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November 19, 2018

Contractors disturb asbestos at Berridale Public School

Students at Berridale Public School might have been exposed to asbestos as workers cut into bonded asbestos sheeting during the first week of the new school year.

The school is on the NSW Government School Asbestos Register and the room was listed as being presumed to have asbestos present.

WorkCover NSW confirmed it visited the school, located between Cooma and Jindabyne, after parents raised concerns.

Contractors hired by the NSW Department of Education were installing airconditioning in a demountable building at the school on Wednesday last week when students returned for their first day. They drilled into the ceiling, which contained bonded asbestos.

WorkCover said that according to its investigations, the workmen only “discovered potential asbestos-containing material while drilling into the ceiling”.

In 2008, the NSW Department of Education launched a $3 million asbestos register to reduce risk of exposure to the toxic substance.

It is not known whether the workmen were aware of the asbestos before they began drilling. But WorkCover said they stopped work immediately and attempted to restrict the entry of children to the site. The demountable building is used as a lunch room when it is raining and students were inside that day, because it was raining.

WorkCover said the students were moved to another building and access to the demountable building was cut off. Asbestos warning stickers and barriers were then erected.

One parent, who did not wish to be named, said she assumed work was only halted because WorkCover had been notified.

She said it was not good enough that children had been in and around the area while fibres had potentially been released into the atmosphere. She also questioned why the work was not completed during the holidays.

“What I don’t understand is how work began on this site when it is listed on a public registry as having presumed asbestos.”

A spokesman for WorkCover NSW said a licensed asbestos removalist undertook testing on the building and the asbestos was removed. A clearance certificate had been issued by an occupational hygienist.

“WorkCover is satisfied that the school and contractor have acted in accordance with work health and safety laws.”

A spokesman for the NSW Department of Education said “the work to install airconditioning in the school’s two demountable classrooms was carried out in accordance with the department’s Asbestos Management Plan and WorkCover NSW requirements”.

“The department has received a clearance certificate for the subject area. WorkCover has inspected the site and will provide a written report to the school when it is ready. The school principal is keeping parents informed about the situation.”

Meanwhile, work to remediate asbestos contamination at Copper Tom Point on Lake Jindabyne has been delayed by wet weather.

Work was due to be completed by the end of February, and members of the public have been asked to avoid the area until the remediation works are complete.

Continue reading here: 

Contractors disturb asbestos at Berridale Public School

Asbestos delays library reopening

There’s a problem with the Fenton Jack R. Winegarden Library — it’s not open yet.

If all had gone well with upgrades and renovations, the library would have been open by now. All of the planned improvements have been completed, with just a final cleaning needed, according to Library Board Chair Bobbie Sweetman.

But on Monday, Assistant City Manager Mike Burns presented to council the situation with the library. The issue is that there is 586 linear feet of plumbing that is still wrapped in asbestos insulation. That insulation was encapsulated when the library was converted from a post office, but today, that encapsulating wrap around the asbestos has begun to deteriorate. The problem was discovered a few weeks ago.

Burns asked for up to $30,000 to remove the wrap, the asbestos, and rewrap the plumbing. The council agreed unanimously.

Burns guesses the library will be open in late February or early March. The city still has to find contractors for the job, and work with Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

For safety, Sweetman said, “The council did exactly the right thing. The library board is very pleased at how the council responded to the issue.”

She’d rather see the building open to the public again, but is glad they’re thoroughly fixing the problem, instead of just re-wrapping the asbestos pipes. She said once the library is open, residents will love it. “It’s breathtaking to walk in there now. It’s friendlier, it’s very, very clean and bright.”

About the overall project

The library received new paint, plumbing, electrical, shelving and tiling. The overall renovation is being done in two phases, costing $310,000 total before the asbestos issue, and financed by the Downtown Development Authority (DDA).

  Patrons and employees will be able to see the original terrazzo floor at the entrance, new plaster overhead, and all will appreciate upgraded bathrooms and electrical service and new carpeting.

 Two new study rooms will be added, and the children’s library area will be modernized. Shelves are already going up in the children’s area, which also has new paint and carpet.

This article:  

Asbestos delays library reopening

ADAO Announces 11th Annual International Asbestos Awareness Conference: Registration Open

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Today, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), which combines education, advocacy, and community to help ensure justice for asbestos victims, announced its speakers and honorees for the upcoming 11th Annual International Asbestos Awareness Conference, entitled “Where Knowledge and Action Unite.” Registration opens today. ADAO is the only U.S. nonprofit organizing annual conferences dedicated solely to preventing exposure and eliminating asbestos-caused diseases.

The conference will be held April 17-19, 2015, in Washington, DC. More than 30 renowned medical experts and asbestos victims from more than 10 countries will speak on the latest advancements in asbestos disease prevention, treatment for mesothelioma and other asbestos-caused diseases, and global ban asbestos advocacy. The conference will also include an Awards and Recognition Dinner and a Unity and Remembrance Brunch.

“The 2015 ADAO conference is another key milestone for progress in public health that addresses the needs of countless asbestos victims and their families who seek answers,” said Dr. Richard Lemen, retired U.S. Assistant Surgeon General and ADAO Science Advisory Board Co-Chair. “I am honored to again be supporting and participating in this critical event.”

“As our 11th Annual Conference grows closer, I continue to be astounded at what we can accomplish when we come together,” stated Linda Reinstein, President/CEO and Co-Founder of ADAO. “Each year, more than 107,000 people die from preventable asbestos-caused diseases. Most people can’t identify asbestos or manage the risk. Without a ban, imports continue. I am looking forward to again joining together with the dedicated ADAO supporters, experts, volunteers, victims, and their families at this highly collaborative event. As a grassroots organization, we are truly thankful for the dedication and support of our many donors and volunteers who continue to prove that knowledge is power.”

Each year, ADAO’s conference recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations from around the world that serve as a voice for asbestos victims, raising awareness and advocating for a worldwide asbestos ban. ADAO is delighted to announce the 2015 ADAO Honorees which include: The American Public Health Association (APHA), the International Mesothelioma Interest Group (iMig), The Brazilian Labour Public Ministry, Dr. Jorma Rantanen, Troi Atkinson, and Ellen Patton.

To register for ADAO’s 2015 conference, visit the following link: http://www.cvent.com/d/qrqjmy

About Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) was founded by asbestos victims and their families in 2004. ADAO seeks to give asbestos victims and concerned citizens a united voice to raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure. ADAO is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing asbestos-related diseases through education, advocacy, and community. For more information, visit www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org.

Contact:

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO)

Kim Cecchini

Media Relations

202-391-5205


Kim@asbestosdiseaseawareness.org

Link: 

ADAO Announces 11th Annual International Asbestos Awareness Conference: Registration Open

Prosecutor in dust-up over asbestos threat in office

CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) – Like the sands of time, dust regularly falls on offices of the Lake County prosecutor, who hopes it isn’t laced with asbestos.

“A number of our employees have been complaining about sinus problems and are very concerned,” Prosecutor Bernard Carter said Monday.

Forty-year-old asbestos fireproofing hangs above the heads of more than 40 of his deputy prosecutors and clerical support staff along with countless visitors.

He notes with irony the asbestos has been removed in the county jail, but not where his staff works.

County Commissioner Gerry Scheub, D-Crown Point, said, “Unfortunately, there still is asbestos in the buildings, but as long as it’s not disturbed, it’s not hurting anybody.” Commissioners oversee county building maintenance.

Nevertheless, Carter said he and his employees presented the Board of Commissioners with a petition to address the problem when they were dramatically reminded of it two months ago following a water line that burst in their office, spraying their law library and evidence closet with sewage, The (Munster) Times reported (http://bit.ly/1AW7uIA ).

“The workmen who came in were all taped and dressed up like they were going into space. Our employees were walking around unprotected and wondering what they were being exposed to,” Carter said.

Scheub said, “Anytime anybody complains about air quality, we take that very seriously.” He said commissioners ordered Robert Rehder, superintendent of county government buildings, to hire a firm to test the air quality. “He told commissioners they found nothing detrimental to anybody’s health.”

Barb McConnell, one of Carter’s chief deputies, said, “Testing hasn’t been done in this office for years. We have had to tape plastic up in our victim-witness office so the stuff won’t fall on their desks. When there is movement upstairs, you can’t tell me that doesn’t disturb it.”

It’s no better for much of the floor above Carter’s office. Public Defender David Schneider said asbestos is above the heads of his staff. Senior Lake Criminal Court Judge Salvador Vasquez said three of the four original courtrooms there still have it. “So far, no one has gotten sick. We haven’t held a discussion about it, because out of sight, out of mind.”

Asbestos is a mineral fiber with heat-insulating and fire-resistance properties that was commercially sprayed into buildings until the mid-1970s, when it was linked to lung cancer in people who inhaled large amounts.

It was present in all three original buildings of the county government center when they opened four decades ago. A federal court mandate prompted county officials to remove it from the jail in the late 1980s.

The state held the county in violation of occupational safety laws in 1990 after material was found on office floors in the courts building. Commissioners posted warnings that year forbidding employees from removing any drop-ceiling tiles except in a dire emergency.

Commissioners spent $12 million between 1993 and 2006 removing asbestos from public and office areas, but the program was halted short of the mark because of cost overruns that occurred when money was diverted to new carpeting, lighting fixtures and other non-asbestos spending.

There are no plans to address asbestos with any of the $12 million the county has just borrowed to address county government building maintenance, Commissioner Mike Repay, D-Hammond, said Monday, but he said commissioners need a professional assessment of where asbestos remains, so it can be dealt with in future rehabilitation projects.

Story Continues →

Continue at source – 

Prosecutor in dust-up over asbestos threat in office

Prosecutor in dust-up over asbestos threat

CROWN POINT | Like the sands of time, dust regularly falls on offices of the Lake County prosecutor, who hopes it isn’t laced with asbestos.

“A number of our employees have been complaining about sinus problems and are very concerned,” Prosecutor Bernard Carter said Monday.

Forty-year-old asbestos fireproofing hangs above the heads of more than 40 of his deputy prosecutors and clerical support staff along with countless visitors.

He notes with irony the asbestos has been removed in the county jail, but not where his staff works.

County Commissioner Gerry Scheub, D-Crown Point, said, “Unfortunately, there still is asbestos in the buildings, but as long as its not disturbed, it’s not hurting anybody.” Commissioners oversee county building maintenance.

Nevertheless, Carter said he and his employees presented the Board of Commissioners with a petition to address the problem when they were dramatically reminded of it two months ago following a water line that burst in their office, spraying their law library and evidence closet with sewage.

“The workmen who came in were all taped and dressed up like they were going into space. Our employees were walking around unprotected and wondering what they were being exposed to,” Carter said.

Scheub said, “Anytime anybody complains about air quality, we take that very seriously.” He said commissioners ordered Rober Rehder, superintendent of county government buildings, to hire a firm to test the air quality. “He told commissioners they found nothing detrimental to anybody’s health.”

Barb McConnell, one of Carter’s chief deputies, said, “Testing hasn’t been done in this office for years. We have had to tape plastic up in our victim-witness office so the stuff won’t fall on their desks. When there is movement upstairs, you can’t tell me that doesn’t disturb it.”

It’s no better for much of the floor above Carter’s office. Public Defender David Schneider said asbestos is above the heads of his staff. Senior Lake Criminal Court Judge Salvador Vasquez said three of the four original courtrooms there still have it. “So far, no one has gotten sick. We haven’t held a discussion about it, because out of sight, out of mind.”

Asbestos is a mineral fiber with heat-insulating and fire-resistance properties that was commercially sprayed into buildings until the mid 1970s, when it was linked to lung cancer in persons who inhaled large amounts.

It was present in all three original buildings of the county government center when they opened four decades ago. A federal court mandate prompted county officials to remove it from the jail in the late 1980s.

The state held the county in violation of occupational safety laws in 1990 after material was found on office floors in the courts building. Commissioners posted warnings that year forbidding employees from removing any drop-ceiling tiles except in a dire emergency.

Commissioners spent $12 million between 1993 and 2006 removing asbestos from public and office areas, but the program was halted short of the mark because of cost overruns that occurred when money was diverted to new carpeting, lighting fixtures and other non-asbestos spending.

There are no plans to address asbestos with any of the $12 million the county has just borrowed to address county government building maintenance, Commissioner Mike Repay, D-Hammond, said Monday, but he said commissioners need a professional assessment of where asbestos remains, so it can be dealt with in future rehabilitation projects.

Excerpt from – 

Prosecutor in dust-up over asbestos threat

A.M. Best Special Report: U.S. Insurers Continue Funding of Asbestos & Environmental Liabilities Despite Elusive End …

OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

The current estimate of net asbestos losses for the U.S. property/casualty industry remains at $85 billion, with net environmental losses estimated at $42 billion, according to a new Best’s Special Report.

According to the report titled “U.S. Insurers Continue Funding of Asbestos & Environmental Liabilities, Despite Elusive End Game,” the industry had funded slightly more than 90% of its aggregate asbestos and environmental (A&E) exposures as of year-end 2013. This translated into an unfunded liability of $6.7 billion for asbestos and $3.9 billion for environmental. The report also notes that incurred losses have increased in five of the past seven years.

A.M. Best recognizes that fully funding ultimate estimates may be akin to hitting a moving target, given that ultimate exposures cannot be known with precision, especially regarding asbestos claims. Nevertheless, funding efforts continue, as most recently seen in sizable additions to A&E reserves during 2014 by Travelers Group, Hartford Insurance Group and Liberty Mutual Insurance Cos. In aggregate, these three insurers added nearly $690 million to net A&E reserves in 2014, with most of the strengthening on the asbestos side, according to the report.

For a full copy of this special report, please visit: http://www3.ambest.com/bestweek/purchase.asp?record_code=232114.

This report originally appeared in Best’s Journal, dated Dec. 22, 2014. Best’s Journal is a biweekly publication that presents A.M. Best’s original research, analysis and commentary on the global insurance industry and is available exclusively as part of a subscription to the Best’s Insurance News & Analysis service. More information about the Best’s Insurance News & Analysis subscription service is available at http://www.ambest.com/sales/bina/default.asp.

To order, contact Customer Service at +(1) (908) 439 2200, ext. 5742 or at (800) 424-2378 when calling from the United States and Canada.

A.M. Best Company is the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2015 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Contact:
A.M. Best
Gerard Altonji, 908-439-2200, ext. 5626
Assistant Vice President
gerard.altonji@ambest.com

or


Christopher Sharkey, +(1) 908-439-2200, ext. 5159
Manager, Public Relations
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com

or


Jim Peavy, +(1) 908-439-2200, ext. 5644
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
james.peavy@ambest.com

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A.M. Best Special Report: U.S. Insurers Continue Funding of Asbestos & Environmental Liabilities Despite Elusive End …

6 firms cited for asbestos violations during work at Evanston school

Federal safety officials say six Chicago-area companies have been cited after workers allegedly were exposed to asbestos and other hazards while renovating a middle school in Evanston.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says the exposure occurred during the summer renovation of the Chute Middle School cafeteria. The agency is proposing a combined $132,000 in penalties.

OSHA and Illinois Department of Public Health officials say the companies didn’t require employees to limit asbestos exposure or wear personal protective equipment while cutting pipes that contained asbestos, failed to take air samples and didn’t properly dispose of debris.

Asbestos exposure has been linked to lung cancer.

Inspectors say some workers also were exposed to lead-based paint and electrical hazards.

The companies have 15 days to accept or contest the citations.

Associated Press

Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune

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6 firms cited for asbestos violations during work at Evanston school

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) Went to the Front Lines in 2014, with More than 40,000 People United in …

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

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; today announced the highlights of its 2014 Year-In-Review.

With more than 40,000 people in its network, ADAO took its voice to the front lines to influence global policy, advocate for an asbestos ban, and promote research. The organization further strengthened its network of victims, physicians, researchers, public health practitioners, and labor union members and increased its credibility as a leader in the field with presentations at more than 12 conferences around the world.

“Every 2014 accomplishment is possible because of the generosity of volunteers, individual donors and, sponsors, who fuel our work and further our cause,” stated ADAO President Linda Reinstein. “We especially thank those who helped make our 10th Annual Conference in 2014 such a huge success and we are looking forward to setting new records of support for all of our programs next year, and in particular, our 2015 conference. The need has never been greater as we work together to influence a global ban, and join our minds and hearts to create a future where asbestos no longer claims lives.”

Top 5 Highlights:

2014 Education Initiatives: In an effort to educate the public about the dangers of asbestos exposure, ADAO:

2014 Advocacy Initiatives: In order to advocate for an international ban on asbestos use and the mining and exportation of this known carcinogen, ADAO:

  • Supported U.S. Senate’s passage of the Tenth Annual Resolution which designated April 1-7, 2014 as “National Asbestos Awareness Week”

2014 Community Initiatives: In an effort to provide a community of support for those affected by asbestos, ADAO:

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.

Contact:

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO)

Kim Cecchini

Media Relations

(202) 391-5205


Kim@asbestosdiseaseawareness.org

Read article here: 

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) Went to the Front Lines in 2014, with More than 40,000 People United in …

More asbestos cleaning at council basement rooms

SAFETY FIRST: Essential Energy contractors carry out work on Ray Walsh House in Tamworth after asbestos was discovered in a basement area. Photo: Gareth Gardner 061114GGA01

SAFETY FIRST: Essential Energy contractors carry out work on Ray Walsh House in Tamworth after asbestos was discovered in a basement area. Photo: Gareth Gardner 061114GGA01

FURTHER asbestos management work has been carried out at Tamworth’s council chambers in Peel St.

Two rooms in the basement of Ray Walsh House underwent precautionary cleaning late last month.

The rooms are adjacent to an electrical substation, where the presence of asbestos was confirmed in 2013.

Last month Essential Energy engaged an “asbestos hygienist” to clean the substation, which it leases from the council.

The asbestos is contained in a fire-retardant material applied to steel beams throughout the substation and adjoining rooms.

Heat and vibrations generated by electrical equipment has caused the substation’s asbestos to crumble, creating a potential health hazard.

Tamworth Regional Council corporate and governance director Robert Charlesworth said there was no threat to either the public or employees.

“When Essential Energy were here doing their substation, we had a hygienist undertake some air particle testing,” he said.

“It came back negative in those adjacent rooms, which is the cleaner room and the meter room. I made the decision that because they said there was dust in there – it was not asbestos-contaminated dust – to have them fully cleaned by the hygienist.”

Mr Charlesworth said there was some form of asbestos in virtually every building in Tamworth.

“While the hygienist was here I got him to do some testing in other areas within the building, to make sure the asbestos that we’re aware of is maintained and in good order,” he said.

“There is no issue with the asbestos that’s in the vermiculite covering the beams unless it has an external factor interfering with it, such as heat and vibrations.”

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More asbestos cleaning at council basement rooms

Protect yourself from asbestos with the proper training

Updates: The ACT government has recently passed new laws relating to dealing with asbestos.

Updates: The ACT government has recently passed new laws relating to dealing with asbestos. Photo: Virginia Star

The ACT government has recently passed new laws when dealing with asbestos that will take effect from January 1, 2015. The new laws will include new regulations and two codes of practice developed by Safe Work Australia.

The key changes in the regulations remove the old rule where anyone could remove bonded asbestos if the area was less than 10 square metres. After January 1, 2015, the removal of bonded asbestos will now have to be carried out by a licensed asbestos removalist.

The only exemption to the above requirement is when the work is minor or routine maintenance. An example may be if asbestos sheeting is fixed to a wall in a bathroom or laundry and an electrician is putting in a new powerpoint.

I expect the penalties will be significant if you are found working with and removing asbestos. These laws and fines will also apply to home handymen and do-it-yourself builders and renovators.

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Worksafe ACT will be releasing further details to both industry and the public shortly.

The new laws will change the licensing requirements for asbestos assessors and removalists by lifting the qualifications and training required to conduct the above type of work.

Another component of the amended regulations clears up some terminology and clearly replaces old terms such as a ‘competent person’ with ‘licensed asbestos assessor’. Also, some additional signage will be required when renovating a building when asbestos is present.

My message to everyone, especially DIY renovators, is please get some asbestos-awareness training. It is a risk not worth taking for the well-being of you, your family and friends. Once the fibres enter your lungs it can’t be reversed, so eliminate the risk.

The Housing Industry Association runs asbestos awareness training for industry and the public. They only take four hours and are a valuable piece of knowledge for anyone who likes doing their own repairs. Once armed with this training you will have the knowledge to identify where asbestos could be present and then engage a qualified asbestos assessor to carry out an assessment.

If asbestos is present get it removed by a qualified asbestos removalist. Spend the money and have asbestos removed and disposed of properly.

For example, asbestos can be present in many forms. It is often in putty that was used to hold in panes of glass in old timber windows and doors. Just by chiselling out old putty could release asbestos fibres. Get trained.

Neil Evans is the Housing Industry Association’s ACT and southern NSW executive director

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Protect yourself from asbestos with the proper training