ASBESTOS NEWS DAILY - ASBESTOS RELATED CANCERS
Asbestosis – Asbestos Cancer
Asbestos Related Cancers – Asbestos Symptoms – $2.5 Million Asbestos Lawsuit
Southern Illinois cases included in asbestos MDL: 94-year-old Tennesseean among plaintiffs
5/15/2009 5:21 AM By Steve Korris
PHILADELPHIA - Rubert Ellington ofTennessee, 94-years-old, claims his former employers owe him $2.5 million for wrecking his health.
Ellington sued Illinois Central Railroad atU.S. district court inEast St. Louis in 2007, claiming itexposed him to harmful asbestos from 1959 to 1979.
Lawyer William Gavin ofBelleville added a claim that BNSF similarly harmed him from 1957 to 1959.
Gavin's complaint showed he was born in 1914.
On Thursday, May 14, Ellington answered his phone inMilan,Tenn. and said he couldn't hear well.
He heard a question about his age and said he was born Sept. 21, 1914.
In answer to the next question he said he couldn't hear. He hung up.
His claim will vanish unless Gavin rescues it from swift disposal by U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno ofPhiladelphia.
Robreno, responsible for pretrial proceedings in asbestos suits from federal courts around the nation, has cleared away claims at a rate of 6,000 a day this year.
He took over the docket last year and required each plaintiff to state a claim against each defendant rather than a blanket claim against all defendants.
Where many plaintiffs joined a single suit, he required a separate suit from each.
His process turned tens of thousands of suits into more than three million suits.
Defendants asked Robreno to dismiss about half the claims with a stroke of a pen, but Robreno preferred a thorough approach.
He asked defendants for "show cause" motions to get rid of claims one by one, and he set weekly hearings for hundreds at a time.
He enlisted a platoon of magistrates to preside over settlement conferences, and he started rounding up mediators.
On May 4 he appointed a mediator for 2,800 plaintiffs fromIndiana,Wisconsin andIllinois, including more than 100 from the Southern District of Illinois.
On May 7 he focused on 22 Gavin plaintiffs and five clients ofSt. Louis lawyer Patrick O'Brien in the Southern District.
They all sued Illinois Central as their former employer.
Among those who listed home towns, not one lived inSouthern Illinois.
Two O'Brien clients came from Heyworth and the others came fromDecatur,Champaign and Tuscola, all in the Central District.
An O'Brien complaint lists a litany of more than 20 ways to cough, plus a lament of constant medical care.
The same words appear in each complaint.
Gavin sued on behalf of three and four men at a time, claiming common issues regardless of occupation, location or duration.
In one case he asserted common questions for a carman who started work in 1950, a laborer who started in 1953, an electrician who started in 1974, and an electrician who started in another city in 1972.
All four lived inAlabama.
In another suit Gavin asserted common questions for two engineers and two carmen whose jobs began from 1934 to 1971.
The complaint didn't say where the plaintiffs lived.
Another suit showed twoMississippi plaintiffs, one fromAlabama, and one fromCoconino County,Ill.
Illinois lacks aCoconinoCounty, though it could use one. The realCoconinoCounty, inArizona, features theGrand Canyon.
Gavin didn't specify damages for any client but Ellington.
None of the cases remained in the Southern District for long.
Defendants asked the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi District Litigation to transfer them toPhiladelphia, and the panel granted transfers.
This February, defendants filed show cause motions asserting that plaintiffs didn't state specific claims as Robreno required.
O'Brien responded that he didn't receive notices to comply with Robreno's order and didn't know about it until defendants posted the motions at the Southern District.
Terry Brown ofBelleville entered an appearance as his co-counsel.
Gavin didn't respond as smoothly as O'Brien.
On April 24 the court received responses on behalf of Gavin's clients, arguing that they met the requirements of the order in 2007.
The responses bore the signature of Hector Sandoval, of Roven-Kaplan inHouston.
On April 27 clerks declared the responses deficient because they didn't come through Sandoval's password.
The Gavin and O'Brien plaintiffs suits started from 2004 to 2007.
On May 11 a new case fromSouthern Illinois bubbled up on Robreno's front burner.
The Multi District Panel sent him awrongful death suit that Michael Cascino ofChicago filed in January on behalf of the late Edward Shotts.
According to the complaint Shotts died in 2005, at age 76.
Cascino didn't give his residence, but a work history placed him inIndiana.
Prior to transfer, defendants Owens-Illinois and Guard Line Inc. argued that a two year limit had run out on wrongful death.
Airgas Merchant Gases echoed the argument and added that the complaint was devoid of facts.
From all five O'Brien complaints: Plaintiff has developed or is at risk to develop one or more of the following diseases: asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestos related pleural disease, mixed dust, pneumoconiosis, occupational asthma, bronchitis, obstructive lung disease, chronic obstructive lung disease, silicosis, shortness of breath, reduced lung function, chronic persistent cough, chest congestion, sleep interruption, aggravation of pre-existing and co-existing disease, throat cancer, laryngeal cancer, lymphoma, gastrointestinal cancer, colon, stomach and rectal cancer, otherasbestos related cancers, other diesel fume and exhaust related cancers, and other cancers associated with toxic exposure to solvents, chemicals, industrial products or chemicals, dusts, and/or particles.
The complaints also state that plaintiff has been under constant medical care and attention and will continue to receive same.
Asbestos Related Cancers – Asbestos Exposure – $2 Million Mesothelioma Verdict
Illinois Jury Awards US$2 Million Verdict in Second Hand Asbestos Lawsuit
Source: EMSL Analytical, Inc.
Aug. 24, 2009
Woman dies frommesothelioma after repeatedly laundering her husbands asbestos contaminated work clothes.
The dangerous from direct asbestos exposure are well documented in medical journals. A lesser known danger of asbestos exposure is from secondary exposure to the materials. This summer a jury inIllinois ruled on the side of a woman’s family who died from secondary asbestos exposure that occurred in the 1950s.
Leslie Corry recently died frommesothelioma, an asbestos related cancer. Nearly 60 years ago her first husband worked at an asbestos and rubber company and the suit claimed his contaminated working clothes exposed her to asbestos fibers that later caused her fatal cancer.
The popularity of asbestos by industry comes from its resistant to heat, electricity and many chemicals. Asbestos is a naturally occurring silicate mineral. It has long, thin fibrous crystals that have been used in many manufacturing processes and products until more recent times.
When aerosolized and inhaled the mineral fibers become embedded in lung tissue and can causemesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. In most cases as a person’s exposure to asbestos fibers increases, so to do their chances of developingasbestos related cancers and diseases later in life.
EMSL Analytical, one of the nation’s largest asbestos testing laboratories, has almost three decades of asbestos testing experience. “Because asbestos related cancers and diseases can take so long to manifest themselves in exposed individuals it is crucial to prevent exposure in the first place,” reported JoeFrasca, Executive Vice President for EMSL Analytical. “It’s important that the general public and workers understand the long term risks posed by asbestos exposure, both in the workplace and in the home. To help educate the public about the dangers we have provided two free educational asbestos poster available at our website,”Frasca continued.
Asbestos-Related Lawsuits – Asbestos Company – Asbestos Bankruptcy Claims
Asbestos claims lead RPM Int'l units to bankruptcy
Tue Jun 1, 2010 11:42am EDT
* RPM units files for bankruptcy due to asbestos claims
* More than 10,000 asbestos lawsuits filed
* Shares of RPM slip 0.8 percent
By Tom Hals
WILMINGTON, Delaware., June 1 (Reuters) - Subsidiaries of RPM International Inc (RPM.N) filed for bankruptcy as the chemical company seeks to resolve thousands ofasbestos-related lawsuits, according to court documents.
The parent company also asked thebankruptcy court for an injunction to prevent it from becoming a target of the plaintiffs who broughtasbestos lawsuits against the bankrupt subsidiaries, according to court documents filed on Monday.
The bankrupt subsidiaries, Specialty Products Holding Corp and Bondex International Inc, are planning to use Chapter 11 to establish a trust for the payment of asbestos-related claims.
Special Products Holding is a direct parent to operating companies that produce coatings and finishings, including DayGlo Color Corp, the world's largest producer of daylight florescent pigments.
The operating companies and RPM International are not part of the bankruptcy.
The two subsidiaries also want a permanent injunction from any further asbestos claims due to products they made or sold.
"This action has been taken to once and for all resolve the asbestos-related Bondex legacy liability," said Frank Sullivan, RPM's chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement.
Many of the alleged asbestosliabilities, that are at the heart of more than 10,000 lawsuits against the bankrupt subsidiaries, stem from Reardon Co, which was acquired in 1966. Reardon sold home patch and repair products that contained asbestos until 1977, and other products containing asbestos into the 1980s.
The bankrupt subsidiaries also sold other products containing asbestos until 1972.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was once widely used in manufacturing. It has been banned by theU.S. government after it was proven to cause cancer, often in people who were exposed by breathing in asbestos particles.
The bankrupt subsidiaries had fiscal year 2009 revenues of $329 million and $19 million of pretax income, which is less than 11 percent of RPM's consolidated total.
Until 2003, insurance covered 90 percent of the asbestos-related costs, according to court documents. Since then, insurers have claimed exhaustion and stopped making payments.
In 2005 to 2009, the bankrupt subsidiaries have incurred asbestos costs between $60 million and $82 million annually.
Asbestos-related claims have forced many companies into bankruptcy.
Specialty chemical makers W.R. Grace & Co (GRA.N), for example, has been operating in Chapter 11 since 2001. Babcock & Wilcox used bankruptcy to establish an asbestos trust that has been accepting claims since 2006.
Several attorneys who have brought lawsuits against Bondex did not immediately return calls for comment.
Shares of RPM International were down 0.8 percent at $19.66 in late morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
The case is In re Specialty Products Holding Corp, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No. 10-11780. (Reporting by Tom Hals; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)
Asbestos Related Cancer – Asbestos Medical –Mesothelioma Study
Highest Rate of Mesothelioma inU.S. found inMaine
Posted by admin May 30th, 2009 |
The National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, a part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, recently released data that shows the state ofMaine as having the highest death rate frommesothelioma in the country. The data, collected between 1999 and 2005, found around 18,000 people died annually from asbestos related cancer. The ratio works out to about 14 deaths per million people each year.
However, inMaine, the average is much higher at around 27 deaths from asbestos related cancer per million people each year. Other states that have higher than average death rates frommesothelioma includeWyoming with 22 deaths per million people andWest Virginia with 21 deaths per million people.Pennsylvania andNew Jersey also had higher than average with 21 and 20 deaths per million respectively.
Mesothelioma, a fatal form of cancer, is caused by exposure to airborne asbestos fibers. Once popularly used for its high insulation qualities, asbestos is now strictly regulated and many countries ban its use. Today, contact with airborne asbestos fibers typically occurs during asbestos abatement procedures. To protect those working with or around the carcinogen special equipment and protective clothing must be worn.
Asbestos Lung Cancer – Asbestos Medical – Asbestos Fibers in Human Cells
How Asbestos Fibers Trigger CancerIn Human Cells
ScienceDaily (Dec. 22, 2008) — Ohio State University scientists believe they are the first in the world to study the molecular underpinnings of cancer by probing individual bonds between anasbestos fiber and human cells.
Though any clinical application is years away, theresearchers hope their findings could aid in drug development efforts targeting illnesses caused by excessive exposure to asbestos, including the deadly cancer calledmesothelioma.
The researchers use atomic force microscopy to observe how a single asbestos fiber binds with a specific receptor protein on cell surfaces. They suspect that at least one of the more lethal forms of asbestos triggers a cascade of events inside cells that eventually lead to illness, sometimes decades later.
The conditions most commonly associated with long-term exposure to airborneasbestos arelung cancer; asbestosis, a chronic respiratory disease; andmesothelioma, a cancer that forms in the membrane lining most internal organs of the body, including the lungs.
Eric Taylor, a doctoral candidate in earth sciences at Ohio State and a coauthor of the study, describes atomic force microscopy as “Braille on a molecular level,” meaning it allows scientists to feel and observe what’s happening on molecular surfaces.
“We’re looking at what molecules are involved in the chain of events when the fiber touches the cell. Does the binding occur over minutes, or hours? And what processes are triggered?” said Taylor, who presented the research at the American Geophysical Union meeting inSan Francisco.
Asbestos comprises six different minerals that naturally occur in both fragment and fibrous forms. Because of its high durability and heat resistance, the fibrous form has been used in many manufacturing products since the late 1800s. Though its use is now highly regulated, asbestos is still present in many materials. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that 1.3 million employees face significant asbestos exposure on the job. Environmental exposure is also possible because asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral in soils and exposed bedrock.
Crocidolite, or blue asbestos, is part of the amphibole group of asbestos minerals, which were banned in most of the Western world by the mid-1980s. Before that, they were used in such products as ceiling tiles and thermal insulation.
OhioState researchers have focused so far on thecrocidolite form of asbestos, but eventually hope to study how all six forms of asbestos interact with certain proteins on cell surfaces. Some forms of asbestos can dissolve in the lungs if they are inhaled, but others are believed to essentially “stick” to cells, especially at high concentrations, and eventually cause lung diseases.
“For the first time, this will give us data on biological activity that should help policymakers determine which forms of asbestos are the most dangerous,” said Steven Lower, associate professor of earth sciences atOhioState and a coauthor on the study.
“The hypothesis we’re testing is that binding of cell surface receptors to asbestos fibers triggers a signal event, which initiates the cancer,” saidLower, also a faculty member in theSchool ofEnvironment and Natural Resources. “There seems to be something intrinsic about certain types of asbestos, blue asbestos in particular, that elicits a unique signal, and it triggers inflammation, the formation of pre-malignant cells and, ultimately, cancer.”
The first protein to be studied is epidermal growth factor receptor, which is present on the surface of every human cell. Understanding the intricacies of the binding process between the mineral and one or more proteins will provide an index of the biological activity of a particular type of asbestos, and might lead the researchers to figure out how to prevent or undo that interaction,Lower said.
Taylor said the driving motivation behind the research is the potential to find a way to intervene and prevent illness even after someone is exposed to asbestos. Mesothelioma symptoms don’t typically appear until 30 to 50 years after exposure. After diagnosis, however, the cancer is difficult to control, and there is no cure.
This work is supported by the National Science Foundation.
Taylor and Lower conducted the research with Ann Wylie of theUniversity ofMaryland and Brooke Mossman of theUniversity ofVermont.
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Asbestos Related Diseases – Asbestos Deaths
Asbestos Diseases Viewed As 'Epidemic'
Study finds 100,000 will die in 10 years
Mar 4, 2004 | Star Ledger
TheUnited States is facing an "epidemic" of asbestos-caused diseases, with some 100,000 people expected to die in the next decade from their past exposure to the dangerous substance, according an analysis of health data by an environmental organization.
"Ten thousand Americans die each year a rate approaching 30 deaths per day from diseases caused by asbestos," said a report to be issued today by the Environmental Working Group Action Fund.
"Asbestos kills thousands more people than skin cancer each year, and nearly the number that are slain in assaults with firearms," said the environmental group.
The study comes as the Senate is preparing to debate legislation that would nullify tens of thousands of asbestos lawsuits and transfer all pending and future claims to a newly created $108 billion victims compensation fund financed by manufacturers and insurance companies.
The Senate is expected to take up this bill at the end of this month or in early April. The measure is backed by the business community, which is seeking to cap its liability and get out from under a flood of lawsuits, but it faces opposition from organized labor and trial lawyers who argue the fund will shortchange victims.
The report, based on an analysis of more than two decades of government mortality records and epidemiological studies, said the 20- to 50-year latency period for asbestos diseases means that a substantial portion of individuals exposed in the 1960s and 1970s are now just showing up.
"EWG Action Fund projects that over the next decade, fourasbestos-related diseases mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer and gastrointestinal cancer will claim the lives of over 100,000 Americans," said the report.
"The epidemic is national in scope, affecting every state. And for every life claimed, many more will be compromised by an array of serious, if nonfatal,asbestos-caused illnesses," the report said.
The study notes thatNew Jersey was a prime destination for asbestos mined inMontana, with some 338,000 tons shipped to the state between 1948 and 1993 for use in factories such as the Johns Manville plant inSomersetCounty and W.R. Grace plants in Edgewater andTrenton.
The environmental group said the government data showed at least 2,775 people inNew Jersey were killed by asbestos from 1979 to 2001, the sixth-highest total among the 50 states. It added that its research suggests the number of deaths could be as much as double that figure because of chronic misdiagnosis of asbestosis and mesothelioma and the absence of federal tracking for mesothelioma for nearly all the time period analyzed.
Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was once used widely in many industrial processes because of its fire-retardant and insulating properties. The report said in the mid-1970s, more than 3,000 consumer and industrial products contained asbestos, asbestos product factories polluted neighborhoods and workers were heavily exposed on the job.
When inhaled, asbestos fibers can cause lung disease and cancer. As a result, its use has been sharply curtailed in recent years, though it is still found in vehicle braking systems, asphalt roof coatings and gaskets.
EWG Action Fund, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest group that focuses on researching toxins in the environment, said in its report that hazardous conditions persist today, even in workplaces where asbestos use is regulated.
Asbestos diseases overwhelmingly affect older men, according to the study. It found deaths from asbestos have been increasing steadily for the last 20 years in theUnited States, are still on the rise and will peak around 2015.
The study also said the highest death toll has come from asbestosis and mesothelioma. But it said the mortality rate of asbestosis was three times greater than the rate of mesothelioma between 1979 and 2001.
More than 625,000 people have filed lawsuits for asbestos-related injuries over the years. By the end of 2000, businesses and insurers had paid out more than $54 billion in claims, according to a 2002 Rand Corp. study.
Rand found that more than 300,000 cases were still pending and another 500,000 to 2.4 million claims could be filed in the years ahead, costing businesses upward of $210 billion. There are more than 3,000 asbestos lawsuits pending in theNew Jersey court system.
In addition, 67 companies have filed for bankruptcy because of their asbestos liabilities, and additional companies are likely to seek Chapter 11 protection.
The defunct New Jersey-based Johns-Manville Corp. was the world's largest producer of asbestos when it declared bankruptcy in 1982 after being overwhelmed by lawsuits from people who had become sick from asbestos exposure. The company established a trust fund in 1988 that is paying only 5 percent of the value of the claims against it to reserve funds for future victims. As of October, the fund had settled 570,000 damage claims for $3.2 billion and had 43,000 claims pending.
One major bankruptcy case now pending in federal court inNew Jersey involves five companies -- W.R. Grace, Owens-Corning, Armstrong World, U.S. Gypsum and Federal Mogul. All five firms sought bankruptcy protection after facing huge claims from those injured by asbestos exposure.
Two years ago, U.S. District Judge Alfred Wolin was assigned to try to resolve the extremely complicated case, but tactics he employed to move it along have been challenged by some of the parties who want him removed from the case. A federal appeals court is reviewing that issue.
Secondary Exposure Mesothelioma – $20 Million Mesothelioma Verdict
Asbestos Victim wins Twenty Million over Secondary Exposure
Posted on November 16th, 2009
by Deon Scott in All News
An asbestos victim who has contracted the asbestos cancer mesothelioma has won a massive twenty million dollars after contracting the disease through exposure to asbestos on a secondary basis. The woman, and nursing professor, is thought to have been exposed to asbestos through washing clothing.
It is claimed that she used to wash her grandfather’s clothes back in the 1960s, and this is where the secondary exposure is thought to have occurred. She went on to develop theasbestos related cancer, which can take decades to develop from the time of exposure.
Her grandfather worked as an insulator, and because asbestos was widely used in insulation in the 1960s, as well as in many other industries and applications, he would get asbestos dust and fibers on his clothing, which his granddaughter then washed.
The professor, having filed a lawsuit as a result of contracting the disease, has now been awarded twenty million dollars as a result of her exposure according to recent reports.
Asbestos Related Cancers - Mesothelioma Verdict
MESOTHELIOMA CASE ROUNDUP
Juries have returned verdicts totaling tens of millions of dollars in three recentmesothelioma cases.
The unidentified families of twoPennsylvania men who died from theasbestos-related diseasewere awarded $17 million against Crane Co. andGarlock Sealing Technologies. In another case, JayneMenssen, who worked as a secretary from 1967-69 at an Illinois asbestos fabrication facility, won a $17.87 million judgment last month againstPneumoAbex, LLC, Honeywell International and their predecessors.
In a take-home contamination case, aMaryland jury awarded Leroy Conway, Jr., 45, a total of $9.94 million for exposure to asbestos in his pre-teen years, when his father worked as an engineman on an oil tanker and carried asbestos home on his clothes. The verdict went against the ship’s owner-operator, ATTRANSCO, Inc.
Asbestos Related Disease – Asbestos Lawsuit
Railroad worker sues over asbestos exposure
4/12/2010 8:49 AM ByKellyHolleran
A former Illinois Central Railroad Company employee has filed suit against the company, alleging he has contracted an asbestos-related disease because of his work for the railroad.
Walter V. Duffy worked for Illinois Central Railroad Company from 1952 until 1995 as a fireman and engineer, according to the complaint filed March 31 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.
Throughout his work in and around the shops, tracks, roundhouses and yards inIllinois, Duffy was exposed to asbestos dust or fibers, the suit states.
Because of his exposure, Duffy claims he has contracted anasbestos-related disease, has suffered great pain, extreme nervousness and mental anguish and believes his illness is permanent in nature.
Duffy has also incurred medical costs, has sustained a loss of earnings, has experienced a diminished ability to render services, society, affection, counseling and support to his family and has experienced a shortened life expectancy, according to the complaint.
He also has a fear of contractingmesothelioma or another asbestos-caused cancer and has an increased risk of developing one of these diseases, the suit states.
Illinois Central Railroad Company was negligent by failing to provide Duffy with a safe place to work, by failing to furnish him with safetools,by failing to warn him of the true nature of asbestos-containing products and by failing to operate the locomotive repair facility in a safe condition, according to the complaint.
The railroad also negligently failed to provide instructions or a method for the safe use of asbestos-containing products, the suit states.
Duffy also claims Illinois Central Railroad Company was negligent by failing to provide him with safe and proper ventilation systems and by requiring employees to work with ultra-hazardous products.
The company negligently failed to periodically test Duffy to determine if he was subject to any ill effects, failed to limit access to areas where asbestos-containing products were being used, failed to provide Duffy with a separate locker for clothing worn home and failed to test products before employees used them, according to the complaint.
In his three-count suit, Duffy is seeking a judgment in excess of $50,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems appropriate.
He is represented by William P. Gavin of the Gavin Law Firm inBelleville, by Kip A.Harbison ofGlasser andGlasser inNorfolk and by Willard J. Moody Jr. of Moody,Strople,Kloeppel and Higginbotham inPortsmouth.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-150.
Texas - Mesothelioma Death
Texas Mesothelioma Asbestos Lawsuit Results in $11M Verdict
AboutLawsuits.com | April 2nd, 2010 at 9:31 am
ATexas painter has been awarded $11 million in amesothelioma asbestos lawsuit againstBondex, Union Carbide and other manufacturers whose parts allegedly contained cancer-causing asbestos.
A jury inDallas handed down the verdict on March 30 in favor of Vernon Walker and his wife, Patsy Walker. According to a press release issued by attorneys representing the couple,Walker was diagnosedwithmesothelioma cancer after working as a career painter in the construction industry.
Walker worked as a union painter on skyscrapers and other construction projects. The defendants in theasbestos exposure lawsuit said that the types of asbestosWalker had been exposed to, includingchrysotile andcalidria, do not causeasbestos-related cancer.
The $11 million verdict apportioned 40% of the liability forWalker’s cancer to Union Carbide, and the rest of the blame was divided among defendants that included product manufacturersBondex, Kelly Moore and Georgia Pacific. However, all of the defendants exceptBondex settled out of court before a verdictwas reached.
Mesothelioma is a rare and fatal form of cancer that is found in the lining of the chest and lungs. The only known cause ofmesothelioma is asbestos exposure, and it is often not diagnosed until decades after exposure. As a result of the long latency period, the cancer is very advanced when it is diagnosed and life expectancy with the disease is limited.
Asbestos was widely used in a variety of manufacturing and construction applications throughout the last century, with use peaking in 1973. Most uses of asbestos were banned in the mid-1980s. Despite the ban, the U.S.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the number ofmesothelioma deaths continues to rise each year due to the latency period, with the number expected to peak in 2010.
Asbestosmesothelioma lawsuits are the longest running mass tort inU.S. history, with the first asbestos exposure case filed in 1929. Over 600,000 people have filed lawsuits against 6,000 defendants after being diagnosed withmesothelioma, asbestosis or other asbestos-related diseases.
Asbestosis is a serious, progressive, long-term disease of the lungs. Asbestosis is not a cancer. Inhaling asbestos fibers that irritate and inflame lung tissues, causing the lung tissues to scar, causes asbestosis. The scarring makes it hard to breathe and difficult for oxygen and carbon dioxide pass through the lungs. Asbestosis generally progresses slowly. The latency period for the onset of asbestosis is typically 10-20 years after the initial exposure. The disease can vary from asymptomatic (no symptoms) to disabling and potentially fatal.
Signs and Symptoms of asbestosis can include:
- Shortness of breath is the primary symptom
- A persistent and productive cough (a cough that expels mucus)
- Chest tightness
- Chest pain
- Loss of appetite
- A dry, crackling sound in the lungs while inhaling.
Persons with significant exposure to asbestos are at risk for developing various types of pleural (lining of the lungs) abnormalities. These abnormalities include pleural plaques, pleural thickening, pleural calcification, and pleural Mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer which may affect the lining of the lungs (pleura) or the abdominal contents (peritoneum). Most mesotheliomas are caused by exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is a malignant tumor that invades and obstructs the lung's air passages. Cigarette smoking greatly increases the likelihood of a person developing lung cancer as the result of asbestos exposure. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are cough, wheezing, unexplained weight loss, coughing up blood, and labored breathing. Other symptoms of lung cancer include shortness of breath, persistent chest pain, hoarseness, and anemia. People who develop these symptoms do not necessarily have lung cancer, but they should consult a physician for advice.Asbestos Exposure and Your Work
Many people have come into contact with asbestos fibers through their jobs (occupational exposure). Some of the work environments or occupations in which workers are now or were exposed in the past include:
- Asbestos product manufacturing (insulation, roofing, building, materials)
- Automotive repair (brakes & clutches)Construction sites
- Maritime operations
- Mining operations
- Offshore rust removals
- Oil refineries
- Power plants
- Sand or abrasive manufacturers
- Shipyards / ships / shipbuilders
- Steel mills
- Asbestos removal workers
- Workers at exfoliation facilities where vermiculite ore fromLibby,Montana, was processed
- Demolition workers
- Workers at asbestos product manufacturing plants
- Auto mechanics
- Building inspectors
- Floor covering manufacturers or installers
- Furnace workers
- Hod carriers
- Iron workers
- Maintenance workers
- Merchant marines
- Operating engineers
Individuals who have worked in the above work environments and occupations should consult with a physician with expertise in the evaluation and management of asbestos-related lung disease.
In pictures: The victims of asbestos
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Published Date:18 January 2009 -By Peter Ross
WHEN Harry McCluskey wakes in the morning in his home inGlasgow, he has to sit on the side of his bed for several minutes before he can summon the strength and breath to rise and get on with the day. McCluskey, 71, suffers from pleural plaques, pleural thickening and asbestosis, illnesses of the lungs caused by inhaling asbestos while he worked in the shipyards.
"It has affected my life to the point where I can really do nothing," he says, hoarsely. "I've got to get transport wherever I go. I can't walk the length of myself. My legs and breathing are terrible at times. I can't do things I would normally do –
gardening or papering the house. In fact, if I bend down I get breathless. My wife's got to tie my laces, it's that bad."
McCluskey is secretary of Clydeside Action on Asbestos (CAA), a group that provides advice and support for victims in the west ofScotland. McCluskey and CAA have been lobbying the Scottish Government on the issue; it is expected that the parliament will soon pass a bill to ensure those suffering anxiety as a result of developing pleural plaques – scarring of the lungs – are able to claim compensation.
Although the plaques can cause shortness of breath, they are not, in themselves, harmful or painful. But people with plaques have a greatly increased risk of developing the incurable lung disease mesothelioma. It is not uncommon, therefore, for these individuals to feel they have been handed a death sentence.
"Yes, I am frightened," says Ron Marsh, 67, from Stonehaven. He was first exposed to asbestos in his late teens, when working part-time in theGlasgow iron foundry run by his father. He would cut up sheets of asbestos cement, wearing no protective clothing at all, and by the end of his shift the white dust would be so thick on him he looked like a snowman.
"These fibres have gone deep into my lungs," he says with obvious unease. "It worries me that they have travelled through the tissue of my body. So I'm living with this cloud over me all the time – am I going to get cancer?"
AcrossBritain, asbestos-related diseases claim the lives of 4,000 people every year, more than the number who die in road traffic accidents. The heat-resistant mineral was used widely in theUK construction sector from the late 19th century until it was banned in 1999. In Scotland, with its history of heavy industry, the consequences have been acute, and will continue to be so as the latency period can be as long as 40 years. West Dunbartonshire, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and Glasgow have among the highest rates of death from mesothelioma in theUK.
But asbestos is a global problem. It continues to be used widely as a building material in poorer countries and, according to the World Health Organisation, it kills at least 90,000 people each year. Some sense of this can be seen in the work of the award-winning photographer Louie Palu, who has journeyed from his nativeCanada toIndia,England andScotland, taking stark black-and-white pictures of sufferers. "No one deserves to die because they go to work and breathe a dust that gives them a death sentence," says Palu. "I met workers in the late stages of cancer from asbestos who looked like they had wandered out of a concentration camp. That shocked me and made me angry.
"Thanks to these brave people consenting to having their stories told and images published, we will not forget that the next victims of asbestos could be or already are our friends, mothers, sisters, wives, husbands, brothers, fathers and children. Their experience, memories and suffering should not be forgotten. There is asbestos all over the place, and people need to know and see that average everyday people can unknowingly poison themselves and die."
Palu focused on one Canadian sufferer, Blayne Kinart, photographing his deterioration from the age of 57, one year after diagnosis with mesothelioma, to his death at the age of 59. But in order to broaden his documentation of the problem, he travelled toScotland – "ground zero of asbestos use and tragedy" – where, among other people, he photographed McCluskey.
McCluskey worked with asbestos from when he was 15 to when his declining health forced him to retire at 55. He was a lagger, applying asbestos insulation to pipes and boilers in power stations, hospitals, schools and ships. Always, there was dust everywhere. "A good example was the QE2," he says. "That was the heaviest I ever saw with asbestos insulation. That must have killed thousands. A lot of my friends who worked on that ship died."
McCluskey has grown sick of attending funerals. He has lost between 20 and 30 friends to asbestos, and knows that one day he will join them. "Oh aye, this is going to kill me," he says. "I'm not an exception to the rule. I know I'm going to die with it."
He seems matter-of-fact, almost resigned; as a campaigner, he has to keep a level-head. By contrast, Palu is more obviously angry about what he has seen. "There seems to be no worldwide outrage because it is a silent killer," he says. "I sometimes imagine that if all the asbestos victims died at once on the streets, people would then grasp that something has to be done."
Blayne Kinart is comforted by his wifeSandy after receiving a painkiller in the form of two patches stuck to his back. The 58-year-old Canadian, a former chemical worker inSarnia,Ontario, died in 2004 from mesothelioma, a cancer associated with asbestos exposure. Residents there have nicknamedSarnia 'ChemicalValley' due to the large number of industrial plants operating in the area
Raghunath Manwar examines an X-ray of one of several workers who has been diagnosed with asbestosis inAhmedabad,India. Manwar, the secretary of NGO Occupational Health and Safety Association, is working with employees from the Ahmedabad Electric Company and the former Digvijay Cement Factory
A woman and a girl sort through rice surrounded by walls made from broken asbestos roof tiles in a small slum on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. The entire community is built on top of – and from – asbestos scraps and dumps, which were used for decades by the Shree Digvijay Cement Plant
Elizabeth Bradford 68, at home inLondon. During the 1970s, she worked in a portable classroom that had panels containing asbestos. It is thought that the regular pinning and unpinning of children's work to the panels caused the release of deadly fibres, resulting in her developing the cancer mesothelioma
Former shipyard workers Robert Boal (left), then 67, and Harry McCluskey (right), then 68 both suffer from asbestosis. They are seen here by the River Clyde, beside the cranes used in a shipbuilding yard inGlasgow. The shipbuilding industry involved the use of large quantities of asbestos – resulting in numerous asbestos-related cancers, asbestosis and a mounting death toll
Slowly but surely, the office building of an abandoned asbestos company decays and falls apart. The firm was situated adjacent to the port inLiverpool, where its product was unloaded for use throughout the country
Asbestosis and Mesothelioma Cancer Differences
2009-07-05 02:43:38 (GMT) (mesotheliomacancernews.com - Mesothelioma Press Release)
Dallas,TX: Confusion prevails when diseases occurring from exposure to asbestos are discussed. The most common form of the exposure to asbestos are the asbestos lung disease (asbestosis or respiratory issues that arise due to exposure to asbestos and the mesothelioma cancers.
Asbestosis: its occurrence and its follow-up: Asbestosis is a chronic disease, caused by continuous inhalation of the asbestos fibers, but, asbestosis, unlike mesothelioma, is not cancerous.
Once the fiber is inhaled, it causes irritation, resulting in inflammation .of the lungs. In the advance stage, the scarring of the lungs occurs. The lungs then start shrinking, become stiff and honey-combed. In this stage breathing becomes very difficult.
The symptoms of asbestosis include shortness of breath, decrease in the routine physical activities, constant cough and chest pain.
The treatment of asbestosis is based on the opening of the air tract and the blood vessels. Medication through chemotherapy, helps in expanding the blood vessels of the lungs, and the narrow vessels that surround the organ
The mesothelioma cancer; its occurrence, and its follow-up. The mesothelioma cancer is uncommon. There are three main types of this disease.
a) The pleural type. The onset of the disease is on the mesothelium lining of the pleural cavity. ( i.e. the chest cavity)
b) The peritoneal type: The onset of the disease is on the mesothelium lining of the peritoneal ( i.e the abdominal) cavity
c) The pericardial type: The onset of the disease in on the mesothelium lining of the pericardial. ( i.e the heart) cavity.
The infection onset starts as soon as the asbestos fibers are inhaled, but then these fibers rests inside the human body for a long period before they show their affect which usually spans from 20 to 40 years.
The cells of the mesothelium of a particular organ get disturbed. These cells now become abnormal and form tumors, may remain benign or malignant, invading the neighboring tissues of the organs.
The symptoms of mesothelioma are similar to asbestosis, and the treatment is based on the killing the cancerous cells and tumors. Through surgery, the removal of the tumors or the organs takes place. Radiation and chemotherapy, and other allied therapies., are alsomade use of.
Comparison between the asbestosis and the mesothelioma cancers.
Asbestosis is very similar to mesothelioma cancer. The cause of both the diseases are due to the exposure to asbestos. The symptoms also match, and often the treatment is also the same.
Asbestosis is a breathing disorder of the respiratory tract and the lungs. It creates irritation, inflammation and shrinkage of the lungs
Whereas in the mesothelioma, cancer, the attack is on the mesothelium lining of the pleural, peritoneal, or the pericardial cavities. The cancerous cells and the tumors spread to the surrounding areas. The prognosis, after diagnosis is of a span, on an average, of one to two years. In both the cases, the disease proves fatal.
Women’s Health 101: What is Asbestosis?
July 26, 2009 – Women’s Health Examiner
For those that are around asbestos, like miners, there has always been a higher risk of lung cancer. Especially a certain type of lung cancer called mesothelioma. However, there is another lung abnormality that asbestos workers get as well, which is called asbestosis. Asbestosis is the inflammation of the parenchymal tissue of the lungs. It will give the worker shortness of breath and a higher chance of lung cancer.
When someone inhales asbestos it will scar the lung tissue, this scarring causes the inflammation in the lung that is asbestosis. The asbestos fibers will activate the body’s own natural immune system to attack, and this causes inflammation in the lung cavities. It is a slow and chronic condition. It contributes to scar tissue, which will build up and restrict the lungs from doing their job. It reduces the oxygen flow and inhibits carbon dioxide removal. This is where oxygen therapy can help with the breathing difficulties and the shortness of breath.
There are not many signs to having asbestosis other than shortness of breath. After a prolonged and advanced case of asbestosis there may be coughing and respiratory failure. Like mesothelioma, asbestosis can take a decade or so after first exposure to the asbestos. There can be a very long dormant period from exposure to symptoms, however whenever there is breathing and respiratory problems in anyone who has ever had exposure to asbestos should be considered viable hosts for asbestosis or mesothelioma.
Currently there is not much treatment that is widely available for asbestosis. Some things that may help are oxygen therapy. Oxygen therapy can help with the breathing difficulties and increase the concentration of oxygen in the body.
Other items include postural drainage of the lungs to take out any liquid secretions and increase lung capacity and breathing. Some form of nebulizers, like those used in COPD and asthma sufferers, can also be prescribed so that the secretions in the lungs can be diluted and patients may be able to breathe better from this as well.
Because of so many asbestos related conditions such as asbestosis and mesothelioma, legal cases have been being fought in our courts since 1929. Liability for asbestos and working near asbestos is a serious business, in both the cost to companies that try to skirt the system and by the healthcare costs to their employees. Asbestos specialty lawyers command top dollar due to the payouts in those types of cases.
New lifeline for asbestosis sufferers
Phil Mercer, Foreign Correspondent
March 09. 2009 9:30AM UAE / March 9. 2009 5:30AM GMT
Professor Nico Van Zandwijk, the inaugural director of the Bernie Banton Centre.Ian Waldie / The National
SYDNEY // The painstaking hunt for a cure for cancers caused by asbestos fibres has received a much-needed boost with the opening of an international research project in the Australian city of Sydney.
The Bernie Banton Centre, named after an Australian social justice campaigner who died from asbestos-related illnesses in Nov 2007, is the world’s largest facility dedicated to providing early diagnosis and treatment for victims.
Asbestos is the commercial name given to a silicate mineral used commonly in such building products as insulation and roofing for its durability and resistance to fire.
Banned in many developed countries, the incombustible material is mined extensively inCanada and exported toIndia andRussia, butAustralia is one of the world’s most contaminated areas, where tens of thousands of homes remain riddled with asbestos.
It is a lethal carcinogen and can cause inflammatory diseases of the lungs, including asbestosis which over time erodes the organ’s ability to function, inflicting great pain and breathlessness.
There are also malignant cancers that are associated with asbestos. Mesothelioma taints the tissue that covers the inner surfaces of the lung and abdomen, which is difficult to treat and where the prognosis for sufferers is often dismal. Lung cancer too has been linked to asbestos, which has a grievous ability to inflict anguish and death on those who have ingested its microscopic filaments. “Near the end, the pain becomes unbearable for sufferers of mesothelioma and lung cancer,” said Barry Robson, president of the Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia.
“People with asbestosis are constantly fighting for breath and it’s like they’re drowning within themselves, and to see people dying this way is terrible. For the asbestosis people it is such a long-term disease it can go on for years and years.
“On the other hand, we have mesothelioma victims who for the majority it is only a short time. On average they have 155 days from diagnosis to death. It is a very, very aggressive cancer.”
Mr Robson said the Bernie Banton Centre would be of great importance to sufferers both inAustralia and abroad.
“The idea is to pull all the research together from all over the world and have it all in the one place,” he said.
Chemotherapy has been used successfully in some cases, especially when combined with surgery and radiation therapy, while researchers inSydney are concentrating on identifying the paths the diseases take through the body and genetic triggers.
Professor Nico van Zandwijk, the inaugural director of the Bernie Banton Centre, said unlocking the secrets of asbestos-related ailments such as mesothelioma remains a huge challenge.
“The latency period from first exposure to the disease is alarming, sometimes 30 to 40 years,” Prof van Zandwijk said. “Why that is so long is because we think it is a chronic inflammation process which causes DNA damage and eventually after years of inflammation you develop one of those cancers.
“I think that is indeed frightening, especially if you reckon that you have been exposed to asbestos. That knowledge may hang as a dark cloud above you.”
Prof van Zandwijk said people had different levels of sensitivity to asbestos, which was probabaly a result of genetic differences of the immune system.
He added that the material posed the greatest danger when properties containing it were being demolished, releasing fibres into the air and thus presenting the risk of inhalation. Most victims are unwittingly exposed to asbestos when refurbishing houses or knocking down old sheds or toilets.
Up to 700 people a year are diagnosed with mesothelioma inAustralia. By 2020, it is estimated that 40,000 Australians will have asbestos-related cancers.
“When the doctor told me I had mesothelioma, I had to have it explained to me. I didn’t know what it was. My life just crumbled,” said Carol Klintfalt, a 59-year-old grandmother fromSydney, who is in constant pain.
“When I was in my early twenties I worked for an architect inSydney and he was renovating old hotels and nightclubs and there was so much asbestos around then. I remember dust in the air.”
“I can’t go on with my life thinking ‘Why me’? I’ve gone through so many emotions; anger and fear and now I’m living not to fight cancer but to enjoy my family. I’ve no idea what tomorrow holds.”
For thousands of people struck down by tiny asbestos fibres, the new research centre inAustralia is providing a glimmer of hope.
“It is for people like me,” Mrs Klintfalt said.
“The longer I can live the more chance we feel that there could be a breakthrough.
“If you are stripped of hope you roll over and give up, so I forever live in hope that something will be found. It is a man-made cancer, now man’s got to find the cure.”
Asbestos in electrical work 1959
This was clipped from the 1959 film, Asbestos a matter of time, by the US Bureau of Mines, Department of the Interior. For more information about...
Mesothelioma is an incurableasbestos
cancer. This short film was produced to raiseawareness
of the issues around mesothelioma. It...