March 31, 2004

Upstate Father and Son Convicted of Leaving Behind Asbestos and Faking Air Test Results

When the Environmental Protection Agency began investigating in 1999, agents discovered everything from asbestos fibers to chunks of asbestos left behind at job sites where the Salvagno company, AAR Contractors, had performed work - often years earlier.

News Source: New York Times  |  Published: March 31, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Vandals damage school building under renovation, exposed to asbestos

Vandals who caused an estimated $100,000 damage to a school building under renovation in Homestead are being urged to seek medical treatment for possible asbestos exposure.

The vandalism occurred late Friday or early Saturday at the former St. Mary Magdalene grade school on East Tenth Avenue that will house the Propel Charter School-Homestead when it opens in September.

News Source: Pittsburghlive.com  |  Published: March 31, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Cancer study in James: Redux

"People who work in the building for many years are more concerned since the West Quad Project has begun," said McKenzie. Asbestos abatement being done by the International Asbestos Removal Inc. has been going on in preparation of the demolition of the Plaza building and offices moving in James Hall. According to a sign posted they are removing a type of asbestos called Vinyl Asbestos Tile (VAT), an asbestos containing material found in floor and ceiling covering. There is an estimated 20,942 square feet of material being removed.

News Source: Brooklyn College News  |  Published: March 31, 2004  |  Read Full Story

American Biltrite wins asbestos trial in Fort Worth

After a month-long trial, a Fort Worth, Texas, jury returned a defense verdict for American Biltrite Inc. and three other defendants in suits filed by siblings Paul and Suzanne Verret, each of whom was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. Trial lawyers successfully argued that American Biltrite's floor tile could not have caused the injury, and that neighborhood exposures to crocidolite asbestos from a nearby factory were the more likely cause of their cancer.

News Source: National Floor Trends  |  Published: March 31, 2004  |  Read Full Story

March 30, 2004

Fighting cancer

The life of an Olympia man was extended, and he spent three more years with his family as a participant in drug trials that led to approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of the first chemotherapy regimen for asbestos- related cancer.

Al Todak died Jan. 24, weeks before the FDA approved an Alimta-cisplatin combination to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs.

News Source: Olympian  |  Published: March 30, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Keesler moves ahead with privatizing housing

The 223 vacant homes contain asbestos and have few modern amenities such as large closets and garages. They will be torn down and replaced by about 100 new units.

News Source: Sun Herald  |  Published: March 30, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Ferry headquarters have a toxic history

Asbestos has been found in the building, and mold and lead paint are suspected of being present. The Environmental Protection Agency classified it as a Brownfield site in 2000. The EPA defines Brownfield sites as idled commercial sites where redevelopment "may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant."

News Source: Anchorage Daily News  |  Published: March 30, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Former state insurance chief accused of illegal hauling

Regulators had refused to issue Elliott's original company, Delmarva Construction Co., a new hauling license in late 2000 after citing the former state senator and statewide officeholder for permit and pollution violations involving illegal dumping, asbestos handling and releases of untreated sewage on his land.

News Source: News Journal  |  Published: March 30, 2004  |  Read Full Story

March 29, 2004

Health effects of asbestos

Although health problems associated with asbestos are most often found in people exposed for several years, some experts maintain that a single fiber of the substance can prove deadly.

News Source: Newsday.com  |  Published: March 29, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Trial lawyers say: If asbestos cases bad, why settle them?

If these thousands of people aren't sick from asbestos, why do major corporations with the best legal talent that money can buy agree to pay, in some cases, hundreds of millions of dollars to settle cases before trial?

News Source: MOBILE REGISTER  |  Published: March 29, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Asbestos Left From 1990 Cleanup Closes L.I. High School for Week

A sprinkling of asbestos left over from a botched cleanup 14 years ago forced a 1,500-student high school on Long Island to shut down Monday for a week as crews collect the toxic dust and scour the air.

News Source: New York Times  |  Published: March 29, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Removal of asbestos may cost $245,000

WEST PALM BEACH --Removing asbestos from the old downtown courthouse will add 2 1/2 months to the restoration project and $245,000 its cost.

News Source: PalmBeachPost.com  |  Published: March 29, 2004  |  Read Full Story

March 26, 2004

Defense Wins Asbestos Trial: Tarrant County Jury Exonerates Building Materials Manufacturer in Multimillion-Dollar Asbestos Trial

DALLAS, March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- After a month-long trial, a Fort Worth, Texas jury returned a defense verdict for American Biltrite, Inc. and the three other defendants in the suits filed by siblings Paul and Suzanne Verret, each of whom was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. American Biltrite, which was represented by Lane Young of Hawkins & Parnell in Atlanta and Ed Slaughter of Hawkins, Parnell & Thackston in Dallas, showed that its floor tile could not have caused their injury, and that neighborhood exposures to crocidolite asbestos from a nearby factory were the more likely cause of their cancer.

Mesothelioma is a rare but deadly cancer of the outside linings of the lungs. It is usually associated with asbestos exposure, and a frequent source of litigation, but can also occur in cases with no known exposure, such as the recent death of rock singer Warren Zevon. Trials involving mesothelioma are the highest stakes trials in this litigation, because of the tragic nature of the disease and the association with asbestos.

Plaintiffs claimed they were exposed to asbestos-containing construction materials marketed by each of the defendants which were used by their family business, West Side Home Improvement, from the time they were children into the 1980's. However, the evidence at trial suggested a more likely cause of the injury. The Verrets' family home was a half mile from a Johns Manville manufacturing facility where crocidolite asbestos was used in making cement pipe during their youth. Asbestos tailings from that plant were used in driveways and parking lots in the neighborhood where the Plaintiffs lived as children. Defense experts testified that the crocidolite asbestos from the Johns Manville plant was the most likely cause of their disease and that the presence of at least 19 other cases of mesothelioma in proximity to the plant represented a significant cancer cluster which supported their opinion about the cause of the Verrets' disease.

The defense also disputed any exposure to floor tile as trivial. Plaintiffs' own experts were forced to admit that studies of floor tile show no greater release of asbestos than occurs naturally in the ambient air of any American urban area.

While efforts to reform asbestos litigation are still a topic of debate in Congress, asbestos litigation continues at a record pace, involving more and more companies that have never before been a target in such litigation. Such companies have a need for attorneys with a track record of success in actually trying such cases before juries. Hawkins & Parnell attorneys have successfully represented corporations large and small in asbestos litigation across the country, and have a long record of defense verdicts in serious trial cases.

News Source: PR Newswire  |  Published: March 26, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Asbestos bill vexes Fontana

FONTANA - Geneva Hornsby attributes her lung cancer to doing her husband's laundry.

Her husband, Bill, worked as a ceiling installer for 38 years, using drywall products that contained asbestos. When Geneva, now 70, washed his clothes, she inhaled the asbestos-infused dust on his garments.

News Source: San Bernardino County Suns  |  Published: March 26, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Family members of asbestos victims lobby against settlement fund

WASHINGTON - Two Wisconsin women whose husbands have asbestos-related cancer came to Capitol Hill Thursday, lobbying against legislation that would establish a settlement fund to shield companies from further asbestos lawsuits.

News Source: Associated Press  |  Published: March 26, 2004  |  Read Full Story

March 25, 2004

School closes for asbestos testing

GENOA, Wis. - St. Charles Catholic School in Genoa is closed this week pending completion of an asbestos abatement cleanup, but officials say that if all goes as expected students will be back by Monday.

News Source: La Crosse Tribune  |  Published: March 25, 2004  |  Read Full Story

CONCERN AT SALINAS COURTHOUSE

Exhaust pipes expelling air from an area where asbestos is being removed from the Monterey County Courthouse in Salinas have some who work there concerned.

News Source: Monterey County Herald  |  Published: March 25, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Asbestos cleanup continues at site of fire

Crystostile asbestos was scattered throughout the area around 6400 S.E. 101st Ave. when a March 15 fire destroyed a building that housed Thermo Fluids, an oil recycling facility. The fire was started after contract workers operating a welding torch ignited a holding pool of diesel fuel and oil at the facility.

News Source: Daily Journal of Commerce  |  Published: March 25, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Landfill given 2 months to clean up property

A Lisbon area landfill will have two months to clean up a muddy mess on state Route 45 or risk getting shut down, a health official said Wednesday.

News Source: The Review  |  Published: March 25, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Cape ponders asbestos disease fund

INDUSTRIAL services group Cape is considering setting up a ring-fenced fund to finance future asbestos-related disease claims.

News Source: Evening Standard  |  Published: March 25, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Asbestos hits renovation generation

Yesterday, three mesothelioma sufferers gathered in Melbourne to help launch a new trust that will fund much-needed research into asbestos-related illness. The Slater & Gordon Asbestos Research Trust is aiming to win donations from business and government bodies to help in the search for a cure.

News Source: The Age Company  |  Published: March 25, 2004  |  Read Full Story

March 24, 2004

Murray again seeks asbestos ban

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., again is seeking a bill calling for a national ban on asbestos.

News Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer  |  Published: March 24, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF) Voices Continued Praise for 'Ban Asbestos in America Act'

WASHINGTON, March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF), the national organization dedicated to eradicating mesothelioma as a life-ending disease, today voiced its continued support for S.1115 -- the Ban Asbestos in America Act -- Sponsored by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). MARF, which seeks to find a cure for mesothelioma -- a life threatening cancer caused by exposure to asbestos -- made its comments at a press conference led by Senator Murray in the Dirksen Senate Office Building at 11 AM EST.

Dr. Harvey Pass, a mesothelioma medical expert and Chairman of MARF's Science Advisory Board and Dr. Bret Williams, a physician and recently diagnosed mesothelioma patient -- both spoke on behalf of MARF in support of S.1115, highlighting the importance of banning asbestos and funding research aimed at finding a cure for mesothelioma. Other speakers included Senator Murray, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senator Mark Dayton (D-MN). Attendees included approximately 30 mesothelioma patients and family members who traveled from across the nation to show support for the Ban Asbestos in America Act.

"Senator Patty Murray deserves much credit for taking the asbestos issue into its most critical direction -- the path towards ending exposure to asbestos, and finding a cure for the life-threatening diseases caused by exposure," according to MARF Executive Director Christopher Hahn. "The fact that approximately 30 mesothelioma patients and their families joined together today to voice support for the Ban Asbestos in America Act is a huge indicator that what we need most is a cure."

"Mesothelioma patients themselves are some of the greatest donators in order to move the field forward, and serve as an incredible example of compassion in the face of adversity," stated MARF Science Advisory Board Chairman Dr. Harvey Pass at today's press conference. "The medical, legal, industrial, and governmental community must now join as a team to promote programs which will lessen the anxiety for individuals at high risk for asbestos related cancers, by focusing on early detection, prevention strategies, and innovative treatments."

"I have never worked in a shipyard, nor in construction. My exposure to asbestos demonstrates how commonplace this carcinogen is in our lives," stated mesothelioma patient Dr. Bret Williams in remarks made at today's event. "There are millions with exposure histories like mine, including many of you. Ladies and gentlemen, any exposure places you at risk. The only way to protect future generations from asbestos is to ban the use of this substance."

News Source: PR Newswire  |  Published: March 24, 2004  |  Read Full Story

U.S. asbestos bill to Senate April 19--Frist aide

The Hatch asbestos proposal was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee last summer, but it stalled, and Frist has been trying to revive it. Organized labor liked neither the original Hatch bill nor the Frist funding deal, saying they were inadequate to pay claims of people who have been injured by the fire-proofing mineral.

News Source: Reuters  |  Published: March 24, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Zonolite, asbestos linked

For the first time in his 40-year battle, state health officials acknowledged that vermiculite processed at the Zonolite plant likely exposed workers and their families to dangerous amounts of asbestos, a cancer-causing material.

News Source: Post-Standard  |  Published: March 24, 2004  |  Read Full Story

School district to address asbestos concerns

Council Rock - Jen Bloch finds it "a little weird" that Council Rock administrators are providing the public with details about an asbestos spill at her school that took place two weeks ago.

News Source: Phillyburbs.com  |  Published: March 24, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Va. Beach woman with fake asbestos certificate convicted

A Virginia Beach woman who bought fake asbestos and lead training certificates for herself and others to get federal abatement contracts has been found guilty of performing fraudulent work.

News Source: Hamptonroads.com  |  Published: March 24, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Hardie briefed on what to say if asbestos money ran out

It recommends that they answer that prickly question by discussing the amount of asbestos compensation that ends up with lawyers, not victims. Directors, the paper suggests, could say, "If the vast majority of funds in the trust are used to pay compensation and not wasted on legal fees, there is actually no reason why there wouldn't be sufficient funds available and a sizeable surplus left over."

News Source: Sydney Morning Herald  |  Published: March 24, 2004  |  Read Full Story

March 23, 2004

Call to break up ships in the UK

The campaign wants a "world-class" ship-breaking industry for the UK which can tackle lethal asbestos or PCBs.

As part of the "START Ship Recycling" campaign, Greenpeace has released shocking images, showing workers handling asbestos at yards in India.

News Source: BBC News  |  Published: March 23, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Environmentalists say state letting asbestos maker off easy

The Illinois Dunesland Preservation Society believes the company faces only slap-on-the-wrist fines of no more than $750,000 when it should be subjected to state penalties reaching $5 million for polluting Lake Michigan and Illinois Beach State Park with asbestos.

News Source: Chicago Sun-Times  |  Published: March 23, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Waste officials ousted over asbestos issue

Leon County's top two solid-waste officials have been forced to resign following revelations that asbestos was not properly handled at the landfill on two separate occasions.

News Source: Tallahassee.com  |  Published: March 23, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Asbestos at Middle School Site

Saturday night's fire at Stuarts Draft High School isn't the only bad news for Augusta County Schools.

Asbestos has been discovered at the site of the future Wilson Middle School in Fishersville.

News Source: WHSV  |  Published: March 23, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Jury to determine fate of asbestos-removal company

A federal court jury in Syracuse will begin deciding this week if a large asbestos-removal company secretly conspired with a laboratory that was supposed to independently assess its work.

News Source: News 10 Now  |  Published: March 23, 2004  |  Read Full Story

March 22, 2004

Asbestos testing may get personal

State pollution enforcers want the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to strap mini-air pumps and filters on 100 student volunteers at Oak Ridge High School, where the agency recently found high levels of naturally occurring asbestos on bare walkways and baseball diamonds.

News Source: Sacramento Bee  |  Published: March 22, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Lloyd's Equitas reaches claims deal with Travelers

Equitas, the reinsurer set up to deal with Lloyd's of London's huge asbestos exposure, has reached a $245 million claims settlement with Travelers Property Casualty Corp., Equitas said on Monday.

News Source: Reuters  |  Published: March 22, 2004  |  Read Full Story

STATE FILES SUIT OVER ALLEGED ASBESTOS BURNING

Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit against a Union County man Friday for allegedly burning asbestos-laden floor tiles in the vicinity of children playing in a nearby park in 2003.

News Source: THE SOUTHERN  |  Published: March 22, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Automakers see asbestos lawsuits rise

The companies in some cases are paying millions of dollars to settle cases out of court to avoid what GM termed "runaway verdicts" in a filing this month with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

News Source: Detroit News  |  Published: March 22, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Minister to decide on asbestos deaths probe

South Australian Industrial Relations Minister Michael Wright is expected to announce this week whether there will be an inquiry into the asbestos-related deaths of former Whyalla BHP workers.

News Source: ABC News Online  |  Published: March 22, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Asbestos, lead removed from athletes' village site

A wide range of contaminants including lead, asbestos and heavy metals had to be removed from the Commonwealth Games athletes' village site at Royal Park before the area was handed to the developer.

News Source: The Age  |  Published: March 22, 2004  |  Read Full Story

March 19, 2004

Miss. Court: Owens Corning Has No Claim

Owens Corning sought to recover billions of dollars paid out in asbestos settlement cases by arguing the tobacco industry shared some blame for the health problems.

The justices, in a 5-1 decision, sided with Jefferson County Circuit Judge Lamar Pickard, who dismissed Owens Corning's lawsuit in May 2001.

News Source: Mercury News  |  Published: March 19, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Asbestos Halts Demolition of Hotel

State regulators called a halt to a major demolition project in Provo after someone blew the whistle about asbestos in the ceilings of the motel rooms.

News Source: KSL.com  |  Published: March 19, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Asbestos found in Shepherd dorms

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Shepherd College is closing two residence halls for the rest of the spring semester after particles found on a desk tested positive for asbestos, the college announced in a news release Thursday evening.

News Source: Herald-Mail  |  Published: March 19, 2004  |  Read Full Story

School asbestos abatement raises questions

Work crews are removing asbestos this week at Pleasant Valley Elementary School and Amarillo High School. Only a small amount was removed at Amarillo High, but extensive work is being done at Pleasant Valley.

News Source: Amarillo Globe-News  |  Published: March 19, 2004  |  Read Full Story

March 17, 2004

Republicans push asbestos claims measure

WASHINGTON -- Although labor negotiators say the funding is "grossly deficient," Senate Republicans are vowing to bring a proposed $114 billion settlement of the nation's asbestos injury claims to a floor vote by early April.

News Source: Fresno Bee  |  Published: March 17, 2004  |  Read Full Story

James Hardie boss stands by asbestos compo funding

A commission of inquiry has begun investigating whether the Medical Research and Compensation Foundation, established three years ago with $3 million, has enough money to meet future liabilities.

News Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation  |  Published: March 17, 2004  |  Read Full Story

March 16, 2004

EPA team studies El Dorado asbestos

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering Superfund cleanups of El Dorado Hills schoolyards, parks and other public grounds contaminated with asbestos, the result of foothill development carved through veins of the hazardous minerals.

News Source: Sacramento Bee  |  Published: March 16, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Cancer risk is high for workers in Sarnia

The paper said in the past six years, the local occupational disease clinic has seen 2,944 workers complaining of mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the chest lining, and leukemias, lung cancers, brain cancers, breast cancers and gastrointestinal cancers, as well as other diseases.

News Source: Detroit Free Press  |  Published: March 16, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Egg box factory halts production

An egg box factory which closed last year after the discovery of asbestos has told staff it will not reopen.

Omni-Pac in Great Yarmouth, was due to restart production in April after closing its doors on 27 October 2003.

News Source: BBC  |  Published: March 16, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Puget Sound Cancer Centers Plays Significant Role in Clinical Testing Of Newly Approved Cancer Drug; FDA Approves Alimta for Treatment of Asbestos-Related Cancer

Puget Sound Cancer Centers was actively involved in the clinical testing for the new drug Alimta, the first approved treatment for asbestos-related cancer in patients who are not candidates for surgery.

Alimta, developed by Eli Lilly and Company, recently received Food and Drug Administration approval for use in the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs often associated with asbestos exposure. When combined with the drug cisplatin, a standard chemotherapy agent, Alimta extended the survival rate of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma by 30 percent.

News Source: Business Wire  |  Published: March 16, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Cleanup workers consider organizing

LIBBY - Spurred to action by recent wage cuts, organizers are urging local asbestos cleanup workers to unionize.

Representatives of the International Union of Operating Engineers and the Laborers International Union of North America met last week with about 15 workers.

News Source: Daily Inter Lake  |  Published: March 16, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Travelers Property Casualty Executes Definitive Agreement on Previously Announced Asbestos Settlement

Travelers Property Casualty Corp. today announced that it has executed a definitive agreement settling asbestos-related statutory-based direct actions pending against Travelers under various unfair trade practices acts and similar statutes, including the Wise, Meninger and Cashman purported class actions and similar cases. The settlement in principle was previously announced on November 21, 2003. The settlement will make available a fund of up to $375 million to claimants plus up to $37.5 million in legal fees. As previously announced, Travelers will fund this settlement from its unallocated asbestos reserves, which were $1.2 billion at December 31, 2003, and will not take an earnings charge in connection with this settlement.

News Source: Business Wire  |  Published: March 16, 2004  |  Read Full Story

European insurers face new wave of asbestos claims

European insurers face a tidal wave of asbestos claims from Europe and Australia that could be financially crippling, leading experts said on Tuesday.

News Source: Reuters  |  Published: March 16, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Victim gives tough evidence at asbestos fund inquiry

BERNIE Banton stood out at yesterday's launch of an inquiry into whether a foundation set up by Australia's largest asbestos manufacturer James Hardie could meet victims' compensation claims.

News Source: The Courier-Mail  |  Published: March 16, 2004  |  Read Full Story

March 15, 2004

Study blaming Navy ships for asbestos deaths

While it is impossible to say how all the victims were exposed to asbestos, a group spokesman said the likely culprits in Southern California were Navy shipyards and Los Angeles manufacturing plants that made insulation out of asbestos materials.

News Source: SignOnSanDiego.com  |  Published: March 15, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Asbestos stalls rehab at Lowry

The clash began last spring. That's when excavators found asbestos-covered debris left over from long-ago demolished military buildings in an area slated for $400,000 homes.

The finding alarmed state regulators, who quickly halted construction on a corner of the 1,866-acre base while they tried to get a handle on the problem.

News Source: Rocky Mountain News  |  Published: March 15, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Dangerous asbestos traced to Weedsport

Federal health officials say the area near a closed factory in Weedsport should have a community evaluation for asbestos disease because workers and residents may have been exposed to cancer-causing fibers.

News Source: Post-Standard  |  Published: March 15, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Asbestos Issue Delays Bankruptcy Proceedings of Armstrong World Industries

To streamline the bankruptcy process, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals appointed a federal judge to handle the asbestos issues in five of the largest bankruptcies, including those of Armstrong and Owens-Corning.

But last year two creditors in the O-C case questioned the impartiality of the judge, Alfred M. Wolin, because he hired two consultants who'd represented asbestos claimants in the past.

News Source: Knight Ridder/Tribune  |  Published: March 15, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Staff shut school in asbestos row

Staff are refusing to return until they are convinced asbestos does not pose a threat. They are particularly concerned that infants continued to be taught in a classroom above a duct after asbestos was found. They are also worried about the discovery of the substance in a boiler room where a caretaker worked and school jumpers were stored.

News Source: Guardian Unlimited  |  Published: March 15, 2004  |  Read Full Story

School chiefs admit exposing kids to asbestos

Department of Education officials admitted yesterday they made a mistake by exposing Brooklyn elementary school students to asbestos for much of the past week.

News Source: Daily News  |  Published: March 15, 2004  |  Read Full Story

March 12, 2004

When the dust settles

Australia's largest former manufacturer of asbestos products, James Hardie, stands accused of not only minimising but putting an absolute cap on the amount of money it will provide, regardless of how many people can prove they fell ill through contact with Hardie products.

News Source: Sydney Morning Herald  |  Published: March 12, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Asbestos claims lead RSA to loss

Royal & SunAlliance, the troubled insurer, yesterday said it had set aside more money to pay for asbestos claims in the US which had contributed to a 146m loss for the year.

News Source: Guardian Unlimited  |  Published: March 12, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Brooklyn School Shut Down Because Of Asbestos Contamination

It's a stressful morning at PS-219, especially for some of the parents surprised by what is happening. Buses pulled up to the curbside to start shuttling kids to three different schools: PS 252, 232, and 268. This is being done because workers found asbestos inside this building.

News Source: WABC  |  Published: March 12, 2004  |  Read Full Story

EPA Hit With Ground Zero Lawsuit

Residents and workers in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday, saying the agency improperly let thousands of people return to their homes and businesses after the World Trade Center collapsed.

News Source: Associated Press  |  Published: March 12, 2004  |  Read Full Story

March 11, 2004

Asbestos may delay courthouse renovation

WEST PALM BEACH -- Contractors starting to demolish the 1970 wraparound on the old county courthouse say they found asbestos in the walls and identified 120 other "problem" spots that could contain even more asbestos.

News Source: Palm Beach Post  |  Published: March 11, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Asbestos in union delays food court openings

The openings of three new restaurants in Stamp Student Union food court will be delayed at least until the end of the semester after construction workers discovered asbestos contamination, university officials said.

News Source: DiamondbackOnline.com  |  Published: March 11, 2004  |  Read Full Story

March 10, 2004

Labor asks U.S. senators to oppose asbestos bill

In a letter to all senators, the AFL-CIO said the proposal would "provide a huge bailout" for asbestos defendants like oilfield services giant Halliburton Co. (nyse: HAL - news - people) -- which has a pending $4.3 billion asbestos settlement -- while shortchanging victims who have been injured by the fire-proofing mineral.

News Source: Reuters  |  Published: March 10, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Bad Habits Faulted for One-Third of American Deaths

Then came toxic agents such as pollutants and asbestos (55,000 deaths); motor vehicle accidents (43,000); firearms (29,000); sexual behavior that led to diseases such as AIDS (news - web sites) (20,000); and illicit drug use (17,000).

News Source: HealthDay  |  Published: March 10, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Company Sues Supplier in Unusual Asbestos Case

California-based Kelly-Moore Paint Co. Inc. has turned the tables on Union Carbide Corp. and UCC's successor, Dow Chemical Co. The paint company is seeking $1.2 billion in actual damages and treble punitive damages from UCC and Dow for allegedly not telling KM about the risks involved in using asbestos-containing products.

News Source: Law.com  |  Published: March 10, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Asbestosis: blighted communities cry out for help

It's almost like the Defiance Campaign of the 1960s, as ordinary people in the Northern Cape fan out over 85 villages to spread the word: "Asbestos kills."

Not only that, but members of the Asbestos Interest Group tell their fellow countrymen that if they had worked at an asbestos mine or mill, they could already be ill with asbestos-related disease or could become ill in the future - be it from asbestosis or mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs caused exclusively by blue asbestos.

News Source: Business Report  |  Published: March 10, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Asbestos Exposed

Meanwhile, asbestos lawsuits -- the most expensive type of litigation in U.S. history, according to numbers released last month by the RAND Corporation -- are taking their toll on the U.S. economy, costing businesses a whopping $70 billion and bankrupting 66-plus companies. Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz estimates asbestos lawsuits have killed close to 60,000 jobs.

News Source: Tech Central Station  |  Published: March 10, 2004  |  Read Full Story

South Carolina Ranked 22nd In Asbestos-related Deaths

The Environmental Working Group of Washington, DC says at least 628 people in South Carolina died from asbestos-related diseases between 1979 and 2001. Charleston County leads the state in the number of asbestos-related deaths with at least 180.

News Source: ABC News 4  |  Published: March 10, 2004  |  Read Full Story

EarthTalk: How do I properly dispose of asbestos?

Asbestos is dangerous only when the fibers are released into the air, so the EPA recommends checking materials regularly, without touching them, for tears, abrasions, or water damage.

"Sometimes, the best way to deal with slightly damaged material is to limit access to the area and not touch or disturb it," according to the EPA's Web site.

News Source: ENN  |  Published: March 10, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Fund would aid asbestos victims

Pushed by the White House and big insurers, the Senate is preparing to consider legislation that would create a $114 billion trust fund to compensate workers made sick by asbestos.

But while the bill will finally make it to the Senate floor after more than two years of hard negotiation, few expect it to pass.

News Source: SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER  |  Published: March 10, 2004  |  Read Full Story

March 09, 2004

Study Warns U.S. Facing Asbestos Crisis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ten-thousand Americans die each year from asbestos-related diseases and the number appears to be increasing in a growing public health crisis, a report by an environmental research group said on Thursday

News Source: Reuters  |  Published: March 9, 2004  |  Read Full Story

ASBESTOS DEATH TOLL: 10,000 AMERICANS A YEAR - AND RISING

As the U.S. Senate considers a bill to protect companies from lawsuits brought by hundreds of thousands of Americans harmed by asbestos, the first-ever analysis of federal mortality records finds that 10,000 Americans die each year from asbestos exposure, and projects that up to ten times that many will die in the next decade.

More Americans die each year from cancers and other illnesses caused by asbestos than from fires and drowning combined, according to the study released today by the EWG Action Fund. Since 1979, more than 43,000 Americans have died from asbestos-related diseases, and the study details for the first time the death toll in each state and county nationwide. (The study is available at www.ewg.org.)

Although many Americans believe that asbestos has already been banned and its victims have been compensated by the courts, the EWG Action Fund study found that the conventional wisdom about this deadly material is almost completely wrong. Says Action Fund researcher Richard Wiles, lead author: "We took a new look at an old subject and found that asbestos is not an economic issue but a public health crisis - one that has yet to reach its peak."

The study reports that 30 million pounds of asbestos are used in the U.S. each year, lists dozens of widely-used consumer products that still contain it, and says more than one million workers are exposed every year. For the first time, EWG Action Fund's interactive website shows Americans how close they live to a site where asbestos was shipped or processed. The study lists sites nationwide where asbestos cleanup is most critical and finds that more than 100,000 people live within half a mile of a site.

The website goes behind doors at asbestos companies, making public decades of secret documents proving that the corporations knew asbestos was deadly but continued to poison their workers and the public for the sake of profits. EWG Action Fund researchers found that less than two per cent of workers exposed to asbestos have asked for help paying medical bills, and that companies who claim to have been driven bankrupt by asbestos suits tell shareholders their bottom lines have not suffered.

The Senate is currently considering a proposal to set up a special fund the bill's proponents claim will take care of all asbestos victims once and for all. But because asbestos-related diseases take up to 50 years to show up, even if everyone who is sick today was helped, the fund would deny justice to hundreds of thousands who have yet to become ill. EWG Action Fund researchers recommend that the federal government ban asbestos immediately and look for a policy solution that will care for all victims - now and in the future.

News Source: EWG Action Fund  |  Published: March 9, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Warning issued for plants' neighbors

Among those factories is a former East Bay insulation plant in Newark. The facility, which had been known as California Zonolite, at 6851 Smith Ave., was owned by W.R. Grace from the 1960s until it closed in 1993. The company shipped vermiculite, a mineral, from its now-closed mine in Libby, Mont., to Newark, where it was heated and turned into attic insulation.

News Source: Mercury News  |  Published: March 9, 2004  |  Read Full Story

 

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