Thursday, March 29, 2007

35 more miners diagnosed with Mesothlioma

Mesothelioma is seen almost exclusively in people who have been exposed to asbestos. In a 2003 study, state researchers identified 17 diagnosed cases of mesothelioma in a group of 72,000 people who worked in Minnesota's iron mining industry between the 1930s and 1982.

Further analysis found 35 additional cases of mesothelioma in that group, raising the total number to 52, the department said in a prepared statement. Officials said the additional cases aren't surprising because it can take 40 or 50 years to develop mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos.

"Between 1988 and 2005, 136 cases of mesothelioma were diagnosed in men who live in northeastern Minnesota- more than twice the expected number." [Minnesota Health Department]

“The mesothelioma issue has been with us for a long time,” Health Commissioner Dianne Mandernach said in a statement. “There are important, unresolved questions that we need to address, and we believe this new study will help us provide some of the answers.”

That study is projected to cost as much as $1 million over three years. The state will seek federal funding from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and other sources.

The second study, estimated to cost $250,000, would assess health risks associated with airborne mineral fragments from ore mined in some parts of the region. Officials hope to set airborne exposure limits to protect the public from potential health effects, the department said.

I can save the taxpayers millions of dollars in needless research! These miners are being exposed to asbestos. Give them the protective equipment they need if they are being exposed to asbestos. Let's ban asbestos nationwide and start treating this stuff like the toxic substance that it is. - ST

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Mesothelioma-causing Asbestos Found in Crayola Crayons

Crayola crayons in the United States are at the center of a health alert after claims that they contain traces of asbestos.

Tests on the Crayola product, used in millions of homes, are understood to have found small amounts of the cancer-causing chemical - asbestos. The makers deny they pose a health risk to children.

"We cannot order crayons containing these fibers off the market because we haven’t documented a danger to children." - [Ronald Medford, U.S. CPSC]

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission subsequently confirmed the presence of asbestos in its own tests. It concluded there were no risks to consumers but asked the companies to change the formula.

The CPSC’s assistant executive director of hazards identification, Ronald Medford, said: ‘We cannot order crayons containing these fibers off the market because we haven’t documented a danger to children."

Unbelievable! - ST

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Mesothelioma claim law change backed

Changes in the law making it easier for people to claim compensation for asbestos-related lung cancer have been passed by the Scottish Parliament.

The move, approved unanimously by MSPs, will make it possible for victims to seek recompense without blocking claims by their families after their death.

Mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos dust.

The condition has been diagnosed in 400 men - most of them former Clydeside shipyard workers.

"I cannot over-emphasise the importance of legislation like this which will help bring to an end asbestos victims' terrible dilemma."[Michael Andrews, Mesothelioma lawyer]

Scotland has led the way in the UK on the legal amendment and is allowing claims from the beginning of this year.

Considering that once diagnosed with Mesothelioma, most victims of this terrible disease are only expected to live a few months, we need legislation like this in the United States. And, until we ban asbestos completely people are going to continue to die. We must act now! - ST

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Woman Diagnosed with Mesothelioma

MARF Contributes $1 million to Mesothelioma Research

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation announced today it has awarded an additional $1 million in research funding aimed at curing the asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma. Meso is an aggressive, painful cancer of the linings of the lungs, abdomen, heart or testicles. After a very long latency, ten to fifty years, it can afflict anyone who has been exposed to asbestos, even in small amounts. For decades, it was mostly ignored in terms of medical interest or research funding. As a result, until recently there were no treatments that were better than doing nothing at all. [Press Release]

Money well spent. - ST

Monday, March 19, 2007

Ban Asbestos in America

Last Congress, Senator Murray re-introduced her bill to Ban Asbestos in America. This year Murray is renewing the call for support of her bill.

Although many Americans believe that asbestos has already been banned and its victims have been compensated by the courts, the EWG Action Fund 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. Are you one of them?

I simply cannot comprehend why asbestos wasn't banned 50 years ago. I mean, we can send a spacecraft on a 2 billion mile journey and land it on an asteroid hurtling through space at a modest 28,000 mph, but we can't figure out how to make brake pads without killing 10,000 people each year. Amazing.

Write your Senator today in support of the bill.

The Asbestos Companies are to Blame

I recently read an article (Wall Street Journal: Judging Asbestos) that does a great disservice to the thousands of Americans who are diagnosed with mesothelioma and other cancers every year due to asbestos exposure.

They suggest that the asbestos bankruptcies are a concoction of unscrupulous trial lawyers. Yes, some lawyers have taken advantage of a bad situation, unscrupulously filing multiple claims or claims on behalf of people who are not actually sick. But they neglect to point out that most trial lawyers represent actual victims of asbestos exposure, and that thousands of these victims die each year and many more are sick because for decades the asbestos industry ignored -- and sometimes covered up -- the scientific evidence linking asbestos exposure to serious illness, including the fatal cancer mesothelioma, for which there is no cure.

All too often the press focuses on these few
unscrupulous trial lawyers while the companies that marketed asbestos products, knowing they kill, go unnoticed. Take for instance the comments of the Director of Purchasing for Bendix Corporation (now part of Honeywell) capture the utter disregard of an industry for its workforce. This disdain is expressed over and over again in company documents spanning the past 60 years.

"...if you have enjoyed a good life while working with asbestos products, why not die from it." [Full Document]

Or what about the industry expert that predicted approximately 25,000 past and present employees will die of asbestos-related diseases,

"and the good news is that despite all the negative articles on asbestos-health that have appeared in the press over the past half-dozen years, very few people have been paying attention.". [Full Document]

I bet you didn't hear anything about that on the evening news last night.