Asbestos in the News: Issue 33

Asbestos in the News: Issue 33
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 10 stories we thought may interest you!
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Union Carbide Guilty of Cover-Up: Union Carbide paid expert witnesses during the trial to explain to the court that the asbestos the company previously used did not cause cancer. However, internal documents that were more than 40 years old provided proof that Union Carbide knew its asbestos-containing products caused cancer and also that company doctors had advised Union Carbide to stop marketing the asbestos as “safe.” Despite warnings, Union Carbide continued to use asbestos for nearly two decades, risking the lives and health of workers. The punitive damages for Mr. Izell were awarded at $1 million for every year that Union Carbide continued to use asbestos products following initial documentation of internal memos recognizing the dangers of the fibers.
Indian Lake Central asbestos abatement moving forward: Indian Lake Central School Superintendent Mark Brand announced Oct. 16 at the Board of Education meeting that the abatement of the asbestos in the building is under way. Asbestos was surprisingly discovered under the science lab and the superintendent’s office as well as in the records room recently during construction. The abatement in these areas is to be completed within two weeks. It was also reported that actual costs of abatement appears at this point to be coming in considerably lower than was conservatively estimated at the outset. However, the actual cost for the laboratory monitoring of the abatement will be incurred on an hourly basis and will not be known until the abatement in these areas is complete.
Asbestos Removal in High School May Start in April: The music rooms and main gym at Westlake High School may be closed as early as April to begin removing asbestos, it was revealed at Monday’s Board of Education meeting. Dave Puffer, supervisor for construction projects for Westlake City Schools, said environmental regulations for removing asbestos made getting started earlier key to finishing the demolition of the high school on schedule. Asbestos is made up of fibrous minerals that, because of their strength and resistance to heat and chemicals, were used in a variety of products, including ceiling tiles. Asbestos is connected with lung diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Baucus visits Libby asbestos clinic: Montana Senator Max Baucus toured the new and improved CARD clinic in Libby, which helps research and diagnose asbestos related illnesses while helping those that already suffer from symptoms. The Center for Asbestos Related Diseases clinic broke ground on a new facility nearly two years ago and after construction, the CARD clinic now, sees and diagnoses nearly 800 new patients with asbestosis every year. Baucus stopped by Wednesday to see first hand the new improvements to the facility, which leads the nation in diagnoses and research to help those affected by asbestos related disease.

Scunthorpe widow calls for measures to prevent people dying from asbestos related diseases after loss of her husband: The widow of a man who died from cancer caused by exposure to asbestos has called for measures to be taken to prevent similar deaths. An inquest at Cleethorpes Town Hall heard Leonard Tong, 62, of Rochester Close, Scunthorpe, was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in May.
Asbestos Use in Power Plants Puts Construction Workers at Risk of Malignant Mesothelioma: A coroner in Great Britain is voicing concern about the number of construction workers at a nuclear power plant who have died of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a form of respiratory cancer linked to exposure to asbestos. According to a BBC report, West Somerset coroner Michael Rose said in the past 14 years, he had personally recorded the deaths of 26 construction workers at the Hinkley Point A power station who died of mesothelioma. Construction of the power plant began in 1957 and large quantities of asbestos were used as thermal insulation in the plant. Rose said it was impossible to tally the total number of workers at the plant whose deaths should be attributed to asbestos.
Asbestos found at Mullumbimby Hospital: ASBESTOS has been found in the soil beneath Mullumbimby Hospital, Northern Rivers health boss Chris Crawford has announced. In a statement released a few minutes ago, Mr Crawford said he was told today by an industrial hygienist monitoring air quality at the site about the new source of asbestors. The presence of asbestos in the Mullum hospital building has always been known about. However, this is the first evidence of asbestos at the hospital outside of specific areas.
Mass. AG Coakley settles over asbestos shingles removal: Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced a lawsuit on Wednesday against an Acushnet man who allegedly failed to properly remove asbestos shingles from three New Bedford homes he renovated. Ronald Oliveira allegedly failed to follow proper safety precautions and procedures when removing materials that contained asbestos from three multi-family homes. The lawsuit, filed in Suffolk Superior Court, seeks civil penalties of up to $25,000 per day for each Massachusetts Clean Air Act violation. “Asbestos removal must be done properly in order to prevent exposure to asbestos fibers, which can create serious health risks,” Coakley said.
MISC. (2)
ASK THE INSPECTOR: Asbestos tape can be covered, left alone: Asbestos in common building products has been a concern for several decades, especially when renovations or age deterioration occur. But health hazards usually only arise when the fibres become airborne, so asbestos-containing materials on your heating ducts should be a concern only if they are worn. Fortunately, you can probably deal with old tape on a few heating ducts in your basement in a cost-effective manner without professional help. Asbestos is a very fibrous material that has been used in countless products for decades because of its strength and fire resistance. Because it will not burn, it can be embedded in cement, wood fibre, vinyl and other building materials to improve resistant to fire.
Asbestos drama highlights role of probing journalist: WE’VE all heard of the courageous Bernie Banton and his legal battle against James Hardie for compensation for the victims of asbestos, of which he too was one. Banton, a former employee of James Hardie, died in 2007 from terminal asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma. Not many people, however, have heard about Matt Peacock, a journalist who played a pivotal role in uncovering the corruption and spin of the asbestos industry over three decades, from the 1970s until today. Peacock’s interview with Banton before he died was just one of 100 he conducted for his 2009 book Killer Company, which has now been translated into a compelling mini-series Devil’s Dust, produced by Fremantle Media for ABC TV.