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October 18, 2018

EARTH Magazine: Asbestos found in Nevada and Arizona

Alexandria, Va. — In 2011, geologists at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, began discovering asbestos where none should be — in granite rocks with a geologic history not previously known to produce asbestos.

The discoveries, in Clark County in southern Nevada and across the border in northwestern Arizona, suggest that asbestos may be more widespread than previously thought; they also raise questions about the potential health hazards of naturally occurring asbestos (NOA).

In 2012, an epidemiologist analyzing cancer data from Clark County found a higher incidence than expected of mesothelioma — a fatal cancer of the lining of the chest cavity that is caused by inhalation of asbestos. In response, geologists have discovered a geologically unexpected deposit of asbestos that might be the source. Disagreements on process between the scientists and the state have prevented the traditional publishing of those findings.

In Nevada, where some popular off-road recreational vehicle areas cross through these asbestos-bearing formations, the planned construction of the new Boulder City Bypass has spurred debate over how much asbestos is getting into the air, and what that means for public health.

###

Read more about the discovery, geology, and potential health hazards of the new asbestos deposits in the March issue of EARTH magazine

For more stories about the science of our planet, check out EARTH magazine online or subscribe at http://www.earthmagazine.org. The February issue, now available on the digital newsstand, features stories on new tracers that can identify fracking fluids in the environment, a stegosaurus’ deadly battle with an allosaurus, and a geological and historical exploration of the rocks, reefs and beaches of Bermuda, plus much, much more.

Keep up to date with the latest happenings in Earth, energy and environment news with EARTH magazine online at: http://www.earthmagazine.org/. Published by the American Geosciences Institute, EARTH is your source for the science behind the headlines.

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 50 geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society’s use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

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EARTH Magazine: Asbestos found in Nevada and Arizona

Holland man admits he dumped asbestos

Published: Wednesday, 3/4/2015

BORDERLAND

Holland man admits he dumped asbestos

BLADE STAFF

A Holland man admitted Tuesday that he removed and dumped asbestos from the former Champion Spark Plug plant on Upton Avenue.

Ronald Gibson, 56, pleaded guilty in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to engaging in asbestos hazard-abatement activity without a license, engaging in asbestos-removal work without prior written notice to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and illegal disposal of construction and demolition debris.

Gibson told the court he was hired to remove the asbestos in the fall of 2012 and did so even though he knew it was illegal because he was “hurting for money.” He said he disposed of the materials in Dumpsters at a Dorr Street mobile home park and an abandoned house off Old State Line Road.

Judge Linda Jennings scheduled sentencing for April 15.


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Holland man admits he dumped asbestos

Asbestos sufferers facing compensation blow


Asbestos sufferers facing compensation blow

Published: 7 Jun 2014 09:00

MANY Inverclyde people suffering from asbestos-related illnesses could lose out on compensation because of proposed changes to the law, it’s feared.

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The Scottish Government’s Court Reform Bill — which is currently being considered by parliament — would mean some cases would be downgraded from the Court of Session to sheriff courts, or a new specialist personal injury court.

That would mean claimants would not be automatically entitled to the service of an advocate, when insurance companies contesting claims would always hire one to fight their corner.

This could put claimants at a disadvantage, Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Duncan McNeil said today.

Mr McNeil said: “This is an unintentional outcome of this proposed legislation.

“Given the number of people in Inverclyde who suffer from illnesses related to exposure to asbestos, I am very concerned they could come up against an uneven playing field in court — and could lose out on compensation.”

The MSP’s worries are shared by 60-year-old Neil Miller of Greenock, who has a condition known as pleural plaques, which he believes was caused by being exposed to asbestos through working in the shipyards and the building industry.

Mr Miller, who is married with a son and a daughter, found out three years ago that he had the scar tissue on the outside of the lungs after going into hospital for a triple by-pass operation following a heart attack.

He said: “The doctors saw the spots on my lungs.

“I would never have known I had pleural plaques.

“Thousands of people don’t know they have it.

“It hasn’t affected me yet but I’m worried that it could lead on to something more serious and that the planned change in the law would affect my chances of compensation.”

Scottish Government justice secretary Kenny MacAskill has defended the proposed changes.

He says they are designed to ensure that cases are heard in the appropriate court to reduce unnecessary delays and disproportionate costs to all litigants.

Mr MacAskill said: “We do not believe this will result in asbestos cases where insurers have access to counsel and pursuers are denied access.

“We believe the reforms will provide benefits to all court users by ensuring cases are heard in an efficient and effective court system.”

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Asbestos sufferers facing compensation blow

Asbestos testing continues at Auckland school

Asbestos testing continues at Auckland school

Published: 10:28AM Friday May 09, 2014 Source: Fairfax

An Auckland primary school shut after asbestos dust was found will undergo further testing.

Herne Bay’s Bayfield School was closed yesterday for health and safety reasons after discovery of the dust in a construction site.

Initial testing found no asbestos contamination outside of the work site, the Ministry of Education said.

“We are reassured by these results. We will be commissioning more tests to make absolutely sure there are no traces of asbestos outside the demolition site in areas children or staff have access to,” head of education infrastructure service Kim Shannon said.

A secondary investigation into how the demolition site was managed is also underway.

“Industry best-practice guidelines for safe asbestos removal were built into the tender for the demolition work, which specified the use of a certified asbestos remover,” Shannon said.

“We understand the frustrations around this situation.

“Worksafe New Zealand have developed a plan to remove remaining demolition materials from the school and we will be implementing that plan tomorrow.”

A holiday programme provider is running a class for affected schoolchildren today. A nearby school is also sharing classrooms and a hall with Bayfield School.

The school will not reopen until the site is given the all clear but classes are expected to resume early next week, Shannon said.

The Ministry of Health says asbestos dust is a risk to people when inhaled. Fibres can become stuck and leads to “breathing difficulties or even lung cancer”.

Bayfield is a decile 10 school with about 380 year 1 to year 6 students.

It is currently having 70% of its buildings rebuilt after the premises were affected by weather-tightness issues.

Principal Sheryl Fletcher has previously told Fairfax Media Bayfield’s 12-year-old buildings were leaky and cold with damp patches on the walls and ceilings on rainy days.

    Copyright © 2014, Television New Zealand Limited. Breaking and Daily News, Sport & Weather | TV ONE, TV2 | Ondemand

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    Asbestos testing continues at Auckland school

    Auckland primary school closed over asbestos scare

    Auckland primary school closed over asbestos scare

    Published: 10:52AM Thursday May 08, 2014 Source: ONE News

    • A construction site which saw Bayfield School close. (Source: ONE News reporter Ruth Wynn-Williams)

      A construction site which saw Bayfield School close. – Source: ONE News reporter Ruth Wynn-Williams

    • Bayfield School has been closed due to health and safety concerns. (Source: ONE News reporter Ruth Wynn-Williams)

      Bayfield School in the Auckland suburb of Herne Bay has been closed due to health and safety concerns. – Source: ONE News reporter Ruth Wynn-Williams

    Two separate investigations have been launched into the closure of a school in the Auckland suburb of Herne Bay after the demolition of buildings prompted an asbestos scare.

    Bayfield School’s Board of Trustees last night made the decision to close the school until further notice after testing on the building site found asbestos dust. The construction work began on April 7.

    Both the Ministry of Education and Worksafe NZ have announced they’ll be investigating the issue and that the children won’t return to school until tests prove that it is safe.

    WorkSafe NZ has prohibited any further work on the school site, and further tests would be carried out today to see if the area outside the fences was asbestos-free.

    Head of the Education Infrastructure Service Kim Shannon says the Ministry is working with the school to make provision for the students’ education and that they are expected to be back at school early next week.

    “We fully support the decision of the Board of Trustees of Bayfield School to temporarily close the school as a precautionary measure, while we investigate concerns about demolition of some buildings on the school site,” says Ms Shannon.

    Parents working on the construction alerted the Board to the problem, according to Chair of the Bayfield Board of Trustees David McPherson, who also says the Board had been “constantly monitoring” the construction job.

    “To date we have been satisfied with the process being applied but during the course of today we have become increasingly concerned with the position,” the Board said in a statement.

    “This concern has been borne out by a number of tests carried out that indicated the possibility that asbestos dust exists outside the fenced area of works.”

    The Ministry says they were aware that there was asbestos on the site from the first day of construction and had hired a “specialist asbestos contractor”. However, they are unsure why a problem has occurred now.

    WorkSafe is the site regulator, and the school and the building contractor are responsible for site safety. The person responsible for on-site safety at the school was being managed by an independent person appointed by the Ministry of Education.

      Copyright © 2014, Television New Zealand Limited. Breaking and Daily News, Sport & Weather | TV ONE, TV2 | Ondemand

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      Auckland primary school closed over asbestos scare

      Locomotives return after asbestos scare

      Locomotives return after asbestos scare

      Published: 8:24PM Monday March 17, 2014 Source: ONE News

      • KiwiRail locomotives. (Source: ONE News)

        KiwiRail locomotives. – Source: ONE News

      KiwiRail is reassuring staff that the level of asbestos in its Chinese-built freight trains is minimal.

      Forty new DL locomotives have been tested for asbestos after toxic fibres were found inside one last month.

      The tests have found the potentially deadly material is only present in five trains in its fleet.

      KiwiRail maintains the risk of exposure to any airborne fibres is low so it will bring the trains back into service soon.

      It says it is in the process of removing the packing material where the asbestos was found in all of the locomotives before they are returned to service.

      The scare saw freight movement around the country limited as the locomotives underwent testing.

      Chief executive Peter Reidy says the lack of capacity is still causing supply chain issues for many 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,” he said.

        Copyright © 2014, Television New Zealand Limited. Breaking and Daily News, Sport & Weather | TV ONE, TV2 | Ondemand

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        Locomotives return after asbestos scare

        Quake victim not told about asbestos for three months

        Quake victim not told about asbestos for three months

        Published: 6:19AM Saturday February 15, 2014 Source: ONE News

        A Christchurch homeowner is outraged that positive results from asbestos testing at his home were not passed on to him until months after they were available.

        The slip-up has been slammed by health officials and has drawn an apology from those responsible.

        Tom Davies has lived in his now “badly damaged” home through almost 13,000 earthquakes.

        But until recently he was unaware that he did so with the threat of deadly asbestos right above him. He showed ONE News where his ceiling was drilled for asbestos tests.

        EQR, who manage Earthquake Commission repairs, ordered testing in October last year. Documents show that the positive results were known on October 22 and the information was forwarded to EQR the following day.

        “One would’ve thought that if there is asbestos in the property, or asbestos in the area, that they would tell you immediately,” Mr Davies says.

        They didn’t, and in fact Mr Davies was not told until January 27, three months after the results were known.

        “They should be getting in touch with them promptly and offering them options to move out,” says Dr Alistair Humphrey, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health.

        In a statement, Fletchers EQR admit that there was an error in communication. They say it is their policy to contact homeowners as quickly as possible. However they deny that there was any heightened risk to occupants.

        Experts are advising Mr Davies not to take any chances, until he’s sure his home is safe.

        “My advice and our advice always to anyone living in a home where there is friable asbestos is get out as fast as you can,” says Dr Humphrey.

        Mr Davies is not sure his insurance company would pay for him to move.



        I am paying a mortgage on this house. Could I afford a rental on top of a mortgage? I’m not sure that I could just at the moment.”

        The long-term future for the house is looking better with the asbestos scheduled to be removed.

        The long term effect on Tom Davies’ health, however, remains to be seen.

          Copyright © 2014, Television New Zealand Limited. Breaking and Daily News, Sport & Weather | TV ONE, TV2 | Ondemand

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          Quake victim not told about asbestos for three months

          Asbestos discovery adds $70,000 to Carnegie Elementary project


          By Megan Guza


          Published: Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

          Updated:
          Thursday,
          August 1, 2013

          Contractors renovating Carnegie Elementary School ran into a hiccup last week when they discovered asbestos on top of the ceiling, which caused the Carlynton School Board to approve just over $70,000 in repair costs.

          The asbestos debris was found above and on top of the ceiling tiles in the basement and first floor of the school during scheduled renovations that include the installation of new heating, ventilation and air conditioning, or HVAC, equipment.

          Jon Thomas, of Thomas & Williamson Project Management, which is overseeing the contracting work for the school, said teachers and students never were exposed to the asbestos.

          “It’s not in the airstream,” he said. “All the air is circulating below the ceiling.”

          He said the hazard was to the contractors, who are unable to go in and complete the work until the asbestos is abated.

          The board approved an additional $27,850 to remove asbestos debris found on top of the ceilings in the basement and first floor. The board also approved $42,400 to remove asbestos found in three areas during installation of the new HVAC equipment.

          The funding for the work will come from a type of contingency fund, he said.

          “When we go into projects like this, we set money aside to deal with these unforeseen things,” Thomas said. “While we say it’s unforeseen, we know we’re going to run into some of this. It’s just not quantified at the time.”

          Schools must be tested every three years for asbestos, but, Thomas said, tests don’t always include concealed spaces — such as above ceiling tiles.

          Thomas said that while the newly found asbestos does create a small bump in the road, it will not delay progress on the renovations, as contractors are able to work in other areas while the asbestos is abated.

          Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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          Asbestos discovery adds $70,000 to Carnegie Elementary project