By Beth Swantek, http://www.asbestos.com
An asbestos exposure mishap at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis not only delayed a renovation project at an estimated cost of $350,000, but it also exposed park service employees and others to the cancer-causing mineral.
Last November, workers with contractor McCarthy Building Companies cut into asbestos insulation around an old steam pipe at the museum. Park officials responded by evacuating the area and halting renovations.
According to Kathy Schneider, project manager for the National Parks Service, the delay would normally last only a few days while the area was sealed and the pipe removed.
In this case, McCarthy workers determined they severed the same pipe a month earlier, not realizing deadly asbestos had contaminated the area. Read more
By Rex Hall Jr., http://www.mlive.com/
A Kalamazoo woman who was behind a salvage operation that federal prosecutors say led to the largest release of toxic asbestos in the state’s history will spend the next three years on probation, according to court documents.
In February, LuAnne LaBrie, formerly known as LuAnne McClain, pleaded guilty to failing to notify federal or state authorities that asbestos material would be stripped and removed at the former Consumers Energy power plant in Comstock Township.
In March, LaBrie also pleaded guilty in federal court to misdemeanor charges of failing to timely file a tax return in 2011 and 2012 on income of more than $1.75 million in proceeds from the salvage job.
LaBrie’s two co-defendants, Cory Hammond, of Hastings, and Robert “Mike” White,” of Kalamazoo, who supervised the salvaging of scrap metal at the power plant, pleaded guilty in February to failing to adequately wet asbestos material during the operation. Read more
By: Angela Reighard,http://www.wkyt.com/
Roger and Evelyn Hall are holding onto each other a little tighter these days.
Roger was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Mesothelioma about one year ago.
He taught history at the old Letcher High School from 1976 to 2003.
“If you wanted to have a decent life, you had to become a doctor, a lawyer, school teacher, so on. So, I figured a school teacher is easy enough,” Roger Hall said.
Hall spent a lot of time in the break room at the high school. It’s now an office at Letcher Elementary. He said he ate lunch there.
“You had no thought that you were limiting your life,” Hall said.
When he found out he had Mesothelioma, he did some research. One thing kept coming up: asbestos.
“When I asked several people I worked with is there asbestos in that school? They said it was loaded with it,” Hall said.
Hall filed a lawsuit against various members of the school district saying asbestos exposure caused his cancer.
As of today, the principal of Letcher Elementary says they are dealing with asbestos.
“We always kind of knew it was here. We just assumed it was being taken care of the way it was supposed to be taken care of,” Letcher Elementary Principal Wendy Rutherford said.
Rutherford said in the seven years she’s worked at Letcher Elementary, the custodians have followed protocol. They clean and wax the tile in order to prevent asbestos exposure.
The hallway in the school was recently sealed. However, some classrooms and the cafeteria still have the old tile.
“It is something I do think we need to address just for the safety of our students and staff and to help with fears any people have,” Rutherford said. “I think it’s a wise call for our board to remove the tile.” Read more
By Eric Gaillard, Reuters.com
A Kiwi professor has developed a new treatment that has already saved one man’s life and could possibly help thousands more defeat mesothelioma – an aggressive cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. The disease results in death shortly after diagnosis.
ADRI researchers teamed up with a Sydney-based biotech company, EnGenelC, to use a “futuristic new drug delivery system that relies on nanotechnology and guiding antibodies.” Using animal models, human mesothelioma tumors have been treated with antibody-guided minicells containing microRNA mimics – a combination dubbed TargomiRs.
“We have found an amazing inhibition of tumor growth. The results were far in excess of what have been seen with other experimental therapies in this model, and we are very excited about it,” ADRI senior researcher Dr Reid said.
Putting the microRNA inside nanocells was pretty much like using a Trojan horse, Dr Reid told ABC Australia.
“A nanocell is a delivery vehicle. You can package basically anything in there that you like, so a chemotherapy drug — or in our case a mini-gene — and then it’s injected into the body.” Read more
By Richard Mize, http://newsok.com/
A Moore man who sued more than a dozen companies for what he described as decades of negligent workplace exposure to asbestos prevailed against two of them for a judgment of $6 million in a jury trial in Oklahoma County District Court.
Michael D. Galier, 51, filed the product liability lawsuit in 2012 after he was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. A jury found for him in his claims against Murco Wall Products of Fort Worth, Texas, and Welco Manufacturing Co. of North Kansas City, Mo.
The jury found a third defendant, Red Devil Inc. in Tulsa, not liable. Judge Bryan C. Dixon dismissed Oklahoma City’s M-D Building Products Inc., formerly Macklanburg-Duncan, from the suit last year but did not bar Galier from filing another suit on the same claims.
Jurors awarded no punitive damages in the case, which was decided May 18.
Galier, who owns and maintains rent houses, referred questions to attorney Jessica Dean of the Dallas law firm Dean Omar Branham.
Dean said asbestos lawsuits rarely go to a verdict. Her response to the success of this rare case?
“Grateful,” Dean said. “The jury was thoughtful and attentive in a case that lasted over two weeks. The company lawyers had more lawyers and resources and argued everything to muddy the issues. We focused on the central issue: Mike worked in home construction for years where these companies supplied asbestos products and did so when they were fully aware that those using the products and their families were at real risk of dying from cancer.” Read more
By Matthew Brown, Associated press
A long-delayed cleanup proposal for a Montana community where thousands have been sickened by asbestos exposure would leave some of the dangerous material inside houses rather than remove it, as government officials seek to wind down an effort that has lasted more than 15 years and cost $540 million.
Details on the final cleanup plan for Libby, Montana, and the neighboring town of Troy were to be released Tuesday by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Health workers have estimated that as many as 400 people have been killed and almost 3,000 sickened by asbestos dust from a W.R. Grace and Co. vermiculite mine that operated outside Libby for decades.
Asbestos-containing vermiculite would be left behind only where it does not pose a risk of exposure to people, such as underground or sealed behind the walls of a house, EPA Libby team leader Rebecca Thomas said.
“You might have vermiculite in the walls. But as long as it’s sealed within plaster or behind drywall and nobody can breathe it, it does not pose a risk,” Thomas said.
Some residents worry the material eventually would escape. An EPA research panel concluded last year that even the slightest exposure to asbestos from Libby can scar lungs and cause other health problems. Read more
By Brian Melley, Associated Press
Jurors deliberated for two hours Tuesday before finding that New York-based Colgate was 95 percent responsible for Judith Winkel’s mesothelioma, a fatal lung disease, according to her lawyers. The verdict included $1.4 million in damages for her husband.
Winkel’s lawyers said she got the rare cancer from using Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder.
“This is an example of the legal system exposing what a company should have been honest about 50 years ago,” attorney Chris Panatier said. “Judith Winkel only wanted a jury to hear the truth about this product and hopefully to help others who are similarly exposed.”
While billions of dollars have been paid in verdicts and settlements to people sickened by exposure to asbestos, it’s often in cases related to use of the mineral in construction materials or insulation. Tiny fibers of the carcinogen can be breathed in and lodge in the lungs, leading to fatal illnesses such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.
The Food and Drug Administration conducted a study more than five years ago that found no asbestos in cosmetics it tested containing talcum powder. However, the agency said there’s been concern about asbestos contamination in talc since the 1970s. Some studies have shown a possible association between use of talc powders and ovarian cancer but have not conclusively linked the two, the agency said. Read more
By Tim Povtak, http://www.asbestos.com/
Sheet metal workers rarely handle asbestos directly, but they remain seven times more likely to die from mesothelioma – the rare cancer caused by it – than the general population, a recent study shows.
The findings published earlier this year in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine reiterated the long-held but increasingly-debated belief that even indirect exposure to toxic asbestos remains a serious threat, long after its use as a building material was reduced dramatically in the U.S.
“The most important thing to take from this study is that you didn’t have to work with asbestos directly to be in danger,” Dr. Laura Welch, medical director at the Center for Construction Research and Training in Silver Springs, Maryland, told Asbestos.com. “All you had to do is be around it.” Read more
By Dane Placko, FOX 32 News Investigative Reporter
A southwest suburban contractor is suing the city claiming it hid dangerous asbestos buried under a construction site.
The site is now a police station on the near South Side at 14th and Blue Island.
The 12th District Chicago police station has been open for two years. However, the battle over what was discovered underground will rage on.
Fox 32: you call this an act of fraud?
“I did. And we do. We believe they fraudulently induced Harbour contractors to enter into the contract,” said attorney Charles Lewis.
Lewis represents Harbour contractors of southwest suburban Plainfield, which has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the Public Building Commission of Chicago. That agency, which is headed by the mayor and made up of political appointees, is in charge of building and financing new construction for the city of Chicago and Cook County.
In 2010 the Public Building Commission, or “PBC,” awarded Harbour a 20-million dollar contract to build the new police station at 14th and Blue Island, on the site of the old ABLA public housing project.
The PBC said that the site had been inspected by an environmental company and nothing dangerous was found. But soon after construction began, a subcontractor employed by Harbour discovered underground heating pipes wrapped in cancer-causing asbestos running throughout the property. Read More