March 24, 2018

Meeting to discuss proposed development on Ambler asbestos site

The BoRit Asbestos Superfund Site Community Advisory Group announced that it is scheduled to meet with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on Wednesday to discuss a proposed residential construction on the Bast parcel in Ambler.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Upper Dublin Township Building, 801 Loch Alsh Ave., Fort Washington.

The Community Advisory Group works with the EPA to oversee the remediation of asbestos sites in the area. The CAG said the Bast parcel, located near the Ambler train station, has been approved for apartment construction by the DEP but still consists of 90 percent asbestos.

Scheduled to address the meeting is the developer of the project, John Zaharzak. He is expected to explain how he will clean and construct on the parcel, and the DEP is expected to review its guidelines for development of the parcel. – Inquirer staff

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Meeting to discuss proposed development on Ambler asbestos site

Fine for failing to test for asbestos

Fine for failing to test for asbestos

12 December 2014

Fine for failing to test for

Peter Page, the manager of Apartment
Renovation Company, has been fined $40,000 after he failed
to test a substance for asbestos. Mr Page was obliged to
have the textured ceilings tested for asbestos prior to
commencing the work.

Mr Page was sentenced today in the
Auckland District Court under Health and Safety in
Employment (Asbestos) Regulations and the Health and Safety
in Employment Act. Mr Page should have taken all practicable
steps to ensure that, when it was necessary to know whether
a substance was asbestos or not, the substance was
appropriately tested.

Shane Harris was employed as a
handyman by Peter Page to work on 10 units being renovated
and painted at a Kingsway Avenue site. Eight of the units
had textured ceilings.

Mr Harris started work on the site
on 29 July 2013 and about two weeks later he first expressed
his concerns about the ceilings to Mr Page. Because he did
not test for asbestos before work started, Mr Page was then
obliged to have the ceilings tested but did not. He told Mr
Harris that the ceilings had been tested and they were not
asbestos. This was not true. As a result up to 15
contractors were potentially exposed to the risk of asbestos
for approximately 3 months. When Mr Harris became concerned
that the advice he had received from the Mr Page was not
correct, he took his own sample which tested positive for
the presence of asbestos.

“It is recommended practice to
treat any suspect material, like textured ceilings, as
containing asbestos until test results prove otherwise,”
says Brett Murray, General Manager High Hazards and
Specialist Services. “Asbestos poses a risk if it is not
properly contained, especially during building work where
materials are cut or drilled.”

Peter Page had identified
the textured ceilings before work started but he thought the
ceilings were asbestos-free as they didn’t have sparkling
material visible to the eye. “Asbestos is often mixed with
other materials so it is virtually impossible to identify by
eye,” says Brett Murray. “The only way to be certain
that materials contain asbestos is to have them

“While Mr Page now routinely tests for asbestos
when working with textured ceilings, the regulations are
clear. If you are alerted to the possibility of asbestos in
any material, then you have to have that material

• Asbestos has been a major focus for
WorkSafe NZ over the past 12 months.
• In December
2013, WorkSafe New Zealand organised a trans-Tasman forum on asbestos in
Canterbury and in May 2014 we released an Asbestos Toolkit, a series of eight
factsheets on asbestos.
• We have also launched a new
website on asbestos aimed at helping homeowners and DIYers
understand the risks involved with asbestos and how to
manage them.
www.asbestosaware.co.nz was launched in
Christchurch by the Combined Health and Environment Risks
Programme Control Group made up of WorkSafe NZ, Environment
Canterbury, Christchurch City Council, CERA, Canterbury DHB
and Waimakariri District


© Scoop Media


Fine for failing to test for asbestos

Swiss billionaire Schmidheiny Wins Asbestos Court Battle

Billionaire Stephan Schmidheiny was acquitted this week of complicity in 3,000 deaths related to the use of asbestos in factories formerly part of his chemicals empire, Eternit. Italy’s supreme court overturned a ruling which sentenced the Swiss entrepreneur to 18 years in prison stating the evidence in the case was out of date.

Schmidheiny had been fighting the case which wound its way through the Italian court system for years. In 2012, he was jailed in absentia for 16 years, a sentence that was raised by an appeals court to 18 years in 2013. Throughout the case, Schmidheiny who avoids the limelight, denied the charges stating once the perils of asbestos were known, he sold out of the business and was not running the factory during the period claimed in the deaths.


“My group was heading toward bankruptcy as a consequence of the combined effects of asbestos-related problems and a major slump in construction markets. Thus I built my group virtually from scratch,” he wrote to Forbes in 2009 for a feature story.

Shmidheiny inherited the Eternit Group when he was 37 as the fourth generation of a Swiss industrial dynasty. Before he took full control, he had worked around the globe for his family’s Eternit Group, which manufactured a line of construction products that had begun in 1903 with asbestos-reinforced cement. At age 29, after toying with the idea to become a missionary, studying law and travelling abroad, he was called back to headquarters. That is when he began to face the company’s asbestos concerns. Schmidheiny had filters installed at Eternit factories to reduce dust in the air, beefed up employee training and began to move the company away from asbestos-based products. He notes that he himself was exposed to the mineral while working in his early 20s hauling sacks as a shift foreman at Eternit in Brazil. When Schmidheiny took full control of the company, he sold off most asbestos operations and diversified into other ventures, including the Latin American investment holding company, GrupoNueva, and the then ailing watch firm Swatch. (He sold off his Swatch shares after it recovered.)

In 2003 Schmidheiny focused more on his burgeoning philanthropic efforts. He placed $1 billion in business assets, including GrupoNueva, into a charitable trust, which its profits annually to help entrepreneurs across both Central and South America. In a 2012 interview with Forbes he said, “In keeping with the family tradition, my charitable activities first began in Switzerland where we supported – and continue to support – a broad range of activities e.g. in the field of conservation of the cultural heritage, protecting women’s and children’s rights, protection of the environment, to name just a few. In 1992 I had an experience as the founder of the Business Council for Sustainable Development around the UN conference of Rio that profoundly changed my outlook on life. Thus, I greatly expanded my philanthropic endeavors and put a major emphasis on promoting sustainable forms of development in Latin America.”

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Swiss billionaire Schmidheiny Wins Asbestos Court Battle

Outrage in Italy after asbestos case is thrown out

Outrage in Italy after asbestos case is thrown out – Richmond Times-Dispatch: News From The Associated Press

Original post – 

Outrage in Italy after asbestos case is thrown out

SDRC, centre owners say asbestos handling 'best practice'

THE Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) and Rose City Shoppingworld owner the McConaghy Group have issued assurances that asbestos removal on the centre’s demolition site has complied with regulations.

The Daily News received several calls from concerned parties about an alleged lack of proper safety controls since work demolishing a range of buildings began on Saturday morning.

The work comes ahead of a planned $40 million expansion of the centre, with the buildings now gone including the former McDougall and Sons offices and the older half of the Plumbs Chambers site.

Work on the old Club Hotel was expected to start last night or this morning.

Callers expressed concern that workers appeared to not be wearing proper protective clothing when handling asbestos from a number of downed structures and that asbestos fibres were being blown around the Warwick CBD and adjacent Leslie Park.

Concern was also expressed at the work starting on Saturday morning when the CBD was packed with locals and visitors attending the Leslie Park markets and the Rodeo Street Parade.

Contractors returned at 7am on Monday.

One worker, clad in ordinary workwear, was this week observed wetting down parts of structures with a garden hose.

It was understood at least two complaints had been made to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland but the agency was unavailable for comment yesterday.

But a council spokeswoman confirmed they had received two complaints from “contracting businesses”, alleging “incorrect removal of asbestos”.

“As a result council’s Workplace Health and Safety and Environmental officers visited the site,” the spokeswoman said.

“They spoke to the supervisor and were satisfied work was in accordance with council requirements and did not need to refer the complaints to State Workplace Health and Safety.

“Council officers noted that warning signage and dust barriers were in place and hosing down of the area where an excavator is working to suppress dust was occurring.

“Plastic-lined bulk industrial skip bins were onsite containing asbestos material – the bins are covered with plastic prior to their removal from the site and transported out of the council area.”

The spokeswoman said council staff also noted, prior to the complaints, that contractors wearing suitable protective clothing and breathing masks “were removing potential asbestos material from buildings prior to their demolition”.

Work on the site is expected to be completed by the end of next week but could take an extra week if anything unforseen occurs.

It is expected that on completion the asbestos removal process will need to be signed off by council.

A spokesman for the McConaghy Group said their demolition contractors were complying with all health and safety regulations in regards to asbestos removal.

“Satisfactory air monitoring has been performed,” he said.

“Council is satisfied with all procedures in place.”

The Daily News yesterday emailed a series of questions to Gold Coast-based demolition contractor Bastemeyers but no response had been received by time of printing.

Continue reading:

SDRC, centre owners say asbestos handling 'best practice'

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) Honored to Present at 12th International Mesothelioma Interest Group …


The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), the largest independent non-profit organization in the U.S. which combines education, advocacy, and community to help ensure justice for asbestos victims; is honored to be chosen to present at the 2014 International Mesothelioma Interest Group (iMig) Conference Oct. 21-24 in Cape Town, South Africa. At the event, ADAO President, Linda Reinstein, will discuss the importance of supportive resources for mesothelioma patients and their families. As a conference exhibitor, ADAO will also highlight the important role social advocacy plays in uniting mesothelioma patients and their families, and serving as an international forum to help prevent exposure and efforts to fund a cure.

Ms. Reinstein will share results of the ADAO survey on “Supportive Resources in the Mesothelioma Community” at the 2014 iMig Conference, hosted by the South African Mesothelioma Interest Group (SAMIG), and held at the Cape Town International Conference Centre (CTICC), featuring experts from across the globe dedicated to improving treatment and research. Considered as a world’s premier medical congress on mesothelioma, iMig’s theme this year is “the ongoing quest for cure.”

Ms. Reinstein will share important facts from the survey that underscore the need for patient focused resources. The online qualitative survey was administered to mesothelioma patients and caregivers through Facebook, Twitter, ADAO eNewsletters, and direct emails. Unfortunately, as Ms. Reinstein will explain, the majority (84%) were not given educational resources from their medical team nor advised to join a support group (92%) upon diagnosis. The majority found online mesothelioma resources improved their lives greatly (60%) or slightly (32%). The important results of the survey underscore that patients and their families rely on online supportive resources to obtain medical information, share personal experiences, build peer-to-peer networks, and improve quality of life.

“Patients want educational resources at the time of diagnosis, but only 16% received such referrals, leaving thousands without this crucial element of palliative care,” stated Ms. Reinstein. “The survey addresses responses to psychosocial burdens faced by mesothelioma patents and caregivers including a steep learning curve, anticipatory grief, social isolation, and ability to endure daily struggles. I look forward to the opportunity to share this critical information with iMig’s conference’s global base.”

ADAO will also share key information about the power of social media through materials that highlight: “Social Advocacy: Where Knowledge and Community Unite.” When her husband was diagnosed with mesothelioma 10 years ago, Ms. Reinstein recognized the need for increased medical resources, greater access to support, and legislative advocacy. ADAO’s social advocacy programs have built a global community spanning nearly 20 countries and more than 40,000 people, earning a ranking of #2 in a Twitter study of 500 health and safety organizations.

“ADAO’s digital storytelling and social advocacy efforts have led to three statements on the dangers of asbestos from Acting U.S. Surgeons General, Senate Resolutions, and Global Asbestos Awareness Week,” explained Ms. Reinstein. “ADAO’s results confirm the positive benefits of social advocacy to support patients and families, influence lawmakers, shape policy, and increase funding for research.”

Despite its known dangers, there is still no global ban on asbestos, and it continues to claim lives. Exposure to asbestos, a human carcinogen, can cause mesothelioma, lung, gastrointestinal, laryngeal, and ovarian cancers; as well as non-malignant lung and pleural disorders. The World Health Organization estimates that 107,000 workers around the world will die every year of an asbestos-related disease, equaling 300 deaths per day.

About the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) was founded by asbestos victims and their families in 2004. ADAO is the largest non-profit in the U.S. dedicated to providing asbestos victims and concerned citizens with a united voice through our education, advocacy, and community initiatives. ADAO seeks to raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure, advocate for an asbestos ban, and protect asbestos victims’ civil rights. For more information, visit www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org.


Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO)

Kim Cecchini, Media Relations




Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) Honored to Present at 12th International Mesothelioma Interest Group …

Government rejects union claims of asbestos risks

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The union maintains the partially demolished site is a public health disaster in the making, with broken cement sheeting causing wind gusts to blow the deadly fibres across the city.

Health fears were raised publicly last week when it was revealed the prominent CBD site, in the heart of Brisbane’s business district, was abandoned mid-demolition when the contractor, the Wacol-based P&K Demolitions went broke, owing $3.7 million to creditors.

The director of River City Asbestos Removals, the company contracted by P&K Demolitions to safely remove the cement sheeting, said he had not been able to declare some areas of the site safe, prompting fears thousands of city workers could unwittingly be inhaling the deadly airborne fibres.

Despite the departmental test results, CFMEU Queensland and Northern Territory branch president David Hanna said workplace health and safety officers had neglected their duties in properly supervising the demolition of the 1970s buildings, which they knew contained large amounts of asbestos.

“Everyone has known there has been asbestos there all along and that’s fine, if it’s managed well but it just hasn’t been,” he said.

“The asbestos has to be taken off in full sheets but this has been broken and parts have been pushed off the roof.

“There has been no reticulation system put in place, so there was no way to contain any of the dust that rose and spread.”

Mr Hanna said CFMEU members on site raised concerns about the asbestos removal procedures in early June, six months after the demolition process began.

He said all asbestos needed to be removed in a “soft strip” before demolition work commenced, which he alleged had not been the case.

Mr Hanna said the workplace health and safety officers should move quickly to install a reticulation system to prevent dust blowing off the site, despite its test results returning a negative finding for the fibres.

“It’s no good the department saying it’s not their responsibility, the department is there to protect the public to ensure legislation is adhered to,” he said.

“We think the department should ensure the asbestos is contained and removed in a proper manner and that means a sprinkler system needs to be set up as a precaution straight away.”

The Workplace Health and Safety spokesperson said sealed bags of asbestos remained on site at 300 George Street but that they that posed no public health risk.

“The sealed bags of asbestos still remain on-site, and demolition cannot resume until the bags are collected. It is the responsibility of the site owner to manage the safe removal of these bags,” the spokesperson said.

The developer, the Taiwanese-based Shayher Group, has not been available for comment.

The procurement process to find a new demolitionist is underway.

The CFMEU’s independent testing was undertaken by environmental consultancy Parsons Brinckerhoff. It did not undertake independent air testing at the site.

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Government rejects union claims of asbestos risks

Planning underway for returning DL locomotives to service

KiwiRail is confident the level of risk from exposure to airborne asbestos in its DL locomotives is minimal, following completion of a second round of testing in New Zealand, the results of which were also validated by an internationally recognised occupational medicine expert. Just seven out of the 204 samples taken showed a very small presence of non-respirable asbestos in five operable locomotives. Testing confirmed no presence of any asbestos dust in the remaining 34 locomotives that are in the operating fleet.

Chief executive Peter Reidy says the results confirmed early advice that the asbestos presented a low risk and was well contained. Both the testing regimes and recommendations were being further validated, by Dr John Bisby of International Health consultants based in Victoria, Australia. While a final report is still underway, Mr Reidy says preliminary advice from Dr Bisby confirms that the probability for any exposure to airborne fibres was low and if any did arise they would be insignificant in relation to both New Zealand and International workplace exposure standards for respirable Chrysotile fibre.

“With the majority of the locomotives showing minimal risk for exposure to airborne fibre, we are confident that appropriate measures can be put in place that will enable us to progressively bring these locomotives back into service soon,” Mr Reidy says.

An operational plan, which includes a comprehensive set of risk management measures for safe operation, ongoing mitigation and eventual removal of all asbestos containing materials was being finalised in partnership with WorkSafe.

“We have repeatedly said no locomotive will operate until we are completely satisfied it poses no risk to our people. To that end we are working through a robust process with our expert advisors and WorkSafe to determine a safe re-entry into operation for the locomotives.”

Mr Reidy says the current lack of capacity is causing supply chain issues for many New Zealand industries and businesses. “The DL locomotives are the workhorse of our fleet and without their pulling power all customers are feeling the lack of capacity.

“Running a safe operation is very important to our business and our customers have understood the need for our focus to be on the welfare of our people. We are thankful for the group response by the wider transport industry to help manage this situation. “We want to reassure them we are doing everything we can so we safely get back to normal operation as soon as practicable.”

KiwiRail is meeting with union officials this week.

Link – 

Planning underway for returning DL locomotives to service

Asbestos support group

Asbestos support group

Daily Echo: Asbestos support group

Asbestos support group

Hampshire Asbestos Support Group (HASG) holds its next meeting on Thursday, February 14, in St Mark’s Church, Archers Road, Southampton. It is open to anyone with asbestos-related illnesses or their families, carers and friends.

See hasag.co.uk or call 023 8001 0015.

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Asbestos support group

Teesside asbestos legacy exposed as councils set aside millions to compensate workers

By Alan Selby

Teesside’s ongoing asbestos legacy has been exposed after it emerged councils have set aside millions to compensate workers.

The extent of the impact being felt years after council workers were exposed to asbestos was revealed after the local authorities were forced to put aside funds worth nearly £3m for claims this year.

And a solicitor who helps asbestosis sufferers said the number of people coming forward is expected to keep rising over the next few years.

Roger Maddox, of Irwin Mitchell solicitors, added: “It starkly illustrates the continuing legacy of asbestos liabilities, which are a direct consequence of employers who negligently exposed employees to asbestos dust.”

Redcar and Cleveland Council has earmarked £2.5m to deal with industrial claims this year, while Middlesbrough Council’s fund totals £252,600.

Stockton Council has similar arrangements in place, but could not provide an accurate total for asbestos-related funds.

The councils were told they must make cash available after the High Court confirmed employers who exposed workers to asbestos were liable for damages, not whoever was employing them when their cancer later developed, as insurance companies had argued should be the case.

But because the Municipal Mutual Insurance company (MMI), which covered industrial claims against councils, had gone into administration, local authorities must now pay for legal action out of their own reserves.

Some 17 former employees are currently pursuing Redcar and Cleveland Council after contracting mesothelioma, the cancer that can develop up to 60 years after contact with asbestos dust.

Norman Pickthall, cabinet member for corporate resources at Redcar and Cleveland Council, said: “Because of the complex nature of asbestos-related illnesses and the significant sums involved, the council has allocated £2.5m to deal with any future compensation claims, although we expect the final cost to the council to be lower. The council’s situation is not unique and like many other local authorities we have been planning for this issue for a number of years.”

Asbestos was used for a very long time in the construction industry
Asbestos was used for a very long time in the construction industry


The funds only relate to council employees, with the full extent of compensation in the private sector unknown, but one support group has secured more than £1.5m worth of funding for compensation in the past year alone.

Since September 2012 the Northern TUC Asbestos Support and Campaign Group has assisted at least 128 people suffering with asbestos-related cancers, providing support to them and their families.

They say 2,500 new cases develop in the UK every year, and this could become nearly 3,000 each year by 2015 – at the moment about 300 people in the North become ill.

Northern TUC regional secretary Beth Farhat said they were working with Macmillan Cancer Support to offer free and impartial advice and support to anybody in the North-east who had been affected by an asbestos-related disease.

She said: “Unfortunately, the need for groups like ours and support for asbestos victims will only continue to grow over the next 10-15 years at least, as the full-scale of asbestos exposure comes to light.

“However, we aim to provide at least a little comfort – and a lot of practical support to those who find themselves affected by such debilitating illnesses.

“While money won’t buy back sufferers’ health, it is only right that they are provided with the means to have some quality of life, without having to worry about who will care for them or if they can afford to pay vital bills.”

To speak to the support group, contact Maggie Bailey on 07983 883274 or email Maggie.Bailey@tadea-uk.com.

It’s workers like Alan who pay the ultimate price

Alan Dean was exposed over years of loading the material on to ships. He died aged 81
Alan Dean was exposed over years of loading the material on to ships. He died aged 81


A devastated widow has paid tribute to her husband who died from asbestos-related cancer while his compensation battle was ongoing.

Sheila Dean’s husband Alan succumbed to mesothelioma in April – 23 years after he retired from a career as a labourer on Middlesbrough’s docks that exposed him to the hazardous material.

At 15 he left school in Whinney Banks, Middlesbrough, to start work that would see him travel across Teesside’s docks as a stevedore responsible for loading and unloading cargo.

His work on Tees Dock saw him carry sacks of asbestos from a Middlesbrough factory on to ships that exported the hazardous material around the world.

And Alan’s death – five days before his 81st birthday – came as legal action against the National Dock Labour Board that was responsible for exposing him to asbestos dust dragged on.

Despite clear health risks linked to asbestos having been discovered as early as 1898, Alan was not given any protective equipment against the plumes of dust that surrounded him while he worked.

And today his family is still fighting for financial security after the huge impact Alan’s disease had upon them.

Sheila, 69, said it had been extremely hard to watch him suffer from the incurable condition. She said: “Mesothelioma is a cruel disease, lying dormant in the body with no telling symptoms, striking as if from nowhere years later.

“Alan’s unexpected death has impacted enormously on us as a family. Alan was a fit and healthy man with no medical conditions and taking no medication.”

And Sheila added that it was years before any sign of the disease became apparent in Alan.

She said: “We are grateful that Alan got to enjoy 23 happy and healthy years of retirement with his family, spending our winters in sunny Spain and our summers enjoying the garden and playing bowls, which he enjoyed so much.”

Ian Toft, an asbestos claim expert at Irwin Mitchell solicitors, said Alan’s condition showed how employers who had negligently exposed workers to asbestos were ruining lives decades later.

He said: “I have been working with victims of asbestos exposure now for over 10 years, yet I am still stunned by the conditions so many of my clients were working in at a time when their employers should have known of the risks presented by asbestos and taken the necessary steps to protect their workers.

“Now we have the tragic scenario of honest working men like Alan suffering the consequences of their employers’ inaction.”

Original article:  

Teesside asbestos legacy exposed as councils set aside millions to compensate workers