing to properly manage asbestos will not be tolerated.”
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NSW govt plan to tackle asbestos: A PLAN to prevent more people from being exposed to asbestos has been unveiled by the NSW government in a bid to curb the growing death toll. Asbestos-related diseases claimed the lives of 201 people across the state in 2011 and this number is expected to rise each year until at least 2018. “Tragically, the number of people with asbestos-related diseases may increase in the next few years, as there is often a delay of up to 40 years between exposure and the onset of disease,” NSW Finance Minister Greg Pearce said on Wednesday.
Asbestos Levels Too High at Chicago Demolition Site: The contractors responsible for the demolition of a 9-story building on Chicago’s North Side failed to do their job correctly, resulting in the release of high levels of asbestos and a subsequent request for a work stoppage, reports a story aired on WTHI-TV 10. According to the story, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) is seeking a court order to stop the demolition of the building, constructed in 1923 and once home to a mental hospital and then a hotel. The agency has asked Chicago Attorney General Lisa Madigan to seek an injunction to prevent the contractors, Zidan Management Group and Dubai Construction, from tearing down the building, which contains a large amount of asbestos materials.
Quebec’s asbestos promotion policy may be ending: Quebec’s government appears to be on the verge of officially turning its back on the asbestos industry, according to comments made by the province’s natural resource minister. The ministry wants to end an 11-year-old policy of encouraging the use of asbestos in Quebec construction projects and is publicly questioning the implications of exporting chrysotile asbestos. “If even in Quebec, with all the monitoring bodies, we can’t see any case for which there is a safe use of asbestos, how can we ensure that it is used safely when we export it?” Natural Resources Minister Martine Ouellet said.

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