_ap_ufes{"success":true,"siteUrl":"friableasbestos.com","urls":{"Home":"http://friableasbestos.com","Category":"http://friableasbestos.com/category/current-asbestos-news/","Archive":"http://friableasbestos.com/2015/04/","Post":"http://friableasbestos.com/asbestos-firms-ready-to-fight-silvers-slanted-legal-system/","Page":"http://friableasbestos.com/effect-asbestos-mesothelioma/","Nav_menu_item":"http://friableasbestos.com/69/"}}_ap_ufee

January 17, 2018

The Asbestos Institute Releases Captivating New Infographic Entitled The Value Of Safety

The Asbestos Institute Releases Captivating New Infographic Entitled The Value Of Safety

OSHA Violations and related penalties are a real cost concern for businesses in the construction, fabrication, and manufacturing trades. The Asbestos Institute shares a new infographic showing just how smart it is to make safety a priority.

Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) – The Asbestos Institute, a Phoenix, AZ-based training company that acts as an education and training resource for a variety of industries, recently released an infographic that details the real costs involved when safety isn’t made a priority at the jobsite. OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is a federal agency that is tasked with enforcing safety and health laws across the nation. By establishing and reinforcing guidelines and rules regarding safe working conditions for American men and women (as well as those working in certain territories like Guam, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico), OSHA can levy steep fines on companies that do not adhere to mandated safety protocols. The Asbestos Institute’s new infographic delivers a high impact message for businesses of all sizes – keep safety a priority!

http://theasbestosinstitute.com/value-of-safety-infographic

Some of the topics addressed by the infographic include: The most frequently cited OSHA standards violations, OSHA penalties by company size, OSHA fines by industry, and a noteworthy facts and stats section. It is enlightening to see just how exposed smaller companies are to OSHA penalties – with businesses of 1-19 individuals seeing the majority of the citations. No matter the business size, it is important to understand the value of safety – $170 billion is lost each year alone due to occupational injuries and illnesses across the nation.

About The Asbestos Institute: The Asbestos Institute, Inc. is a comprehensive training center, located in Phoenix, Arizona, that seeks to educate and protect clients through a diverse group of classes and training seminars. Classes are available at the Phoenix location, or The Asbestos Institute, Inc. can arrange on-site, EPA-approved training meetings throughout the Western United States. Since 1988, the Asbestos Institute, Inc. has helped contractors, building inspectors, asbestos abatement workers, and more, to operate within federally accepted guidelines. The ultimate goal is to improve worker safety and minimize penalties through OSHA.

Source:  

The Asbestos Institute Releases Captivating New Infographic Entitled The Value Of Safety

U.S. judge strikes sealing order over Garlock asbestos liability

By Jessica Dye

July 24 (Reuters) – A North Carolina federal judge has struck down a bankruptcy court ruling that sealed evidence and testimony about gasket maker Garlock Sealing Technologies’ liability for asbestos injuries, saying no compelling reason was stated to close the proceedings.

The “public and press have a co-extensive right to view and consider documents tendered” in court, wrote U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn in the Western District of North Carolina in Wednesday’s ruling.

Cogburn reversed the sealing order and sent it back to the bankruptcy court for further consideration.

Garlock, a subsidiary of EnPro Industries Inc, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June 2010 as it faced personal injury claims related to its asbestos-lined gaskets used in pipes, valves and other industrial applications.

Last year, U.S. Judge George Hodges in the Western District of North Carolina bankruptcy court presided over a trial to determine how much Garlock should set aside to cover claims for mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

Lawyers for plaintiffs, who say they were exposed to asbestos from Garlock products, argued the figure should be over $1 billion. But Garlock said its liability was much lower and that that estimate was based on past settlements that were inflated by manipulated evidence and fraud, according to court filings.

Legal Newsline, an online publication owned by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, filed a motion to make all the bankruptcy proceedings public, but Hodges denied it, saying certain matters discussed were confidential.

In January, Hodges ruled that Garlock should only have to pay $125 million for asbestos claims. He also slammed plaintiffs’ lawyers for withholding evidence in previous cases, “infect(ing) fatally the settlement process and historic data.”

After the trial, several companies, including Ford Motor Co and Honeywell International Inc, joined an appeal by Legal Newsline to the North Carolina district court to get the evidence unsealed.

Ford and Honeywell have also been sued over asbestos exposure and were co-defendants in some cases against Garlock.

“We’re optimistic that the evidence will ultimately be disclosed and that people can form their own opinions,” said Steven Pflaum, a lawyer for Legal Newsline.

Harold Kim, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, called the decision an important step toward bringing greater transparency to asbestos litigation.

EnPro spokesman Dan Grgurich said the company was “pleased that the judge agrees that the public has a right to access evidence developed in our case.”

Lawyers for Garlock asbestos claimants did not immediately return requests for comment.

The case is Legal Newsline v. Garlock Sealing Technologies, U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, No. 13-464.

(Reporting by Jessica Dye; Editing by Ted Botha and Richard Chang)

Source:

U.S. judge strikes sealing order over Garlock asbestos liability

Asbestos scare at Perth school

‘ + ‘ript>’); } function renderJAd(holderID, adID, srcUrl, hash) document.dcdAdsAA.push(holderID); setHash(document.getElementById(holderID), hash); document.dcdAdsH.push(holderID); document.dcdAdsI.push(adID); document.dcdAdsU.push(srcUrl); function er_showAd() var regex = new RegExp(“externalReferrer=(.*?)(; return false; } function isHome() var loc = “” + window.location; loc = loc.replace(“//”, “”); var tokens = loc.split(“/”); if (tokens.length == 1) return true; else if (tokens.length == 2) if (tokens[1].trim().length == 0) return true; } return false; } function checkAds(checkStrings) var cs = checkStrings.split(‘,’); for (var i = 0; i 0 && cAd.innerHTML.indexOf(c) > 0) document.dcdAdsAI.push(cAd.hash); cAd.style.display =’none’; } } if (!ie) for (var i = 0; i 0 && doc.body.innerHTML.indexOf(c) > 0) document.dcdAdsAI.push(fr.hash); fr.style.display =’none’; } } } } if (document.dcdAdsAI.length > 0 || document.dcdAdsAG.length > 0) var pingServerParams = “i=”; var sep = “”; for (var i=0;i 0) var pingServerUrl = “/action/pingServerAction?” + document.pingServerAdParams; var xmlHttp = null; try xmlHttp = new XMLHttpRequest(); catch(e) try xmlHttp = new ActiveXObject(“Microsoft.XMLHttp”); catch(e) xmlHttp = null; } if (xmlHttp != null) xmlHttp.open( “GET”, pingServerUrl, true); xmlHttp.send( null ); } } function initAds(log) for (var i=0;i 0) doc.removeChild(doc.childNodes[0]); doc.open(); var newBody = fr.body; if (getCurrentOrd(newBody) != “” ) newBody = newBody.replace(“;ord=”+getCurrentOrd(newBody), “;ord=” + Math.floor(100000000*Math.random())); else newBody = newBody.replace(“;ord=”, “;ord=” + Math.floor(100000000*Math.random())); doc.write(newBody); document.dcdsAdsToClose.push(fr.id); } } else var newSrc = fr.src; if (getCurrentOrd(newSrc) != “” ) newSrc = newSrc.replace(“;ord=”+getCurrentOrd(newSrc), “;ord=” + Math.floor(100000000*Math.random())); else newSrc = newSrc.replace(“;ord=”, “;ord=” + Math.floor(100000000*Math.random())); fr.src = newSrc; } } } if (document.dcdsAdsToClose.length > 0) setTimeout(function() closeOpenDocuments(document.dcdsAdsToClose), 500); } } }; var ie = isIE(); if(ie && typeof String.prototype.trim !== ‘function’) String.prototype.trim = function() return this.replace(/^s+; } document.dcdAdsH = new Array(); document.dcdAdsI = new Array(); document.dcdAdsU = new Array(); document.dcdAdsR = new Array(); document.dcdAdsEH = new Array(); document.dcdAdsE = new Array(); document.dcdAdsEC = new Array(); document.dcdAdsAA = new Array(); document.dcdAdsAI = new Array(); document.dcdAdsAG = new Array(); document.dcdAdsToClose = new Array(); document.igCount = 0; document.tCount = 0; var dcOrd = Math.floor(100000000*Math.random()); document.dcAdsCParams = “”; var savValue = getAdCookie(“sav”); if (savValue != null && savValue.length > 2) document.dcAdsCParams = savValue + “;”; document.dcAdsCParams += “csub=csub;”; var aamCookie=function(e,t)var i=document.cookie,n=””;return i.indexOf(e)>-1&&(n=”u=”+i.split(e+”=”)[1].split(“;”)[0]+”;”),i.indexOf(t)>-1&&(n=n+decodeURIComponent(i.split(t+”=”)[1].split(“;”)[0])+”;”),n(“aam_did”,”aam_dest_dfp_legacy”);

Mr Axworthy said he recieved a call from the school and that he elected to take a cautious approach.

“Parents were notified by an SMS at 6pm on Monday night saying the school would be closed on Tuesday, with more information to come,” he said

“That information was emailed to parents at 9pm.”

However the school will now be closed until Monday, with staff from The Department of Finance’s building management and works division, along with expert contractors, spending the rest of the week inspecting the school.

Mr Axworthy said there was no indication more asbestos would be found at the school and that the closure was a precaution.

“They will conduct comprehensive testing within the school so we can assure ourselves there is no risk or danger to any students or staff, so the school will be closed until Monday.

“We have contacted all parents.”

Mr Axworthy said Willetton’s 260 Year 12 students, along with upper school students, would not be disadvantaged

Their teachers will be relocated to North Lake Primary School for the duration of the week, and would work with the students using WIlletton’s already well-developed online learning system.

“Willetton has a very strong online connection….we’ve moved the teachers to another site and they will be able to connect directly with the families and the individual students to maintain and moniter educational programs and assignments.”

He added that the school would definitely be reopening on Monday.

However Mr Axworthy pointed his finger squarely at the Department of Finance’s building management and works division when asked if he was concerned the Education Department wasn’t aware of Friday’s asbestos discovery.

“Our staff are not in the school during the school holidays.

“Building management and works had reported nothing to us…I am not at all happy that I was informed at 5pm last night that our biggest high school has a potential problem

“We are certainly taking it up with building managment and works.”

An Education Department spokeswoman confirmed that 600 WA schools have asbestos-containing material on site, which was commonly used in buildings before the 1990s.

” All Western Australian public schools have at their premises, a site-specific asbestos register that forms an integral part of the Department’s Asbestos Management Plan,” the spokeswoman said.

“This register documents the location and condition of all known and suspected ACM, identified through visual inspection and includes details of major ACM removal.

“Asbestos registers in schools are updated every two to three years as part of the Building Condition Assessment process.

“The Western Australian Advisory Committee on Hazardous Substances Report in August 1990 indicated that exposure to asbestos cement materials in WA public schools represented negligible risk to health.

“The Department of Education’s position on ACM in WA public schools is that the material, if in relatively good condition and left undisturbed, presents negligible risk to the health of building occupants.”

She also confirmed that in the last financial year, the Education Department has spend $2 million on repairs and maintenance associated with ACM.

WA Opposition Leader Mark McGowan said the state government and the education department should have inspected buildings earlier in the school break.

“Students have been arriving and journalists have been telling them to go home,” Mr McGowan said.

“It’s clearly unacceptable, although I can’t say the students appeared unhappy.”

Willetton Senior High School has more than 1800 students.

It was built during the 1970s and is now the subject of a multi-million dollar redevelopment.

– with AAP











Originally posted here – 

Asbestos scare at Perth school

Poison Pen: Landscapes Tainted by Asbestos

Brenda Buck, left, and Rodney Metcalf from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas examining rocks in Boulder City, Nev., for naturally occurring asbestos.Steve Andrascik/Las Vegas Review-Journal, via Associated PressBrenda Buck, left, and Rodney Metcalf from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas examining rocks in Boulder City, Nev., for naturally occurring asbestos.
Poison Pen
Poison Pen

Deborah Blum writes about chemicals and the environment.

For the past few years, Brenda Buck has been sampling the dust blowing across southern Nevada. Until recently, she focused on the risks of airborne elements such as arsenic. But then she started noticing an oddity in her samples, a sprinkling of tiny, hairlike mineral fibers.

She found them on herself as well. After a ride on horseback down a dirt road 20 miles south of Las Vegas, her clothes and boots were dappled with the fibrous material. Dr. Buck, a professor of geology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, turned to her colleagues to help identify it.

Their verdict: asbestos. And lots of it.

In a paper published late last year, titled “Naturally Occurring Asbestos: Potential for Human Exposure, Southern Nevada, USA,” Dr. Buck and her colleagues reported that the fibers were similar to those found at asbestos-contaminated Superfund sites and warned that they “could be transported by wind, water, cars or on clothing after outdoor recreational activities.” The research raises the possibility that many communities in the region, including Las Vegas, may face a previously unknown hazard.

Dr. Buck and her co-author Rodney V. Metcalf, a fellow U.N.L.V. geology professor, are now trying to quantify the range and the danger posed by natural asbestos-bearing mineral deposits spread across 53,000 acres, stretching from the southern shore of Lake Mead to the edges of the McCullough Range. “Nobody wants bad news — we’re all hoping the health risks will be very low,” Dr. Buck said in an interview. “But the fact is, we don’t know that yet.”

Similar concerns are arising in an unexpectedly wide swath of the United States: Naturally occurring asbestos deposits now have been mapped in locations across the country, from Staten Island to the foothills of the Sierras in California.

Elongated asbestos fibers are created by natural mineral formations. When they turn up in industrial products, it is because people have excavated them and refined them for use — a practice dating back more than 2,000 years. Ancient Greeks used asbestos to strengthen everything from napkins to lamp wicks.

Stories of asbestos-linked illnesses date back almost as long. But it was the post-World War II embrace of these fibers, in products ranging from insulating materials to ceiling tiles to roofing shingles, that provided undeniable evidence of health effects. By the 1960s, scientists had demonstrated that a chain of occupational illnesses, including a lung cancer called mesothelioma, could be directly linked to the presence of such mineral fibers.

The term asbestos technically refers to a group of six silicate-based fibrous minerals. But this definition may underestimate the extent of naturally occurring risks, scientists say. The mineral erionite, for instance, also forms needlelike structures, which have been linked to startlingly high levels of mesothelioma in Turkey and which have recently been discovered in the oil-and-gas boom regions of North Dakota. The discovery of airborne erionite fibers in North Dakota recently led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to describe it as “an emerging North American hazard.”

“Essentially, these fibers flow aerodynamically into the deep lung tissue and lodge there” said Geoffrey Plumlee, a geochemist with the United States Geological Survey in Denver. They remain embedded for years, like needles in a pincushion, spurring the onset of not only mesothelioma but also other lung cancers and diseases of the respiratory system.

By the 1970s such health effects were so well documented that the Environmental Protection Agency moved to limit asbestos use, and in 1989 the agency banned almost all industrial use of the minerals. But a recent cascade of research has renewed scientific worries.

For one thing, recent soil studies show that residential developments have spread into mineral-rich regions. California’s state capital, Sacramento, for example, spilled into neighboring El Dorado County, where, it turned out, whole neighborhoods were built across a swatch of asbestos deposits.

And sophisticated epidemiological studies have shown that this was more than an occupational health issue. The small mining town of Libby, Mont., provided one of the most dramatic case studies. Almost a fifth of the residents have now received diagnoses of asbestos-linked illnesses, from mesothelioma to severe scarring of lung tissue.

When these conditions began cropping up across the entire town in the late 1990s, investigators assumed that those sickened were all workers at a nearby mine. But the illnesses weren’t appearing only in mine workers. Family members were stricken, too, as were residents of the town who had nothing to do with the mining business.

Investigations by alarmed government agencies — including the E.P.A, the Geological Survey and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences — established that miners brought asbestos fibers back to town with them on clothes, vehicles and other possessions. But residents were also exposed to fibers blowing about the surrounding environment — and, to the dismay of researchers, people were being sickened by far smaller exposures than had been thought to cause harm.

“Libby really started the new focus on the issue,” said Bradley Van Gosen, a research geochemist with the Geological Survey in Denver. Dr. Van Gosen has been put in charge of a new U.S.G.S. mapping project, an ambitious effort to trace the minerals not only across Western mining states but also elsewhere, from the Upper Midwest to a rambling path up the Eastern Seaboard, starting in southern Appalachia and stretching into Maine.

Dr. Van Gosen said that most of the Eastern deposits were linked to an ancient crustal boundary, perhaps a billion years old, that underlies mountain ranges like the Appalachians. Wherever they are found, though, minerals in the asbestos family tend to form when magnesium, silica and water are transformed by superheated magma from the earth’s mantle.

In Western states, such filamented minerals tend to result from volcanic activity. In the Midwest, where fibers have recently turned up associated with mining interests in Minnesota and Wisconsin, geologists suspect they originated in ancient magnesium-rich seafloors. A recent study in Minnesota linked an increased risk of death among miners to time spent working in mines contaminated by such deposits.

“It has the potential to be a huge deal,” said Christopher P. Weis, toxicology adviser to the director of the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences. “And we want to get the word out, because this is something that can be addressed if we tackle it upfront.”

Dr. Buck’s discovery of similar hazards in southern Nevada was the first time that naturally occurring asbestos had been reported in the region. At this point, she and her colleagues are simply trying to figure out the extent of the problem. A leading mesothelioma researcher, Dr. Michele Carbone of the University of Hawaii, is analyzing the fibers to help establish the magnitude of any health risk. Dr. Buck and Dr. Metcalf are expanding their sampling deeper into the Nevada desert, trying to build a better map of the hazardous regions.

“We live here. Our children are here,” Dr. Buck said. “We want very much to get this right.”

And they are approaching their discovery with personal caution. They now wear protective gear while sampling, and Dr. Buck has decided against taking her graduate students out for what appears to be risky fieldwork.

On a larger scale, researchers are investigating alternatives to creating large forbidden zones, such as wetting down roads or requiring that people in high-exposure areas wear protective masks and gear. But even small measures, like bathing after exposure and washing contaminated clothing separately, may help, Dr. Weis said.

“We can be smart and efficient about this, both at the government and at the personal level,” he said.

Continue reading:

Poison Pen: Landscapes Tainted by Asbestos

Landscapes Tainted by Asbestos

Brenda Buck, left, and Rodney Metcalf from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas examining rocks in Boulder City, Nev., for naturally occurring asbestos.Steve Andrascik/Las Vegas Review-Journal, via Associated PressBrenda Buck, left, and Rodney Metcalf from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas examining rocks in Boulder City, Nev., for naturally occurring asbestos.
Poison Pen
Poison Pen

Deborah Blum writes about chemicals and the environment.

For the past few years, Brenda Buck has been sampling the dust blowing across southern Nevada. Until recently, she focused on the risks of airborne elements such as arsenic. But then she started noticing an oddity in her samples, a sprinkling of tiny, hairlike mineral fibers.

She found them on herself as well. After a ride on horseback down a dirt road 20 miles south of Las Vegas, her clothes and boots were dappled with the fibrous material. Dr. Buck, a professor of geology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, turned to her colleagues to help identify it.

Their verdict: asbestos. And lots of it.

In a paper published late last year, titled “Naturally Occurring Asbestos: Potential for Human Exposure, Southern Nevada, USA,” Dr. Buck and her colleagues reported that the fibers were similar to those found at asbestos-contaminated Superfund sites and warned that they “could be transported by wind, water, cars or on clothing after outdoor recreational activities.” The research raises the possibility that many communities in the region, including Las Vegas, may face a previously unknown hazard.

Dr. Buck and her co-author Rodney V. Metcalf, a fellow U.N.L.V. geology professor, are now trying to quantify the range and the danger posed by natural asbestos-bearing mineral deposits spread across 53,000 acres, stretching from the southern shore of Lake Mead to the edges of the McCullough Range. “Nobody wants bad news — we’re all hoping the health risks will be very low,” Dr. Buck said in an interview. “But the fact is, we don’t know that yet.”

Similar concerns are arising in an unexpectedly wide swath of the United States: Naturally occurring asbestos deposits now have been mapped in locations across the country, from Staten Island to the foothills of the Sierras in California.

Elongated asbestos fibers are created by natural mineral formations. When they turn up in industrial products, it is because people have excavated them and refined them for use — a practice dating back more than 2,000 years. Ancient Greeks used asbestos to strengthen everything from napkins to lamp wicks.

Stories of asbestos-linked illnesses date back almost as long. But it was the post-World War II embrace of these fibers, in products ranging from insulating materials to ceiling tiles to roofing shingles, that provided undeniable evidence of health effects. By the 1960s, scientists had demonstrated that a chain of occupational illnesses, including a lung cancer called mesothelioma, could be directly linked to the presence of such mineral fibers.

The term asbestos technically refers to a group of six silicate-based fibrous minerals. But this definition may underestimate the extent of naturally occurring risks, scientists say. The mineral erionite, for instance, also forms needlelike structures, which have been linked to startlingly high levels of mesothelioma in Turkey and which have recently been discovered in the oil-and-gas boom regions of North Dakota. The discovery of airborne erionite fibers in North Dakota recently led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to describe it as “an emerging North American hazard.”

“Essentially, these fibers flow aerodynamically into the deep lung tissue and lodge there” said Geoffrey Plumlee, a geochemist with the United States Geological Survey in Denver. They remain embedded for years, like needles in a pincushion, spurring the onset of not only mesothelioma but also other lung cancers and diseases of the respiratory system.

By the 1970s such health effects were so well documented that the Environmental Protection Agency moved to limit asbestos use, and in 1989 the agency banned almost all industrial use of the minerals. But a recent cascade of research has renewed scientific worries.

For one thing, recent soil studies show that residential developments have spread into mineral-rich regions. California’s state capital, Sacramento, for example, spilled into neighboring El Dorado County, where, it turned out, whole neighborhoods were built across a swatch of asbestos deposits.

And sophisticated epidemiological studies have shown that this was more than an occupational health issue. The small mining town of Libby, Mont., provided one of the most dramatic case studies. Almost a fifth of the residents have now received diagnoses of asbestos-linked illnesses, from mesothelioma to severe scarring of lung tissue.

When these conditions began cropping up across the entire town in the late 1990s, investigators assumed that those sickened were all workers at a nearby mine. But the illnesses weren’t appearing only in mine workers. Family members were stricken, too, as were residents of the town who had nothing to do with the mining business.

Investigations by alarmed government agencies — including the E.P.A, the Geological Survey and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences — established that miners brought asbestos fibers back to town with them on clothes, vehicles and other possessions. But residents were also exposed to fibers blowing about the surrounding environment — and, to the dismay of researchers, people were being sickened by far smaller exposures than had been thought to cause harm.

“Libby really started the new focus on the issue,” said Bradley Van Gosen, a research geochemist with the Geological Survey in Denver. Dr. Van Gosen has been put in charge of a new U.S.G.S. mapping project, an ambitious effort to trace the minerals not only across Western mining states but also elsewhere, from the Upper Midwest to a rambling path up the Eastern Seaboard, starting in southern Appalachia and stretching into Maine.

Dr. Van Gosen said that most of the Eastern deposits were linked to an ancient crustal boundary, perhaps a billion years old, that underlies mountain ranges like the Appalachians. Wherever they are found, though, minerals in the asbestos family tend to form when magnesium, silica and water are transformed by superheated magma from the earth’s mantle.

In Western states, such filamented minerals tend to result from volcanic activity. In the Midwest, where fibers have recently turned up associated with mining interests in Minnesota and Wisconsin, geologists suspect they originated in ancient magnesium-rich seafloors. A recent study in Minnesota linked an increased risk of death among miners to time spent working in mines contaminated by such deposits.

“It has the potential to be a huge deal,” said Christopher P. Weis, toxicology adviser to the director of the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences. “And we want to get the word out, because this is something that can be addressed if we tackle it upfront.”

Dr. Buck’s discovery of similar hazards in southern Nevada was the first time that naturally occurring asbestos had been reported in the region. At this point, she and her colleagues are simply trying to figure out the extent of the problem. A leading mesothelioma researcher, Dr. Michele Carbone of the University of Hawaii, is analyzing the fibers to help establish the magnitude of any health risk. Dr. Buck and Dr. Metcalf are expanding their sampling deeper into the Nevada desert, trying to build a better map of the hazardous regions.

“We live here. Our children are here,” Dr. Buck said. “We want very much to get this right.”

And they are approaching their discovery with personal caution. They now wear protective gear while sampling, and Dr. Buck has decided against taking her graduate students out for what appears to be risky fieldwork.

On a larger scale, researchers are investigating alternatives to creating large forbidden zones, such as wetting down roads or requiring that people in high-exposure areas wear protective masks and gear. But even small measures, like bathing after exposure and washing contaminated clothing separately, may help, Dr. Weis said.

“We can be smart and efficient about this, both at the government and at the personal level,” he said.

Original article: 

Landscapes Tainted by Asbestos

Perth Hills fire exposes deadly asbestos fibres

Warning to Perth Hills residents as fire exposes deadly asbestos fibres

WA News

Date

Leanne Nicholson


Fire damaged vehicles are pictured on a Stoneville property in Narla Retreat.Click for more photos

Perth hills fire devastates community

Fire damaged vehicles are pictured on a Stoneville property in Narla Retreat. Photo: Getty Images

Residents recovering from the devastating Perth Hills fires have been warned of a secondary danger facing homeowners and clean-up services.

Asbestos in homes and buildings may have been exposed or disturbed by the fires, specialist in the deadly fibres Laine McDonald said.

Ms McDonald said residents who returned to their properties and homes to begin the clean-up process should be aware of the risks of asbestos dust.

“As residents start cleaning up after the fires, they could be at risk of exposure, especially without adequate respiratory protection,” said Ms McDonald, a Slater and Gordon asbestos lawyer.

Advertisement

“Once breathed in, the dust released by damaged asbestos products can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer and other serious lung diseases.

“Around 250 Western Australians die every year from asbestos-related diseases and as long as asbestos products remain in our community we continue to be at risk.

“Most of us wouldn’t be able to tell if our homes contained asbestos, but as a general rule, if it was built before the mid 1980s there could be a risk to health.”

Information about handling asbestos during the clean-up can be found on the Department of Health’s website.

Ms McDonald said while there were ways to remove damaged asbestos themselves, it was much safer for residents to use an asbestos removal contractor.

Fairfax Media has contacted the Shire of Mundaring for comment.

Visit site – 

Perth Hills fire exposes deadly asbestos fibres

Asbestos fears in wake of Christine

Residents affected by ex-tropical cyclone Christine are warned over the risk of exposure to asbestos.

Residents affected by ex-tropical cyclone Christine are warned over the risk of exposure to asbestos after buildings were hammered earlier in the week.

The cyclonic winds and pelting rain may have passed by Western Australia’s Pilbara and Kimberley regions, however, ex-tropical cyclone Christine has exposed a fresh yet familiar danger for residents to contend with.

Asbestos in buildings, fencing and other building products dislodged or damaged during the wild weather now pose an additional health risk to Pilbara residents if they are exposed to the cancer-causing material.

Slater and Gordon asbestos lawyer Laine McDonald issued the warning to residents of the risks of asbestos exposure during the cleaning up of properties, homes and businesses battered by Christine.

“Once asbestos is disturbed, it can pose a real danger to health,” Ms McDonald said.

Advertisement

“Residents who are returning to their homes and businesses could be at risk of exposure, especially if they start cleaning up without the right protection.

“While it’s difficult to tell if a structure contains asbestos, if it was built in the mid-1980s – the time when this common building product was phased out – you assume there’s a risk.”

It’s believe about 600 Australian are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year.

Asbestos was commonly used as a construction material throughout the Pilbara.

It was mined in Wittenoom, 1100 kilometres north-east of Perth in the Pilbara, before the town was evacuated and essentially wiped off the map by authorities.

“Asbestos products damaged by severe storms like cyclone Christine can release a very dangerous dust which, once breathed in, can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer and other serious illnesses,” Ms McDonald said.

“Each year around 250 Western Australians die from asbestos-related diseases, with a lag of about 30-40 years between exposure and diagnosis of an illness.

“Asbestos products are still in our homes, businesses and communities more than 40 years after the Wittenoom mine closed, so it’s a hazard that continues to confront us all.”

Despite the category three cyclone coming within about 100 kilometres of the Town of Port Hedland, mayor Kelly Howlett said the district had escaped with minor damage, mostly to the area’s natural landscape.

“We’ve got a lot of cleaning up to do but we were very fortunate,” Cr Howlett said.

“We’ve not seen any bad structural damage, just a few trees down, a lot of sand swept up from the beach and a bit of flooding.”

Cr Howlett said new and updated property development in the region had reduced the number of buildings containing asbestos.

“It’s generally been replaced in the past decade … but there’s still quite a bit.”

She said the town’s asbestos handling and removal safety procedures were “well known” to residents.

“Residents need to get relevant council approval [to remove asbestos material], but they’re quite well versed in that.”

Originally from:  

Asbestos fears in wake of Christine

Asbestos threat from NBN rollout overstated according to public health expert

A public health expert has downplayed fears that work on telecommunication pits could lead to harmful asbestos exposure among nearby residents.

Several sites in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia have been shut down because asbestos was disturbed during excavation works for the roll out of the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Authorities are investigating safety breaches and some concerned residents in the Sydney suburb of Penrith evacuated their homes.

But Professor Bruce Armstrong, who has been researching asbestos-related diseases for decades, says there is next to no danger for residents near the affected sites.

He says asbestos fibres are less dangerous when they are bound up in concrete sheeting.

“Provided it remains bound in the asbestos cement form, then the risk from it is negligible,” he said.

“The hazard…

would have been to the workers knocking the asbestos around and not to people living nearby.”

Professor Armstrong says the public lacks education about the dangers of asbestos.

“We’ve seen the difficulties that many men have experienced – Bernie Banton and others – and I think the community has not either been educated to or perhaps caught the difference between the circumstances in which those men were exposed and the circumstances around asbestos cement sheeting,” he said.

“I think that people are starting to attach to being even close to asbestos cement sheeting the same kind of hazard as men experienced in Hardie…

and this is just not the case.”

Message not welcomed by victim support groups

Asbestos victims groups say Professor Armstrong’s commentary is not helpful.

Asbestos Diseases Foundation president Barry Robson says research shows it only takes one fibre to lodge in the chest to cause disease.

“Some experts say you need a lot of exposure, other experts say you only need the one,” he said.

“We at the Asbestos Diseases Foundation, and I can say this on behalf of the other nine groups here in Australia, there is no safe level and one fibre can do the damage.”

Both men agree that politics should be kept away from the debate.

“The politicians are also beating this up,” Professor Armstrong said.

“They too are tending to portray it in a very negative light, that this is a major problem.

“Obviously the Opposition in trying to make it look as black as possible.”

Mr Robson says MPs will be judged harshly if the political debate continues throughout the NBN rollout.

“These young families are going to have this worry for 30, 40 years hanging over their heads,” he said.

Both men also say Telstra could allay community fears by talking directly to affected residents.

View post:

Asbestos threat from NBN rollout overstated according to public health expert