The purpose of this site is to share information about Mesothelioma and asbestos-related cancer in a personal way. We are really interested in talking to people who have Meso, or their family members, to share their stories and raise mesothelioma awareness.
Several contractors and the Manhattan Beach Unified School District in California were cited by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) for “the illegal removal, handling and disposal of asbestos” at a local high school.
SCAQMD received a complaint on Aug. 16 that flooring materials containing asbestos were being disturbed at the school during renovations, which were also taking place during registration while students, parents and staff were on site. The agency immediately sent inspectors to the school and found that workers had used a power grinder on the storage floor of the library.
Asbestos is a durable and fire-resistant mineral that was widely used in construction materials like flooring tiles until the 1980s, when its use was restricted due to serious health risks associated with asbestos exposure. Asbestos can cause serious lung diseases including asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare but aggressive form of cancer that develops in the tissue that surrounds the lungs and other internal organs. It can take up to 50 years for asbestos-related diseases to develop. Once diagnosed, the disease usually proves fatal within a year or two.
Asbestos-containing materials can still be found in older buildings and homes. The material should not pose any health risks if the material is not disturbed. But if disturbed, as during renovations or demolitions, the microscopic fibers of asbestos can go airborne and be inhaled or ingested, increasing a person’s risk of disease.
“During demolition and remodeling activities it’s not uncommon to encounter flooring materials, such as sheet vinyl, vinyl or asphalt floor tiles, that contain asbestos,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Any associated paper-like backing, mastic, adhesives or glues may also have asbestos. Even without construction taking place, asbestos-containing flooring can become friable over time and in some circumstances release fibers into the air just due to normal activities. In this instance, the flooring should have been tested before it was disturbed so the proper safety precautions could have been put in place.”
Asbestos victims advocate and co-founder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) Linda Reinstein is calling on world leaders gathering in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the G20 forum “to speak about the fact that seven of the G20 nations – Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia and the U.S. – are still mining, exporting, importing, and/or using asbestos, a known deadly carcinogen.”
The summit is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 nations to gather and discuss issues related to global economic growth, international trade, and the regulation of financial markets.
Asbestos is a mineral that was widely used in building materials like insulation, flooring tiles and roof shingles. In the 1980s, its use in the U.S. was restricted due to serious health issues related to asbestos exposure, which include lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that starts in the lining of internal organs. The asbestos-related diseases can take up to 50 years to manifest. Once diagnosed, the prognosis is generally dire.
There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos. In 2006, the World Health Organization recommended that countries stop using asbestos in all forms in order to deal with the health risks related to exposure to the mineral. And while more than 60 countries around the world have banned the use, import, export and mining of this carcinogen, many others, including the United States, are still using it.
“The irrefutable facts in the USA are that both asbestos imports and asbestos-linked deaths have increased in 2018,” Reinstein said.
“On Nov. 23, more than 50 experts and nonprofits from around the world signed on to the Asbestos Victims Association of Belgium G20 Summit letter, ‘A call to G20 leaders for global action to ban asbestos,’” she said. “Calling for ‘decisive action to ban asbestos worldwide,’ the letter is an unflinching, bold call to action from some of the world’s most esteemed medical professionals, public health experts, legal scholars, and advocates.”
As part of this letter, the ADAO expressed its concerns directly to President Donald Trump, and urged him and the other countries to ban asbestos now.
A Wilmington, Massachusetts contractor and two of his companies were fined $125,000 to settle claims of illegal removal and disposal of asbestos and other construction debris during the demolition of a home in the community.
“Construction and demolition work involving asbestos must be done in a safe and legal way to protect workers and the public,” Attorney General Maura Healey said in a news release. “We will take action against contractors who illegally dispose of asbestos and put the public at risk of harm.”
The judgment, which was filed in Suffolk Superior Court, stemmed from a lawsuit filed by the Massachusetts attorney general’s office against Langone Development Group Inc., 3 Holly Street LLC, and Jonathan S. Langone, the president and manager of both properties.
The lawsuit alleged that the Langone and his companies violated the state’s clean air law during the demolition of the single-family house in Wilmington, and failed to remove exterior asbestos-containing shingles from the house as well. Instead, their actions caused a visible plume of dust containing cancer-causing asbestos to be emitted into the air, posing a risk to the health of workers as well as residents living in close proximity.
Asbestos is a mineral that was widely used in building materials decades ago. In the 1980s, its use was restricted. It had been known for years that asbestos could cause serious health risks to those exposed to the mineral. Asbestos can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, abdomen or heart. It can take years for asbestos-related cancer to develop. Once diagnosed, prognosis is generally dire.
A Florida man appeared in court this week to explain the reason why he climbed a 200-foot tower, using a rope to shimmy higher in order to stretch out on a platform as his family looked on. He said he did it because he was distraught about the death of his father due to asbestos exposure. His father had allegedly been exposed to the carcinogenic mineral in the building materials he worked with.
“Knowing that they were killing people by asbestos and we’re in court and we’re trying to win the case,” said Pablo Torres, 58, about why he spent six hours on the tower as police tried to negotiate with him to get him down. Torres said his family had filed a lawsuit against the companies that exposed his father to asbestos. But that apparently wasn’t enough to ease his pain.
Asbestos is a mineral that was widely used in construction, shipbuilding and friction materials because of its strength and fire resistance. Its use was restricted in the 1980s. By then, it had been known for decades that the microscopic fibers of asbestos can go airborne and be inhaled or ingested, which can lead to the incurable lung ailment asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare but aggressive form of cancer that develops in the lining that encases the lungs and other internal organs.
Asbestos-related diseases can take up to five decades to develop. Once diagnosed, they can kill within a year or two.
The judge had mercy on Torres, releasing him on recognizance and without bond. But, he was ordered back to court next week to face charges on burglary and resisting arrest.
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and one survivor of a rare form of the disease is encouraging other patients to be optimistic.
Heather Von St. James was diagnosed 13 years ago with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs and other internal organs. The disease is caused by asbestos exposure. Von St. James was exposed to the carcinogenic mineral as a kid through secondary asbestos exposure. Her father worked in construction with materials made with asbestos. He unknowingly brought microscopic asbestos fibers home on his clothes.
Asbestos cancer can take decades to develop. Once diagnosed, it usually proves deadly within 12 to 24 months. But Von St. James beat the odds by having a radical surgery called extrapleural pneumonectomy. During the procedure, doctors removed her left lung, half of her diaphragm, the lining of her heart, and a couple of ribs.
“I’m optimistic by nature, so being a victim just isn’t my way of doing things,” she said. So when she decided to undergo surgery, she decided to put a positive spin on it and called it her “Lung Leavin’ Day.” She recognizes each anniversary by gathering with friend and family. Each person writes their fears on a plate and smashes the plate to symbolizing overcoming fear.
She encourages people to celebrate Lung Cancer Awareness Month by doing something positive in recognition of the more than 200,000 Americans diagnosed with some form of lung cancer each year.
The family of the newlywed husband of Princess Eugenie ran an asbestos factory in the Barking community of London that is linked to the fatal lung disease of hundreds of workers, some of whom continue to die to this day.
Jack Brooksbank recently married Eugenie –Prince Andrew’s youngest daughter – in a lavish ceremony at Windsor Castle. Brooksbank is a marketing executive who promotes a tequila brand launched by his good friend George Clooney. But years earlier, Brooksbank’s grandfather and great-grandfather were top executives at Cape Asbestos Company for nearly 40 years.
Brooksbank’s great-grandfather Giles Fendall Newton was named director of the asbestos company in 1933 and promoted to chairman in 1957. The company made a variety of products containing asbestos including fireproof mattresses, splinter mats and gas masks. Newton’s son Michael – Brooksbank’s grandfather – also served as director for the company.
Brooksbank’s grandfather and great-grandfather are now deceased. But three years before the eldest Newton joined Cape Asbestos, a local newspaper raised concerns about the asbestos factory, reporting that “Many people in Barking are suffering from diseases of the lungs due to inhalation of asbestos dust.”
By the 1960s, it was well established that asbestos exposure was linked to debilitating diseases like the chronic lung disease asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs. It can take years for asbestos cancer to develop. Once diagnosed, it tends to prove deadly in a year or two.
In the 1960s, an article published in the British Journal of Industrial Medicine reported that mesothelioma was killing workers at Cape Asbestos, a company that employed more than 10,000 workers at the time.
From 1981 to 2005, 187 men died from mesothelioma in Barking – one of the hardest hit areas for asbestos disease in the United Kingdom.
Brooksbank’s family, however, continued to manufacture asbestos-containing products for eight more years, ignoring the warnings about the dangers of asbestos exposure in order to protect their profits.
“It is ironic,” says asbestos expert Lorna Webster, “that Jack (Brooksbank)’s grandfather employed people who are still dying today.”
In 2005, Cape Asbestos set aside more than $50 million to compensate victims of asbestos exposure in Barking.
Inspectors from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) in California are investigating a senior apartment complex after receiving reports that ceiling material containing cancer-causing asbestos had been disturbed during water damage that had occurred days earlier. Samples were taken and a “contamination survey,” by a certified asbestos consultant was conducted, resulting in an order to secure and stabilize all affected areas for abatement.
“Older buildings can contain asbestos in ceiling tiles, ‘popcorn’ ceilings and many other building materials,” SCAQMD Executive Officer Wayne Nastri said. “Our asbestos regulations require strict protective measures to ensure that these asbestos-containing materials do not contaminate the environment during all demolition, remodeling and clean-up activities.”
The use, sale and distribution of asbestos is banned in 60 countries due to its cancer-causing characteristics, but it is still used in the U.S., and can still be found in older structures in construction, shipbuilding and friction materials. And it is still proving deadly.
Microscopic fibers from materials that contain asbestos can go airborne and be swallowed or inhaled. Exposure to asbestos causes diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs and other internal organs, and can take years to develop. Once diagnosed, the disease is usually aggressive, killing within a year or two. Even now, more than 107,000 people around the world die each year from asbestos-related diseases, according to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO).
Lax regulations for asbestos by the Trump-controlled Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have contributed to a “surge” in asbestos imports into the U.S., according to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) and the Environmental Working Group (EWG). According to data from the U.S. International Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce published by the two NGOs, more than 550 metric tons of asbestos have been imported into the U.S. so far this year, compared to just 340 tons in 2017.
The increase in asbestos imports is “a major indicator that industry is not concerned about President Trump and the EPA taking any steps to ban or ever reduce the use and import of asbestos.” Instead, the EPA announced a significant new use rule, which will allow new uses of cancer-causing asbestos.
Asbestos is a mineral that was widely used in construction, shipbuilding and friction materials until the 1980s, when its use was restricted. It had been known for decades that asbestos exposure could cause serious diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs and other internal organs. It can take up to 50 years for asbestos-related diseases to develop. Once diagnosed, they are aggressive and deadly, killing most people within a year or two.
The EWG and ADAO say that the chlor-alkali industry is the remaining user of raw asbestos in the United States, an industry that the organizations say lobbies heavily to maintain the legal exemption that allows it to import and use asbestos.
“It is appalling that unlike more than 60 nations around the world, the U.S. not only fails to ban asbestos, but allows imports to increase,” said Linda Reinstein, president and co-founder of ADAO. “The time is now for the EPA to say no to the asbestos industry and finally ban asbestos without exemptions.”
Last year, after Donald G. Ream was diagnosed with lung cancer, he sought to hold responsible the companies he believes caused his deadly disease. In October, he and his wife, Joanne Ream, filed a lawsuit in St. Clair County Circuit Court in Illinois against AGCO Corp., Buffalo Air Handling, URS Corporation, and several others for negligently exposing him to cancer-causing asbestos as he was working as a mechanic. The Reams claim the companies failed to adequately warn workers or give them instructions about how to safely work with or around asbestos-containing products.
Asbestos is a durable and fire-resistant mineral that was widely used in construction and shipbuilding materials, as well as friction products like brake pads on vehicles. Its use was restricted in the 1980s, and it is rarely used today. It has been known for decades that exposure to the microscopic fibers of asbestos can lead to serious health problems including the chronic and incurable lung disease asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, abdomen or chest.
It can take decades for asbestos-related diseases to develop. Once diagnosed, the prognosis is typically dire with many asbestos victims dying a year or two after diagnosis.
Despite the known carcinogenic properties of asbestos, many companies continued to manufacture or use products containing asbestos, but failed to protect workers from the risks of asbestos exposure. The Reams request a trial by jury and seek compensatory damages.
James LaFrentz worked as an aircraft mechanic for 40 years, ever since he graduated from high school in 1963. When he was diagnosed with asbestos-related malignant mesothelioma, he filed a lawsuit against companies that manufactured, sold, distributed, or installed materials that contained asbestos. LaFrentz’s wife Ila is also named in the lawsuit, which was filed in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas.
The lawsuit names Lockheed Martin Corp, 3M Co., and General Dynamics Corp., for exposing James LaFrentz to asbestos-containing materials. “Mr. LaFrentz was exposed to and inhaled, ingested or otherwise absorbed large amounts of asbestos fibers emanating from various asbestos-containing products that he was working with and around which were manufactured, sold, distributed, or installed by the defendants,” his original petition states.
Asbestos was widely used in construction, shipbuilding and friction materials. Its use was restricted in the 1980s because, for decades, asbestos was known to cause serious illness in those exposed to its microscopic fibers.
Asbestos can cause a chronic lung disease called asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, abdomen or heart. It generally takes about 10 to 50 years for asbestos-related diseases to develop. Mesothelioma is particularly dire. Most people with the disease die within 12 to 24 months.