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The children who played with asbestos

By Francesca Williams, BBC News

Children in a County Durham village used to spend their days playing with lethal asbestos from a local factory. One, now 51, has cancer. What will happen to the rest?

It is the late 1960s and a little girl is playing hopscotch on a grid she has marked out – not with chalk, but a lump of asbestos.Caroline Wilcock

Forty-five years later she will be contemplating the cancerous mesothelioma in her lungs which is “growing out like a fungus”.

“I was doomed from then,” Caroline Wilcock says. “There was nothing I could have done between then and now to make a difference. I’m pleased I didn’t know it.”

She was one of many children in Bowburn who, between 1967 and 1983, played with asbestos from the factory opposite her house.

Its parent company, Cape Intermediate Holdings, is paying her a “substantial” out-of-court settlement, although it has denied liability for her illness.

Caroline describes a white, chalky film of asbestos dust on “the grass, the flowers and the bushes”. It also settled on window ledges.

The mothers were less impressed. Ann Sproat, a friend of Caroline’s sister, remembers them constantly cleaning.

“If cleaning wasn’t done we couldn’t see out the windows,” she says. “It was coming down like little dust particles, like tiny little aniseed balls.” Read More

Searching for the Magic Bullet Against Cancer Caused by Asbestos: One Step Closer?

By Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO), http://www.shro.org

Mesothelioma is a very aggressive cancer associated with asbestos exposure, which is usually diagnosed in an advanced stage. So far no therapeutic strategy has proven effective against this deadly cancer and the prognosis remains very poor with only few exceptions.

In December, the research team of Antonio Giordano, an internationally renowned pathologist, Director and Founder of the Sbarro Health Research Organization in Philadelphia, PA (www.shro.org) and Professor of Pathology and Oncology at the University of Siena, Italy, published two separate studies aiming to address the urgent need to identify possible new methods for mesothelioma treatment. Read More

‘Ray of hope’ for sufferers of asbestos disease mesothelioma

By Nonee Walsh, http://www.abc.net.au

A new treatment for the asbestos-related disease, mesothelioma, is offering a ray of hope to victims of the deadly cancer, researchers say.

The Asbestos Diseases Research Institute in Sydney has published the results of laboratory testing of a novel genetic treatment in the international Journal Oncology.

The treatment uses bacterial mini cells which have no genetic information to carry messenger cells, or micro RNA, into mesothelioma tumours.

The mini cells are protected with a coating of anti-bodies that protect them on the way to the target.

Scientists say it appears to be halting the growth of cancer in animals.

“Over the course of the experiment, which was about a month in duration, we found that the tumours didn’t increase in size at all,” said senior researcher Doctor Glen Reid.

Dr Reid says low levels of micro RNAs in mesothelioma cells could be contributing to the rapid growth of the cancer.

“We find that the growth of the tumours is strongly repressed,” he said.

“So this is quite an exciting discovery, that micro RNA’s themselves can inhibit the growth of a tumour in an animal.” Read More

Short-term asbestos exposure triggers mesothelioma

Reported by http://www.survivingmesothelioma.com

The recent death of a British man from mesothelioma is evidence of the destructive power of asbestos – even when exposure is short.

A British newspaper reports that Welwyn resident Roger Beale first began experiencing a classic symptom of mesothelioma, shortness of breath, nearly 4 years ago. Beale first noticed the problem while walking up stairs. After a chest X-ray, Beale’s symptoms were attributed to a chest infection.

But when his symptoms continued to worsen, Beale sought medical care again in January, 2010 and was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, an intractable cancer of the lung lining that is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. By November of 2010, Beale’s shortness of breath had gotten worse, despite regular monitoring and treatment and he died at the age of 67.

Although mesothelioma is alarmingly common in the UK, the region with the world’s highest per capita rate of the cancer, Beale’s case was unique. To his knowledge, his only known exposure to the asbestos dust that triggered his mesothelioma occurred in 1967 for only two to three days. It was during that time that Beale worked in a factory where he was required to cut asbestos with a circular saw. Without protection, Beale likely inhaled a substantial amount of the deadly asbestos dust that is the primary cause of mesothelioma. Read More

 

Asbestos: the killer we allow to remain with us

English: Photo of Bauer Elementary Miamisburg,...

English: Photo of Bauer Elementary Miamisburg, Ohio. Asbestos Warning! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Larry Graham, http://www.watoday.com.au

Governments, unions and companies were, and remain, culpable for the spread of the killer asbestos – the result of their handiwork is that over 50,000 Australians have died.

Every day in this state another person dies as a result of exposure to this terrible product. There is no safe level of exposure to it and there is no cure for the diseases it causes, but somehow we still allow the killer asbestos to remain with us.

The diseases that asbestos causes are horrible, particularly the effects of mesothelioma, which has been described to me as akin to being slowly strangled to death, or having concrete set in your lungs. The period from exposure to diagnosis can be a very long time but once diagnosed there is no cure and it is a death sentence.

Of the folklore surrounding this killer product, the one that enrages me most is that those in authority were not aware of the dangers.

There have been formal health warnings about the dangers of asbestos since the 19th century but still every day governments and companies continue to use this pathetic defence.  They regularly lose their court cases because it is just not true, has never been true and they know it. Read more

Asbestos still an issue at Nunavut gold mine: Agnico-Eagle

Asbestos fibres - a single fibre is believed t...

Asbestos fibres – a single fibre is believed to cause mesothelioma (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

By Samantha Dawson, http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca

 

More than a year after Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. first detected naturally-occurring asbestos found at its Meadowbank gold mine near Baker Lake, the company continues to deal with asbestos at the mine site.

 

Asbestos is often associated with gold-rich rocks.

 

The problem is that asbestos is also linked to a variety of lung ailments and cancers, mainly affecting those who have worked or used asbestos in their everyday jobs for many years, according to the Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Center.

 

After finding asbestos in samples taken from the mill’s crusher plant, “we took this issue very seriously and immediately notified regulators,” Norm Ladouceur, the mine’s health and safety superintendent, said at the recent Nunavut Mining Symposium in Iqaluit. Read More

 

W.R. Grace & Co. To Pay $250 Million in Record Asbestos Settlement

3/12/2008 9:59:58 AM In the largest asbestos-related settlement on record, W.R. Grace & Co. (GRA) agreed Tuesday to reimburse the federal government $250 million. The money was used by the government in the town of Libby, Montana, where hundreds of people were sickened by asbestos, including some that died. The investigation and cleanup cost the taxpayers $168 million, with another $175 million likely.

The record payout is awaiting approval by a federal bankruptcy judge. The funding for the cleanup was originally taken from the government’s Superfund environmental cleanup program, and the $250 million from W.R. Grace & Co. will reimburse taxpayers….

Read the full story at RTT News: Global Financial Newswires

Attorney General suing Slotky, Huff over asbestos

Jury awards more than $30 million to family in asbestos death

| AP Business Writer

The award is believed to be the largest in New Jersey for mesothelioma, an aggressive lung cancer, said the lawyer, Moshe Maimon.

The disease killed 50-year-old Mark Buttitta in 2002, although he had only handled auto parts containing asbestos while working summers at giant GM warehouses in New Jersey, Maimon said…..

National Infrastructure Decay Underscores Asbestos Crisis

Aging Structures Highlight Asbestos Complications in Renovation, Repair

Syracuse, New York 2/08/2008 07:52 PM GMT (FINDITT)

Recent reports of national infrastructure problems have illustrated a potential crisis in the coming years as antiquated asbestos fixtures will have to be removed to comply with federal guidelines.

Infrastructure may not be high on the list of perceived threats to our country’s safety and security but attention to the problem is gaining momentum following a slew of accidents in the summer of 2006, including a Manhattan steam pipe rupture and the tragic bridge collapse in Minneapolis. Few people realize however, that these infrastructure maladies are much more widespread and preventing their remedy in many cases is the complications of asbestos. While most asbestos-containing materials were banned nearly three decades ago, they still remain in most buildings that contained them originally. When these materials are left undisturbed and intact, they are generally harmeless. As they age however, they break down slowly, becoming increasingly more dangerous…

Full Story at TransWorldNews