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Mesothelioma Awareness & Grants

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Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization – Asbestos Exposure – Asbestos Related Deaths

ArmyArcherd to receive posthumous award

LateVariety columnist honored by Asbestos Disease Awareness Org


Army Archerd



Variety columnist ArmyArcherd will be honored posthumously by theAsbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) next month inChicago.

Dubbed the WarrenZevon Keep Me in Your Heart memorial tribute, event will bestow its inaugural award onArcherd, who died in September ofmesothelioma, a rare, asbestos-related cancer.

"My father would be enormously honored to have had the opportunity to pay tribute to ArmyArcherd," said JordanZevon, ADAO spokesman. Singer-songwriterZevon, best known for hits such as "Werewolves of London,"died ofmesothelioma in 2003.

"The tragedy of asbestos disease is a story that unfortunately continues to be written for many families. I hope that Army's legend of making a difference through his work can help give an even louder voice to the efforts to write its end," said his widow,Selma.

The WarrenZevon tribute will be presented atADAO's annual international conference on April 10 before a community of expert physicians, scientists and safety and health care professionals committed to preventing, treating and curing asbestos-related diseases in the U.S. and globally.

Contac the Variety newsroom at

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World Cancer Day

4 February 2010

Cancer is a leading cause of death around the world. WHO estimates that 84 million people will die of cancer between 2005 and 2015 without intervention.

Each year on 4 February, WHO joins with the sponsoring International Union Against Cancer to promote ways to ease the global burden of cancer. Preventing cancer and raising quality of life for cancer patients are recurring themes.

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$1.6 million grant targets old paper mill

Middletown will receivefunds to clean up a portion of a property onFirst Street.

By Ryan Gauthier, Staff Writer2:46 AM Saturday, November 21, 2009

MIDDLETOWN — The city of Middletown is set to receive a $1.6 million grant to clean up a portion of a former paper mill on First Street.

The funding is part of $28 million in Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund grants to communities all over the state. Gov. Ted Strickland and Ohio Department of Development Director Lisa Patt-McDaniel announced grants Friday, Nov. 20, for 16 brownfield cleanup projects.

“Too many of our workers and businesses are reeling from this global economic recession, which makes our partnerships with local communities and our efforts to improve Ohio’s business climate even more important,” Strickland said. “Clean Ohio investments encourage business development and job creation by revitalizing our communities and previously used industrial properties.”

Middletown’s grant is intended to remediate issues at the STM Property at the former Sutphin Wrenn Union Paper Mill, 810 First Ave. The city owns two vacant parcels on the land.

According to grant application materials filed earlier this year, the city is hoping to negotiate a commercial project that could create more than 200 jobs and an annual payroll of about $8 million.

The project would include asbestos abatement, building demolition, contaminated soil cleanup and groundwater monitoring. The city hopes to have the project completed and begin new construction on the site by the end of 2011.

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Painesville gets grant to demolish hospital

By Michael C. Butz -

The city of Painesville is one step closer to demolishing the vacant Lake East Medical Center and rejuvenating its downtown with housing and retail.

On Friday, city officials learned their application was approved for $2.052 million from the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund, Round 7.

Painesville City Manager Rita McMahon, who spent Friday in Columbus, said she was relieved.

"It's the completion of more than four years of work on what to do with the future of the hospital and more than a year of work on a grant application and going through all the necessary evaluations and assessments," she said. "To know that we have the first implementation of the downtown master plan ready to go, it's wonderful and exciting."

City officials must now wait for the controlling board approval of the Clean Ohio Council recommendation, which is expected to occur in early December, McMahon said.

Then, grant agreements will be signed in early 2010 with the Ohio Department of Development.

The next step is going out to bid on asbestos removal and early demolition.

"Now all the hard work begins," she said.

State Rep. Mark Schneider, D-Mentor, called the project an excellent example of local, state and federal officials working together for economic development.

"The council's decision today will allow for the completion of the transition of Lake Health leaving downtown Painesville, and will allow for the successful redevelopment of downtown according to the city's master plan," Schneider said.

"In approving these dollars, Clean Ohio Council recognized the redevelopment of downtown Painesville as a priority for our region."

The city's master plan calls for the construction of 350 homes, 85,000 square feet of retail businesses and 97,000 square feet of office space. It also places emphasis on more green space and making the downtown pedestrian-oriented.

LakeEast was vacated last month when Lake Health moved into its new TriPoint Medical Center in Concord Township.

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New health and safety campaign to raise awareness of mesothelioma

New health and safety campaign to raise awareness of mesothelioma

New health and safety campaign to raise awareness of mesothelioma

THE “hidden killer” which has claimed the lives of more than 100 York men is the subject of a new information campaign by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Between 1981 and 2005, 114 men in the area, many of them former workers at the York Carriageworks, died from mesothelioma – a cancer caused by breathing in deadly asbestos fibres.

With about 20 tradesmen dying from asbestos-related conditions every week in the UK, the HSE is now targeting those most at risk through its Asbestos: The Hidden Killer campaign, launched on Monday.

The executive said those most at risk from mesothelioma were those who disturb or damage asbestos through their work, such as plumbers, joiners and electricians.

David Snowball, HSE regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Asbestos is Britain’s biggest industrial killer.

“Contrary to what many people believe, the risks are not a thing of the past. Asbestos-related illnesses claim the lives of 4,000 people every year – more than die in road accidents.

“The most simple but important advice is if you are not sure that there is no asbestos where you are working, then don’t start work. It is simply not worth the risk.”

He warned anyone working on a building which was built or refurbished before the year 2000 could be exposed to asbestos without knowing it.

In the UK, about 500,000 non-domestic buildings contain asbestos.

The Hidden Killer campaign is being supported by unions, employers’ representatives, health charities, sufferers and victims groups. It aims to raise awareness of the risks posed by asbestos and how workers can best protect themselves For more information on the campaign visit, which offers advice on where asbestos-containing materials may be present, what they look like, how they should be dealt with and where to find training.

Tradesmen can also get a free asbestos information pack by phone 0845 345 0055.

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Cancer survivor, mom who lost her son shares story

By Tish Hearne – October 16, 2009

The following is the speechTish Hearne gave at theCamarillo Relay for Life’sluminaria ceremony at AdolfoCamarillo High School earlierthis month. Her 8-year-old son,Thomas, died March 19 following an 8-month battle against arare and aggressive form of braincancer. The Hearne family livesin Camarillo. 

I have to say that I literally sat and stared at the computer screen for one solid week while attempting to prepare for tonight, and I could write nothing, because the passion and intense yearning in my heart toward finding the cure for cancer had temporarily paralyzed me from expressing the reality of its effects.

These past few days, I decided to spend time with Thomas in prayer, asking him for guidance. Four days ago, a high school friend, Ken Bendix, surrendered to a 3-year battle against peritoneal mesothelioma, leaving behind his wife and his two young daughters.

My former Relay for Life cocaptain, Grace Callegari, passed away from her long fight with breast cancer in 2006, also leaving behind her spouse and two young children. And last year, Milt Mankoff, another dear friend from the Relay for Life committee, is also gone due to cancer.  

After praying and talking to Thomas, I realized that expressing the reality of the effects of cancer is exactly the kind of fuel that is needed—fuel to create awareness, to fund research, and to continue moving forward toward a cure. 

My own diagnosis of advanced stage breast cancer revealed itself in March 2002 when Thomas was just 22 months old. At that time, our connection with the Camarillo Relay for Life began. Whether our involvement was signing up to be a participant, a team captain, or a committee chair, what we have witnessed firsthand is the devastating effects that cancer has on families across the globe.  

This remarkable event provides us with positive and powerful energy to celebrate, remember and fight back, alongside people who share equal passion.

It is our belief that Thomas’ purpose in life was to make a significant difference in helping to find a cure for childhood cancer. Our lives have been blessed with a boy whose heart and soul were filled with radiant love. This type of love was mystically brought forth and shared with those who knew him, and the love continued to exude during our 8-month stay at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

By the grace of God, we were able to hold onto each other and appreciate the miracles of each new day. Without Thomas in our lives we would never have been so rawly exposed to the world of pediatric cancer. Day after day, we witnessed the equivalency of being placed on a battle field.

It was a field with an overwhelming presence of beautiful precious babies, toddlers, young children and teens, all of whom were clearly at war. These heroic little cancer patients filled the clinic and the emergency rooms day after day, waiting for an available room to be admitted on the hematology/oncology floor, only to experience a long and difficult hospital stay. 

The statistics of pediatric cancer are at a staggering high rate with an average of 12,500 children being diagnosed each year. The funding for new clinical trials is unacceptable, with less than 3 percent of the money being used for pediatric cancer research.

Hope is the signature used widely by the American Cancer Society at their Relay for Life events across the world. Our family has personally named our pursuit of hope for children the “Thomas Touch of Hope.”

Over the past seven years, our many memories are insurmountable from the times we’ve shared at this event. We can vividly remember one year when Thomas rode his big wheel vehicle around this track. And, yes, that was the year when I spent a great deal of time worrying that Thomas was going to knock someone down in his path.

Thomas also was a good little entrepreneur over the years. He sold many baked doggy treats and baked people treats at our campsite, while sporting his adorable little apron and baker’s hat.

But from a cancer survivor’s perspective, there’s one memory of Thomas that remains embedded in my soul. It is the image of Thomas taking my hand, as his little face gleamed up at me with so much pride and excitement, leading me toward the luminaria bags that he so diligently and beautifully decorated for his mommy. 

The four of us in our family embrace God’s purpose for Thomas. Helping to cure childhood cancer has become our pursuit— the “Thomas Touch of Hope”— and our pursuit is only strengthened by our tragic loss. Tonight we will all celebrate, remember and fight back because cancer can never, not ever, prevent us from keeping the spirit of loved ones alive in our hearts. Thank you.

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Increasing asbestos awareness as a preventative measure

Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News

Oct. 15, 2009

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral known for its durability and fire-resistant properties. In the past, the substance has been used in a wide variety of building materials, including insulation products, siding, cements, flooring and roofing, to name a few.

When asbestos-containing materials become damaged or disturbed, toxic asbestos fibers can be released into the air. If these microscopic fibers are inhaled or ingested, malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases can develop over time.

Today, much of the public is in disbelief when informed that asbestos is not banned in theUnited States, indicating the need for public meetings on asbestos awareness.

Discussions on the proper handling of asbestos materials and educating the public on how to prevent exposure can better prepare those that encounter asbestos. Even those who hire a professional asbestos abatement company to remove asbestos should be educated, as crooked abatement contractors do exist.

Certified asbestos companies have been known to illegally remove and dispose asbestos-containing materials in way that causes risk for citizens. Outside of using improper abatement techniques, contractors will sometimes claim that all asbestos has been removed when a significant amount is actually left behind.

Hiring an asbestos inspector from another company other than the contractor’s company is one way to maintain proper removal. However, there have been times when inspectors have secretly worked with contractors to help falsify air quality samples so care must be taken when choosing an inspector.

During an asbestos abatement project, a written work plan specifying the federal, state and local asbestos regulations should be supplied by the contractor. The work plan should entail permits, notifications and all precautions that will be taken in order to prevent asbestos exposure.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. With an increased awareness about the hazards of asbestos, educated homeowners can become educated and ensure their safety against asbestos-related diseases.

Additional information about mesothelioma and asbestos abatement may be found through theMesotheliomaCenter.

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Mesothelioma Awareness Day Proposed as National Event

Monday, October 5, 2009 -posted by Nancy Meredith

Senator Patty Murray (WA) and Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-4) have introduced resolutions in Congress designating September 26th as "National Mesothelioma Awareness Day." Mesothelioma Awareness Day was introduced by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF) over 4 years ago and has been supported by volunteers.

Chris Hahn, Executive Director of MARF, hopes that now "mesothelioma will finally become part of a broad national conversation about its tragic impact on our society."
Murray and McCollum believe that ‘National Mesothelioma Awareness Day’ is a chance to raise awareness of the disease and to support the victims and their families. They hope this national day will start educating the nation about the causes of mesothelioma and the deadly effects of asbestos.

In addition to the Awareness Day proposal, both women vowed to continue fighting to ban asbestos.

To support this resolution go to the MARF Action Center to send a letter to your representative.

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New Jersey Considers Mesothelioma Awareness Day

Friday, September 25, 2009 – by Wade rawlings

A resolution by the leader of the New Jersey Senate would designate Sept. 26 of each year as Mesothelioma Awareness Day in the Garden State. The resolution was introduced by Senate Leader Tom Kean to raise awareness of this deadly form of cancer.

Mesothelioma is a rare, incurable cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs, abdomen or heart. It kills about 3,000 Americans each year and is closely linked to breathing asbestos, a material widely used as insulation and in construction through the mid 1970s.

“We don’t have a cure or standard treatment yet for mesothelioma, so we need to learn more about this disease and spur the development of effective treatments,” Kean, a Republican, said in a statement issued Thursday by his office. “Our designation of each September 26th as “Mesothelioma Awareness Day” will help ensure that the public researchers and policy makers don’t forget about those suffering from this disease.”

Approved by the Senate in June, Kean’s resolution awaits consideration by the N.J. General Assembly. A number of communities have started to recognize the date.

While most people with mesothelioma were exposed repeatedly to asbestos, exposure to asbestos for as little as a month can result in a person developing the disease decades later, the resolution says. Kean noted that many firefighters, police officers and rescue workers were exposed to asbestos-contaminated dust at the World Trade Center site after the 9-11 attacks.

“Thousands of rescue and construction workers labored for months at Ground Zero in hazardous conditions,” Kean said. “We don’t know if those who worked at the World Trade Center site will develop mesothelioma, but we do know that we want to have effective treatments ready to help anyone who falls ill.”

Read Senate Joint Resolution 122

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American Airlines Employees Raise $1 Million for American Cancer Society

Wed Sep 9, 2009 11:00am EDT


Fundraising Milestone Reached via Relay For Life Participation
FORT WORTH, Texas, Sept. 9 PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Each of the past five
years, American Airlines employees have laced up their sneakers to walk or run
in the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life to raise money and awareness
to help the fight against cancer. Thanks to their efforts, more than $1
million has been donated to the American Cancer Society.
Relay For Life is an overnight event in which teams across the country secure
pledges from friends and family, then camp out at local high schools, parks or
fairgrounds and take turns running or walking, at times for more than 24
hours, to raise money for the American Cancer Society. American's
participation began with a few teams from its Fort Worth headquarters, who
first joined the event to honor a co-worker who was diagnosed with Stage IV
colon cancer.
"In a month after our first event, American Airlines employees raised more
than $18,000," said Roger Frizzell, American's Vice President - Corporate
Communications and Advertising. "Fast-forward five years, and we have
surpassed the $1 million mark. This was accomplished entirely through the
dedication, support and passion of American's employee volunteers who are
committed to help everyone who has been affected by this terrible disease."
In 2006, American Airlines became a member of the American Cancer Society's
Relay for Life National Corporate Program. Companies that commit to at least
50 teams participating in Relay For Life, in multiple states, each year can
become members of the recognition-based program. In the last five years,
almost 3,200 American employees from around the world, including London,
Jamaica and Canada, have participated in Relay For Life events.
"American Airlines and its employees truly have made a difference in so many
lives," said Maria Clark, Regional Vice President of North Texas, American
Cancer Society. "Their hard work and dedication are helping us fund research,
education and patient programs. Support from companies like American Airlines
enables us to continue our fight against cancer."
This year, American employees have already raised nearly $225,000 through
Relay For Life fundraisers including bake sales, online auctions and T-shirt
About American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary
health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem
by preventing cancer, saving lives and diminishing suffering from cancer,
through research, education, advocacy, and service.
About American Airlines
American Airlines, American Eagle and AmericanConnection(R) serve 250 cities
in 40 countries with, on average, more than 3,400 daily flights. The combined
network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American's award-winning Web
site,, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus
personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a
founding member of the oneworld(R) Alliance, which brings together some of the
best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their
customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own.
Together, its members serve nearly 700 destinations in more than 130 countries
and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are
subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle,
AmericanConnection,, We know why you fly and AAdvantage are registered
trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. (NYSE: AMR)
AmericanAirlines((R)) We know why you fly((R))
Current AMR Corp. releases can be accessed on the Internet.
The address is

SOURCE American Airlines 
Andrea Huguely of American Airlines, Fort Worth, Texas, +1-817-967-1577,; or Carole Bullock of American Cancer Society, Dallas,
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Local organization helps cancer patients with free cleaning

By Chris Roark, Staff Writer

Published: Wednesday, September 9, 2009 1:04 PM CDT

A Flower Mound business owner has found a good reason to clean, and many other cleaning services across the country are following her lead.

Debbie Sardone, owner of Buckets & Bows Maid Service in Lewisville, just celebrated her 27th year with the company.

Just as important to her is her fourth year of Cleaning for a Reason, a non-profit organization she created as a way to help women who are undergoing cancer treatment by cleaning their homes when they are physically or financially unable to do so.

Sardone established the organization in 2006 after speaking at a conference and discussing an initiative she had already implemented with Buckets & Bows.

"Fifteen years ago, we had an internal policy that if a woman could not afford our cleaning services and they indicated that they are undergoing cancer treatment, we would give them the service at cost or for free," Sardone said. "When I spoke at the conference to a group of maid service owners, many of them expressed interest in doing this but asked about the impact of giving away the service, as well as how to screen people. I could see that there was a great amount of willingness."

When Sardone returned from the conference, she began the filing process for becoming a 501(c)3 organization.

Now, less than four years later, Sardone's organization provides a way for women suffering from any type of cancer to still keep their homes clean. Those seeking assistance contact Cleaning for a Reason, which locates a cleaning service that belongs to the organization and is nearby the client. That company provides a cleaning service once a month for four months free of charge.

Rag Mops, a cleaning service that serves Lewisville and Flower Mound, is one company that is a partner in Cleaning for a Reason.

“This is such a tremendous relief for the patients,” said Debi Bascue, owner of Rag Mops, which has provided more than $5,000 in cleaning services in the two years it has been in the partnership. “This gives them a chance to deal with the other things that they have to deal with.”

Bascue said something that may seem so little to some, such as having a clean bathroom, means everything to the patients.

"We're trying to get the cleaning company to the client in a time of their life when their energy is gone or they can't move much because of surgeries," said Pam King, marketing director for Buckets and Bows. "We're just trying to get them past this season of their lives."

Sardone, whose company is of course part of the Cleaning for a Reason network, said her organization has helped more than 9,000 people, provided $350,000 in free cleaning services and has reached out to 480 service companies across the country and Canada.

Sardone said she expects the organization to attract its 500th cleaning service in October, which is one milestone.

Thursday represents another milestone as Buckets & Bows will host the Pink Champaign Celebration to commemorate a $10,000 grant given to Cleaning for a Reason by the Women Helping Others (WHO) Foundation. The event will take place from 3-5 p.m. at the foundation's headquarters, 211 S. Stemmons Freeway, Suite G in Lewisville.

Sardone said the grant is important because as a fairly young non-profit group, the organization is limited on what it can do.

"We're underfunded because we're unknown," Sardone said. "It would be nice for more people to know about our cause because we're physically helping people."

Sardone said the organization is in need of volunteers, donations and sponsors.

She said another challenge the organization faces is more of an emotional one as cleaning employees often get attached to the patients they are helping.

"We see them go through the chemotherapy," Sardone said. "Some of them get well, but others don't."

But one challenge the organization never faces is reluctance. King said there hasn't been any cleaning company who has refused to join the organization when they are recruited by Cleaning for a Reason.

"Our employees are always volunteering to do this because it's so rewarding," Sardone said. "It feels good as a business owner to allow your employees to help others."

And offering the free service in today’s economy isn’t an issue, either.

“The economy is the economy,” Bascue said. “This isn’t something that we’re going to change. We live and work here, and these are our people.”

For information, go to

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Concerns returning about District 95 school

Chicago school schedules community forum about asbestos and mold

By Phil Collins |Daily Herald Staff



May Whitney Elementary School inLakeZurich is once again the subject of concern for area parents worried about mold and asbestos.


Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

The environmental quality of May Whitney Elementary School in Lake Zurich Unit District 95 is at issue again as parents have brought a renewed round of questions and concerns to district officials.

The number of inquiries about whether the school has mold or asbestos problems has been substantial enough that the district has scheduled a community forum on the subject on at 7 p.m. on Aug. 20 at the school at 100 Church St.

The forum, which will be held in May Whitney's gymnasium, will be a chance for community members to have their questions answered. District officials will be on hand as well as representatives from the independent agencies that have studied the building.

"We'll answer every question that's posed to us at the forum," Superintendent Mike Egan said. "Our goal is to be completely transparent in regards to the environmental conditions of that building."

The building, also known as the Annex, has housed May Whitney for the last two years. In 2007, the original May Whitney building flooded, revealing toxic mold and asbestos.

The Annex, formerly the site of Lake Zurich Middle School North, had been used for storage. The portion of the building that is the current location of May Whitney is 55 years old.

Parents raised concerns about the facility when the elementary school was moved there in 2007. Tests run at that time by the environmental firm ENVIRON International Corp. determined the building to be safe.

Egan said it is unclear why this has become a source of concern again recently, and said the district is confident in the safety of the building.

Carolyn Fitzgerald, member of a group called No Mold Left Behind, said having the forum is a good step, but the district could be doing more.

"As far as their speakers, it should include the Environmental Protection Agency and Illinois Department of Public Health," Fitzgerald said. "They are the ones who are the experts on indoor air quality."

While Fitzgerald said the No Mold Left Behind group is not behind the fresh round of concerns directed at the administration, she said members plan to attend the forum.

"You just want to see that things are handled properly," Fitzgerald said.

Interested community members can send questions to Egan ahead of time at or simply ask their questions at the forum.

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June Hancock: Ray of hope in cancer treatment

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June Hancock.

June Hancock.

Published Date:15 July 2009


Researchers have discovered a potential treatment for a deadly cancer thanks to funding from a trust fund established in the name of a campaigning Armley woman.

The June Hancock Mesothelioma Trust Fund was set up in the name of the brave Armley woman who campaigned against a multi-national company after contracting the cancer.

Mrs Hanock lived in the shadow of the JW Roberts fasbestos actory in Armley.

Like her mother and hundreds of others who worked in or lived near the factory, she contracted mesothelioma, an incurable asbestos-linked cancer of the lung whuch usually kills within 12 to 18 months of diagnosis.

Mrs Hancock took legal action against the firm's owners, Turner Newall.

Despite deliberate delays by the company she survived long enough to win a groundbreaking compensation claim, opening the doors to compensation for thousands of others. She died in 1997.

The trust fund established in her name has raised £600,000.

The trustees, who include Mrs Hancock's daughter Kimberley Stubbs, awarded a three-year grant of £138,000 for research in the Department of Oncology at Velindre Hospital in Cardiff. This is being led by Suzanna Tarbi, senior lecturer in immunology.

She said: "We have found a molecule associatied with mesothelioma. The aim of further research will be to vaccinate patients. That means their immune system would be boosted. The vaccine will help boost the immune system to attack the tumour."

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York Asbestos Support Group’s anger over reports Government to block compensation proposals

CAMPAIGNERS inYork say they are “shocked and disappointed” by claims the Government has decided against restoring compensation for people suffering from an asbestos-related condition.

The York Asbestos Support Group has been pressing for ministers to overturn a Law Lords ruling which blocked payouts from insurance firms to people with pleural plaques – scarring of the lungs caused by exposure to asbestos dust.

The Lords said victims should not get compensation unless or until they developed full-blown diseases such as the cancer mesothelioma.

According to a national newspaper, senior Government sources say it has now decided not to reverse that decision, and it is instead expected to offer victims £5,000 payments from the taxpayer.

Support group spokeswoman Kim Daniells said that if this were so, many mesothelioma victims would be denied any chance to recover compensation. “They will not be able to even investigate a claim until they are diagnosed with a terminal illness,” she said.

“Prior to last year’s Lords decision, awards had been quite limited in scale but proved an effective way for victims to safeguard future claims if they went on to develop more serious conditions such as mesothelioma. If this happened, they could revive the claim and recover additional compensation quite swiftly.”

But York MP Hugh Bayley, who chaired a Commons committee examining a Private Member’s Bill calling for plaque victims to get compensation, said he had received no information that the Government was about to block the proposals to change the law.

He said it was employers and their insurers who should pay compensation, not the taxpayer, adding: “York, sadly, has a high incidence of asbestos-related diseases, particularly among former employees at the carriage works.”

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said it intended publishing a response to a consultation paper on pleural plaques before the summer recess, which would be informed by medical reports and other submissions.

“We recognise the sense of grievance felt by pleural plaques campaigners as a result of the Law Lords judgement in 2007, and we are actively considering the most appropriate way to respond.”

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'Phenomenal' achievement of charity cyclists 

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Jason Appy, Paul Glanville and Katrina London

Jason Appy, Paul Glanville and Katrina London

09 July 2009 By Laura Chase


Cyclists have completed a gruelling 1,200-mile bike ride from Glasgow to Hampshire and raised £14,000 for Mesothelioma research.


Specialist asbestos solicitors Katrina London and Paul Glanville, alongside campaigner Jason Addy, cycled through some of the regions of the country whose communities have been most blighted by the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma.

The Southampton and Portsmouth areas have been particularly badly affected because of industries such as shipbuilding, engineering and the railway works.

The funds raised for the Hampshire Asbestos Group will be used to open a special centre for research into asbestos-related conditions.

Diane Salisbury, co-founder of Hampshire Asbestos Support said: 'We were delighted to greet the campaigners giving them the welcome they deserved for such a phenomenal achievement.

'We are seeing increasing incidences of asbestos-related conditions including mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung.'

The 'Breathless Journey' cycle ride finished with a heroes' welcome at Southampton's Mayflower Park.

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Siblings set to skydive to raise cash in dad’s memory

Last updated at 12:37, Friday, 19 June 2009 - Published by

A BROTHER and sister have organised a sponsored skydive in memory of their father.


REMEMBERED: Bill Rawlinson, who died in October 2007, was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Now his children are to take part in a sponsored skydive in his memory SUBMITTED

Bill Rawlinson, who passed away aged 64 in October 2007, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, the most aggressive form of lungcancer.

It is caused by the inhalation of asbestos dust.

Paul and Claire Rawlinson, from Allithwaite, will carry out the jump in aid of the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma research fund.

MKMRF raises money for use in improving awareness about mesothelioma, as well as funding important research into treatments, and providing support to the sufferers of this deadly disease.

Mr Rawlinson said: “It was my sister’s idea to do a skydive.

“She’s not really one to take part in extreme sports, but she wanted to do something out of the ordinary to show how committed we are.”

The skydive will take place tomorrow at Cark Airfield.

Mr Rawlinson will fall 3,500 feet in a solo jump via a static line parachute, whilst his sister, Ms Rawlinson, will plummet 14,000 feet towards the ground in a tandem jump.

They are aiming to raise £2,000.

If you would like to donate to the MKMRF charity skydive in memory of Bill Rawlinson, visit

First published at 11:35, Friday, 19 June 2009

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Teacher with mesothelioma raises awareness about asbestos in local schools

Thanks to a former teacher diagnosed withmesothelioma, a cancer of the lung lining caused by asbestos exposure, the public in the UK borough of Redbridge has been made aware of the presence of asbestos in school buildings. According to a story published in the Guardian, more than 60 school buildings–including almost every major secondary and most primary schools–contain asbestos. Carol Hegedorn, the 58-year-old former teacher with mesothelioma who worked at three of the borough’s schools in her 34-year career, publicly warned that asbestos at the schools was a “ticking time bomb” for teachers and students. It is estimated that 80 percent of schools in the UK contain asbestos, which has been linked to 4,000 deaths yearly due to mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other diseases. Under recent legislation, local councils are now required to identify and monitor the presence of asbestos in school buildings. For the full story, including a list of the schools in Redbridge containing asbestos, go toGuardian.

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REDBRIDGE: List of Asbestos Schools Revealed

MORE than 60 schools in Redbridge have buildings which contain asbestos, the Guardian can reveal.

Figures obtained by this newspaper show nearly every major secondary and most primary schools have been identified by Redbridge Council as having structures containing the toxic material.

However the authority says the school figures comprise "a significant amount of lowest risk category material."

The revelations come after former Redbridge teacher Carole Hagedorn, 58, warned asbestos was a "ticking cancer timebomb" for pupils and staff at schools.

Ms Hagedorn, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma last summer, taught at three unnamed schools in the borough during a career spanning 34 years.

A council spokeswoman said: "The council’s key priority is to ensure the health and safety of all teachers and pupils and anybody working or visiting a council or school building.

"As such the council has put in place robust measures to identify asbestos and where necessary remove it.

"This is in line with the guidance from the Health and Safety Executive that does not recommend the automatic removal of asbestos. The council’s Asbestos Management System (AMS) ensures that regular inspections of all known asbestos materials are carried out by trained inspectors.

"All appropriate Redbridge staff receive asbestos awareness training. The training highlights the council’s policy with respect to asbestos materials and includes the procedure should the material become damaged."

Most of the material "contains a very low percentage of asbestos by mass and does not liberate asbestos fibres readily and, that work with this material is of short duration and does not include operations which may release asbestos fibres."

Under recent government legislation, Redbridge Council has been forced to identify and monitoring the presence of asbestos in its buildings.

An estimated 80 per cent of schools in the UK are thought to contain asbestos.

Around 4,000 people die every year from diseases like mesothelioma and lung cancer caused by inhaling the toxic fibres.

Primary schools containing asbestos:

Aldersbrook Primary

Grove Primary School

Parkhill Infants School

Barley Lane Primary

Highlands Primary School

Parkhill Junior School

Chadwell Primary

Ilford Jewish Primary School

William Torbitt Primary School

Churchfields Infants

John Bramston Primary School

Ray Lodge Primary School

Churchfields Juniors

Hatton School

Redbridge Primary School

Cleveland Infants

Manford Primary School

St Antony's RC Primary School Downshall Primary Mayespark Primary School

St Bede's Catholic Primary School

Fairlop Primary

Newbridge School (Barley Lane)

Roding Primary School

Farnham Green Primary

Mossford Green Primary School

Snaresbrook Primary School

Fullwood Primary

Newbridge School (Loxford Lane)

South Park Primary School

Gearies Infants

Newbury Park Primary School

St Aidens Catholic Primary School

Gearies Junior School

Wells Primary School

St Augustine's Catholic Primary School

Gilbert Colvin Primary

Nightingale Primary School

Uphall Primary School

Glade Primary School

Little Heath Foundation School

Woodlands Junior School

Goodmayes Primary School

Oakdale Infants School

Wanstead C of E Primary School

Gordon Infants School

New Rush Hall School

Woodlands Infants School

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School

Oakdale Junior School

Secondary schools containing asbestos:

Beal High School

Canon Palmer Catholic High School

Caterham High School

Hainault Forest High School

Ilford County High School

Ilford Ursuline High School

King Solomon High School

Loxford School of Science and Technology

Mayfield School

Seven Kings High School

Trinity Catholic High School (Lower and& Upper)

Valentines High School

Wanstead High School

Woodbridge High School

Woodford County High School

Other educational establishments containing asbestos:

Redbridge Institute of Adult Education

John Barker Centre (Pupil Support Centre) Tuition Service

Newbury Hall Teachers Centre, Ilford

Hainault Youth Centre

Loxford Youth Centre

Wanstead Youth Centre

Downshall Centre
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Echoes of Erin Brockovich as doughty campaigner for justice 'stars' in Dust


SNEAK PREVIEW: Behind the scenes at the new production of 'Dust'

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Cast members rehearse for 'Dust'. Picture and video by Jim Moran

Cast members rehearse for 'Dust'. Picture and video by Jim Moran

Published Date:16 June 2009

By Nick Ahad, Arts Reporter

THE story of a Leeds woman who fought for legal justice against a factory which spewed asbestos dust into the local community is being brought to the stage.

Dust tells the true story of June Hancock, the woman from Armley who took on the owners of the J W Roberts factory, Turner and Newall, and scored an improbable victory.

The play, written by local playwright Kenneth F Yates, dramatises the events which saw Mrs Hancock take on the corporation in a story reminiscent of Erin Brockovich.

Mrs Hancock launched her landmark legal case in 1994 in a bid to get Turner and Newall to take responsibility for the deaths in Armley caused by asbestos-linked lung cancer mesothelioma.

She was diagnosed with the cancer in 1993, and in January 1994 was given two years to live, but continued her struggle for justice. In April, 1996, Mrs Hancock won her court battle and was awarded compensation of £65,000. The court victory opened the doors to claims from asbestos victims around the world.

On July 19 1997 Mrs Hancock died, aged 61.

The people of Armley have come together to tell her remarkable story. A community cast of 22 will stage a one-off performance of Mr Yates's play Dust at an industrial building in Ledgard Way, behind the Pet and Garden World store, as part of the I Love West Leeds festival on July 11. The play, which is being produced by the West Yorkshire Playhouse, will then be staged at the theatre for four nights.

Mrs Hancock's son Russell said: "Me and my sister (Kimberley) have been involved with the production, meeting with Ken and telling him what mum was like and giving him the information he needed.

"It is a slightly surreal experience, but we've talked about it and we realise the person up there playing our mum on stage isn't really playing our mum – she represents someone who took on this cause.

"We are really proud that this play is happening and really proud of all the people who are giving up their time to tell our mum's story."

Mrs Hancock's family moved to Armley in 1936, where she became a pupil at the Armley Board "Clock" School.

The loading bay of the nearby J W Roberts factory was a well-known play area for local children, and many have told the playwright how they remember making "summer snowballs" from the thick white dust on the ground.

All proceeds from the Armley performance of Dust will go to The June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund.

The 2009 I Love West Leeds Festival runs from July 2 to 18.

Tickets can be reserved by calling West Yorkshire Playhouse Box Office on 0113 213 7700.

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On June 7, Communities will Come Together to Celebrate Life after Cancer

Syracuse, NY 6/03/2009 03:15 PM


For the 22nd year in a row, survivors of cancer and their families and friends will gather together in hundreds of communities throughout the world to affirm the fact that there is indeed life after a cancer diagnosis – even following amesothelioma cancer diagnosis, a disease which has no known cure and is considered to be one of the most fatal forms of cancer.


Sponsored by the non-profit National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation, the National Cancer Survivors Day celebration is the world’s largest and fastest-growing annual cancer survivor event. Initiated in the U.S. but currently observed in 16 countries worldwide, Cancer Survivors Day festivities include a wide variety of events from 5K runs, carnivals, and concerts to raise money for cancer research to workshops, inspirational programs, and other educational events for cancer survivors and their families.  Food and fun is always a part of the festivities and a feeling of triumph prevails throughout these celebrations of life.


Throughout the year, the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation supports hospitals and other cancer-related organizations interested in hosting Survivors Day festivities by providing them with educational materials and networking guidance to help them organize a successful Survivors Day event, noting that their major goal is to “educate the public on the issues of cancer survivorship in order to better the quality of life for cancer survivors.”

A survivor is defined as anyone living with a history of cancer. An estimated 12 million cancer survivors live in the U.S. and millions more in other countries, empowered by a growing list of successful drugs and treatments designed to fight specific cancers. Even individuals with such hard-to-treat cancers as mesothelioma, an asbestos-caused disease, are now living well beyond the expected six months to two years, thanks to novel therapies like the mesothelioma treatment drug Alimta®, the first USDA-approved chemotherapy drug designed specifically for the treatment of that aggressive form of cancer.Alimta® is typically paired with Cisplatin®, another cancer-fighting drug.

Physicians like Dr. David Jablons, M.D., chief of thoracic surgery at University of California San Francisco, continue to dispense the latest in mesothelioma information and cutting-edge treatments for victims of this thoracic cancer, insuring that – someday – mesothelioma patients may be added to the long list of survivors celebrating National Cancer Survivors Day with their loved ones.

To locate the nearest National Cancer Survivors Day event, check with your local hospital or American Cancer Society office, or call the Foundation at (615) 794-3006.

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EPA brownfields grants provide for environmental cleanup and economic development

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides brownfields grants to communities to help fund the cleanup of toxic substances so that properties can become productive again. Without these funds, asbestos and other toxins can block redevelopment efforts—and even demolition. When these contaminated sites remain vacant, they are a danger to the community. Arson in abandoned properties is a serious concern, especially because fires can cause asbestos and other toxic substances to be released into the air.

The EPA has announced that, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, it will distribute an estimated $111.9 million in brownfields grants to communities across the country. See EPA Press Release. A total of $4.8 million will go to communities in Florida. See related story. And communities in Maine will receive more than $6 million. See related story. In California’s Bay Area, the cities of Oakland, San Pablo and Emeryville will share $2.6 million in grant money from the EPA. See related story. And Pennsylvania communities will receive $4 million. See related story.

The money may be designated for environmental assessment, cleanup or development projects. It can provide a significant boost to communities struggling to deal with environmental contamination. For example, Sanford, Maine is getting some help dealing with two contaminated industrial sites. See related story. The EPA has promised the town $200,000 to assist in the cleanup of the former Goodall Mill on Washington Street. And another $400,000 will be provided for environmental assessment and assistance in the cleanup of the Aerofab property adjacent to the mill. The projects will cost substantially more than the amount of the grants, but the grant moneys are an important contribution to the cleanup needed in this town.

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Construction, transportation workers mark Workers Memorial Day

By Steve Share and Barb Kucera

28 April 2009

MINNEAPOLIS - Construction work at the new Minnesota Twins ballpark came to a stop for a few minutes at midday Tuesday, allowing the 800-some workers on site to gather in the right field stands for the Building Trades unions’ annual observance of Workers Memorial Day.


Earlier in the day, Minnesota Department of Transportation workers paused to commemorate Workers Memorial Day and issue an appeal for safer workzones.

The annual event — observed nationwide — remembers workers who died in the previous year from workplace accidents or workplace illnesses and renews calls for increased workplace safety.

workers bow their heads at Workers Memorial program

Workers bowed their heads as the Rev. Roger Carlson led a prayer.

Photo by Steve Share

Mike Hawthorne, business manager of the Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council, reported that the rate of workplace injuries and illnesses in Minnesota has dropped, from a rate of 6.8 cases per 100 full-time workers in 2000 to 4.6 cases per 100 workers in 2007 — a drop of 32 percent, according to Minnesota OSHA.

“The evidence is in the dwindling numbers of names we have read over the years” at the Workers Memorial Day, said Dick Anfang, president of the Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council. In years past, he related, the local Building Trades’ Workers Memorial Day observance has read the names of as many as 15 or 20 workers.

This year’s ceremony read the names of only three workers: Thomas Raymond Johnson, Sr., a member of Pipefitters Local 455, who died of mesothelioma at age 64; Clarence Roger Olson, a member of Pipefitters Local 455, who died of lung cancer at age 61; Roberto Pearson, a member of Boilermakers Local 647, who died in an accidental fall at age 25.

Anfang and other speakers noted how unions, contractors, and government have placed an increased emphasis on workplace safety.

“My union card is 42 years old,” Anfang said. “I have seen safety go from ‘be careful, but make sure you get it done quick’ to ‘don’t do it unless you can do it safely.’”

The Rev. Roger Carlson, a member of Operating Engineers Local 49 and a deacon in the Catholic Church, recalled when safety meant someone “yelling at you” when you did something wrong or warning you to be careful.

Carlson noted the advances in safety training and procedures over the years, but also led a prayer asking to “enlighten those with responsibility for enforcement to improve safe working standards.”

As Carlson led the prayer, hundreds of hard-hatted heads in the stands were bowed in silence.

Hawthorne read the names of Johnson, Olson, and Pearson, while Harry Johnson, retired member of Roofers Local 96, placed a black sash on a cross bearing each of the three names.

Retired Carpenters union business agent Darrell Ray rang a bell three times, once each for the three workers remembered.

sign at Workers Memorial event

An electronic road sign and an empty chair sat outside the MnDOT facility in Oakdale to mark Workers Memorial Day.

Workday Minnesota photo

The mood also was solemn at the Minnesota Department of Transportation district office in Oakdale, where a large crowd sat quietly in remembrance of the 31 MnDOT employees and 13 contract workers who have been killed in highway workzones since 1960.

“This summer we’ll carry out one of our largest construction programs ever,” Minnesota Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel said. “We must work harder than ever to make sure no one is killed in a workzone during this very, very busy time.”

AFSCME Council 5, which represents many Department of Transportation employees, is proud to partner with the department to promote safety, said Executive Director Eliot Seide. “Together we remind motorists to slow down, be aware and use caution.”

At the ceremony, the department recognized four AFSCME members with the Metro District Work Zone Safety Award.” They are Andrew Fischbach, transportation generalist, Lakeville; Andrew Leibel, transportation generalist senior, Arden Hills; Barta “Bitsy” Surniak, transportation generalist, Lakeville; and Howard Van Vleet, transportation generalist senior, Shakopee.

Nationwide, 5,657 fatal workplace injuries took place 2007, according to the national AFL-CIO.

The AFL-CIO used Workers Memorial Day to release its annual “Death on the Job” report, updating data about workplace fatalities and injuries and calling for improved workplace safety.

“After eight years of neglect from the Bush administration, workers are in dire need of a change in our nation’s workplace safety and health laws,” said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney. “Our nation’s inadequate workplace safety net has left far too many workers in danger of death, injury or disease that could otherwise be prevented. Working people are looking to the new President to strengthen the OSHA act with tougher civil and criminal penalties, increase funding for OSHA to provide greater oversight, and fully implement the provisions of the MINER Act.”

In Minnesota, 72 workplace fatalities reported in 2007 were down sharply from 87 fatalities reported in 2005, according to Minnesota OSHA.

Steve Share edits the Minneapolis Labor Review. Barb Kucera edits WorkdayMinnesota.

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Origin of National Cancer Survivors Day

February 13, 2009 by Richard and Annette Bloch

Very close friends of ours live in Jerusalem, Israel. He is an extremely important and well known man there. Their son was married to our daughter for many years. Several years ago he needed open heart surgery. His family recommended he go to Baltimore, New York, Boston or Cleveland. Suddenly we heard he had the surgery in Haifa.

The next time we were with him, I asked why he picked Haifa. Tel Aviv could be understood but no one goes to Haifa! He stated that some years before he had been watching television with no thought of ever needing heart surgery. They showed a doctor walking down the street in Haifa with all the patients on whom he had performed open heart surgery following him. There were over 500 following. He made up his mind right there that if he would ever need open heart surgery, he would go to this doctor in Haifa so he, too, could walk in the parade in future years.

I felt there had to be a connection between this experience and our work in cancer. We believe that the second largest correctable cause of cancer mortality is believing through ignorance that death and cancer are synonymous and failing to fight when diagnosed. Tobacco, of course, is the largest correctable cause of cancer mortality. If we could convince healthy people who have no interest in cancer because it only happens to other people that there is not only a possibility of life after a diagnosis of cancer, but a quality life, many would try to fight and could be saved.

We came up with the idea of the cancer survivors Rally in the Fall of 1985 and held the first Rally in Kansas City the first Sunday in June, 1986 at a park in the center of downtown. The purpose was not to entertain those attending, even though that was the natural result, but for the media coverage after the event that would show the millions exposed to it that the diagnosis of cancer did not mean death.

I went to the publisher of our newspaper and explained the purpose and he immediately cooperated. Not only did he give the Rally a front page color picture in Monday morning’s paper, but he called the head of the ABC-TV affiliate inKansas City and suggested he call Good Morning America and get them out to cover it. They did and that was the birth of National Cancer Survivors Day. Having seen it on Good Morning America, numerous cities had the Rally the next year. ThenCoping magazine joined with the national office of the American Cancer Society (ACS) to co-sponsored the event nationally. Later, the national office of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) took over co-sponsorship from ACS.  In 1994, the non-profitNational Cancer Survivors Day Foundation was formed to equally and fairly assist all cancer-related organizations wishing to hold a National Cancer Survivors Day (NCSD) celebration and to obtain national publicity for the event.  Today, NCSD is the world’s largest cancer survivor event and is sponsored nationally byCoping magazine and philanthropic companies interested in bettering the quality of life for cancer survivors.  Although the national offices of ACS and NCCS are no longer national sponsors, their local chapters remain highly active in hosting NCSD events.  Anyone interested in starting an NCSD event in his or her community may call the NCSD Foundation at (615) 794-3006 and request a free NCSD Celebration Planning Kit.

The Rally is an annual reality the first Sunday in June in hundreds of cities across the United States. A few cities celebrate it at some other time for a specific reason. In Palm Springs, California, the Rally is held in April because it is so hot in the desert in June and so many people have left town. Whenever it is held, its message is the same. In cities with a Richard & Annette Bloch Cancer Survivors Park, that is the site of the Rally. Hopefully, in the not too distant future, there will be a Richard & Annette Bloch Cancer Survivors Park in every major city in the US and Canada, but that is another story for another time.

Everyone working on the Rally knows they are helping people who they will never know. They are giving unknown individuals the will to fight for their life. They are improving the quality of life for many. Whether you are a cancer patient or the supporter of a cancer patient, when you attend the Rally, not only will you enjoy yourself, but you will inspire others not yet diagnosed with cancer to fight the disease when they are diagnosed. You are truly performing a blessing.

Thus from open heart surgery in Israel to National Cancer Survivors Day is just one small step.

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Chattanooga wins $200,000 EPA grant

By: Staff Report - Jan. 20, 2009

Chattanooga is one of 13 communities nationally to receive a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to train workers in cleaning up contaminated properties and turning them into community assets.

The city will receive $200,000 to help teach environmental assessment and cleanup job skills to individuals living in areas near brownfield sites, according to EPA spokeswoman Laura Niles.

The city plans to train 30 students, place 18 or more graduates in environmental technician jobs and track students for one year.

The training program will consist of two training cycles, including a overview of brownfields redevelopment overview, courses on how to assess environmental conditions, sampling and analysis, safety and health training, lead and asbestos abatement and heavy equipment operator training.

Since 1998, EPA has awarded more than $25 million in brownfields job training funds. Nationwide, EPA said about 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites are listed as brownfields.

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Cancer Drug Inventor Donates $1M for Student/Faculty Research

By Vige Barrie -December 31, 2008

Edward C. Taylor '46

Edward C. Taylor '46

The inventor of one of the world's most effective anti-cancer drugs who became fascinated with chemistry as a student at Hamilton has, with his wife, donated $1 million to establish an endowed fund for chemistry research at the College.

Edward C. Taylor '46 and his wife Virginia have established The Edward and Virginia Taylor Fund for Student/Faculty Research in Chemistry, a $1 million fund to inspire students interested in chemical research and to facilitate their work with outstanding faculty. As part of the Excelsior Campaign, the fund will offer students the opportunity to pursue research in organic chemistry, biochemistry, physical chemistry and other divisions of chemical research beginning in the summer of 2009.

"I wanted my gift to go to chemistry for whatever purpose seemed appropriate. Research is the ideal way to become fascinated with chemistry, and summer programs are especially great for stimulating a student's interest," Taylor explained.

It was in his first semester at Hamilton that a flip of a coin and a seemingly insignificant course selection led to great professional success and satisfaction for Taylor. When he arrived on campus in 1942 to study in the wartime accelerated program, he chose chemistry, by way of that coin toss, rather than biology to fulfill a science requirement. "I fell for the subject on the first day," he recalled. His professor, Dick Sutherland, was "extraordinary, the best teacher I have ever had. He took me under his wing, and I became fascinated from day one. He practically tutored me."

More than 60 years later, the student who came to Hamilton with dreams of becoming a writer is professor emeritus of chemistry at Princeton University and the inventor of one of the most successful cancer drugs in the world. "I owe my lifelong fascination with chemistry to Hamilton which is why I gave my gift to the chemistry department," he explained.

In discussing his love of chemistry, Taylor had this message for today's Hamilton students. "The reason you are going to a liberal arts institution is to take advantage of the variety it offers. Don't base your course selection on your prior limited experience. Spread your wings. Experiment! Other vistas will open if you have an open mind."

Another Hamilton chemistry professor who influenced Taylor's academic direction was Amos McKinney who had earned his Ph.D. at Cornell. When Taylor exhausted the chemistry courses at Hamilton, he transferred to Cornell. "My experience at Cornell would have been different if I had gone there directly. Hamilton was a totally different equation. I was in a class of five at Hamilton and a class of hundreds at Cornell. At Hamilton, I had the experience of practically being tutored by faculty willing to spend time with me one on one." 

Taylor flourished at Cornell, ultimately earning a Ph.D. in chemistry. Cornell was also where Taylor met his wife Virginia to whom he has been married for 62 years. 

As Taylor began to consider a research topic in organic chemistry for his doctorate, he happened on an article in Science about a compound that had been isolated from human liver and, strangely enough, was found to be necessary for the growth of a number of microorganisms. Furthermore, it possessed as its central core a very unusual bicyclic ring system that had only been seen before as pigments in the wings of butterflies. Fascinated by this bizarre coincidence, Taylor devoted his Ph.D. thesis to researching the origins, synthesis, biological significance and properties of these compounds. 

In 1948, the same researchers who had first isolated the compound from human liver determined that a slight modification of the compound's chemical structure resulted in a new compound that inhibited the growth of microorganisms; in other words, they had discovered a new antibacterial agent. The same compound was found by others to bring remissions in acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children. 

All of this preliminary work led to critical questions of why an antibacterial compound, still related in structure to the pigments in butterfly wings and to the mysterious growth factor from human liver, could be both extremely toxic and capable of inhibiting the growth of tumors. [The compound from human liver, now called folic acid, was later recognized as essential for every form of life because it is required for the biosynthesis of DNA, RNA and a number of amino acids, and hence proteins.] The antibacterial compound was found to inhibit DNA biosynthesis, but unfortunately in normal cells as well as in tumor cells. It was at this point that Taylor reengaged in the study of the compound that could cause cancer to go into remission, but that also killed healthy body cells. He discovered a compound that could effectively inhibit the growth of tumors with reduced effects on healthy normal cells and that appeared to operate by a different mechanism. 

Taylor's Princeton lab didn't have the facilities to transform the compound he had synthesized into an effective drug, so he asked the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly & Co. for assistance. The company analyzed the compound and determined that it was 95 to 100 percent effective on every tumor on which it was tested. 

In 1985 a formal collaboration began between Princeton and Eli Lilly with the objective of exploring this promising new area in depth. Many hundreds of new compounds were prepared and examined. Finally, Taylor came up with a new compound that appeared to be extraordinarily promising, and after 12 years of extensive efforts by Lilly, this compound became the new cancer drug Alimta. 

"The compound that became Alimta would still be in a bottle on my shelf in Princeton if it hadn't been for all the work Lilly put into developing it through some 12 years of testing. The amount of effort, time and money required to carry a compound through the myriad of tests required - just a few of which are metabolism, distribution and excretion studies; extensive examination of possible side effects, including toxicity; mechanism of action, interactions with other drugs and studies of drug-drug combinations - makes a story in itself," explains Taylor.

The drug has now been on the market for four and a half years, and already stands as the most successful new cancer drug, in terms of sales, in the history of the pharmaceutical industry. It is approved in 92 countries, including the United States, for both first-line and second-line lung cancer, and is the only drug approved for the treatment of mesothelioma. It is in extensive clinical trials for breast, head, neck and thyroid cancer.

The man who began college as a lover of the written word with dreams of becoming a writer and poet explained his passion for chemistry this way: "Organic chemistry has grace and beauty, something related in a way to music. There is something fundamentally artistic that gives appeal to organic chemistry. It was never difficult for me." 

Serendipity and a coin flip introduced Taylor to this unlikely art form, and many years of dedicated and intense work led him to a life-saving discovery. Beginning in 2009, his gift will offer students the opportunity to follow a similar path.

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UK pharmacists raise money for mesothelioma research


Pharmacists in the United Kingdom have come to together in efforts to raise money for mesothelioma and cancer research. By selling awareness key chains and wristbands to concerned citizens, pharmacists sponsored a 40 mile bicycle and walking marathon last month. Their efforts resulted in raising thousands of pounds dedicated to mesothelioma research. One of the most fatal and painful cancers, mesothelioma affects thousands each year and is swiftly becoming more common in North East Britain.  Caused by exposure to asbestos fibers, many individuals who previously worked in ship-building and heating installation have developed the harmful disease. On October 19th of this year, friends, families and pharmacists bicycled 40 miles to show their long standing support for mesothelioma victims.

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Mesothelioma - are you aware?

Blackwell Thomas, The Southern | Posted: Wednesday, September 10, 2008

CARBONDALE - There are about 2,000 new cases of the asbestos-linked cancer mesothelioma diagnosed in the United States every year, according to the National Cancer Institute.

And while that's a rare rate of occurrence, it's not rare enough for one local resident and her mother, who are fighting to ban asbestos use and make Sept. 26 Mesothelioma Awareness Day both in Illinois and across the country.

Lacey Caraway was diagnosed with mesothelioma in December 2005. And while she's been in remission since March 2006, she and her mother, Janet Graeff, are working to make everyone aware of the disease's dangers.

The pair says awareness about the disease and the asbestos which causes it are keys to saving lives.

"When we got the diagnosis, we had no idea what the cause was, no idea where it came from and the terrifying thing was they had no idea if there was any treatment," said Graeff. "It was unbelievable to me that in this day and age, you couldn't find out anything about this."

Fortunately, Caraway's family physician and her surgeon helped get her in touch with doctors in St. Louis who helped her locate some of the world's foremost mesothelioma experts.

Caraway said she underwent three surgeries and six rounds of chemotherapy. While she is in remission, the disease has become a part of her life.

"The outlook is that there is a possibility of it coming back and becoming malignant again and there is a possibility of it spreading and my life span being shorter," she said. "Unfortunately, it's a painful disease, so I am on a (battery) of pain management medication. If I don't have that, I can't function."

Graeff said Sept. 26 was chosen because it is the wedding anniversary of a Pennsylvania widow who took up a similar effort there when her husband died from mesothelioma.

Caraway and Graeff have two "Mesothelioma Day" efforts underway.

At the national level, Graeff said, she and her daughter "are trying to get a bill through to congress to ban asbestos; the Senate passed their version unanimously in October of 2007; the House version is currently held up in committee." In Illinois, the pair has asked Murphysboro Republican Mike Bost to help shepherd their resolution through the state's General Assembly.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich has already proclaimed Sept. 26 Mesothelioma Awareness Day, but the resolution Bost is presenting on behalf of Graeff and Caraway would make the designation permanent.

"I don't think it will have any problems," Bost said of the legislation's prospects.

"When Lacey first showed up with this, our local doctors didn't recognized it. This (the day naming effort) is about awareness," Bost said.

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Snowdrops will act as a memorial

22 October 2008 By Terry Kelly - Industry reporter


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In memory ... snowdrops.

In memory ... snowdrops.

SNOWDROPS will be planted inSouth Tyneside to commemorate all those who have died from an industrial disease.

A total of 10,000 snowdrops, to be planted on both sides of the Tyne, will be a lasting reminder of all those who have succumbed to the asbestos-linked cancer mesothelioma.

The first snowdrops will be planted tomorrow in Saltwell Park, Gateshead, followed by the Sir GB Memorial Hunter Hospital, Wallsend, on October 31.

A third planting ceremony will be held at the Lawe Top roundabout, in Lawe Road, South Shields, on Monday, November 3, at 11am.

The memorial event has been organised by South Tyneside, Gateshead and North Tyneside councils, in partnership with The Snowdrop Fund, created by the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund (MKMRF).

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Alex Donaldson, said: "Mesothelioma is a devastating illness that has touched the lives of many people in South Tyneside.

"It is so important that we remember those who have lost their lives to this disease, and support efforts to fund the vital research going on with the aim of finding a cure.

"Planting the snowdrops at the Lawe Top is an effective way of contributing towards these aims, and will help to keep this issue in the public eye.

"The Lawe Top is a prominent location, overlooking our beautiful coastline, and the snowdrops will be a welcome addition there."

Mesothelioma is an incurable cancer, which can lie dormant in the lungs for up to 40 years.

The Snowdrop Fund was launched in February to allow families across the UK to establish a tribute charity as a lasting legacy for vital research into mesothelioma.

Money from the fund will be injected into the MKMRF, which has already raised more than £400,000 for research into the disease.

Chris Knighton, founder of the MKMRF, said: "By planting these snowdrops on both sides of the Tyne, we hope to commemorate all those who died from mesothelioma.

"When the bulbs spring in January, they will remind people of the legacy of asbestos, but will also give hope that one day we will find a cure for this terrible disease."

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September 26th is National Meso (Mesothelioma) Cancer Awareness Day

September 26, 2007 - by Patty Oh

Mesothelioma is a Rare Form of Cancer Caused by Asbestos Exposure. While It's Survival Rate is Dismal, More People Should Become Aware of This Form of Cancer.

September 26th is National Meso (mesothelioma) Awareness Day. Begun by the Meso Foundation, this day is dedicated to raise awareness of the problems, symptoms, and need for research into mesothelioma, one of the lesser-known forms of cancer. In simplest terms, the tissues that line our lungs, heart, stomach and other organs are called "mesothelium." When these cells develop cancer, it's called mesothelioma, or meso for short. Meso is very painful because as the cancer cells grow, they crush the lungs. A person with


September 26th is National Meso (Mesothelioma) Cancer Awareness Day.  mensothelioma may eventually be suffocated so that breathing is painful, or the heart or other organs can be crushed as the cancer grows. Most people who are diagnosed with meso die within 4 to 14 months.

Meso is caused by asbestos exposure. It can take years (30, 40, or even 50 years) to develop. According to the Meso Foundation, the U.S. EPA identified asbestos as," one of the most hazardous substances to which humans are exposed in both occupational and non-occupational settings."

The Navy, shipyard workers, household products, and many appliances, residential and commercial construction have all used asbestos. It's still around and in many schools, homes, and businesses. Even small exposure to asbestos particles can cause meso. Although the air was declared "safe" after 9/11, rescue workers and first-responders may have been exposed to high amounts of particulates in the air, including asbestos. Some people estimate that at least 400 tons of asbestos was released into the air inNew York after the towers collapsed on 9/11.

The EPA estimates that over 20 million American workers have been exposed to asbestos particles. Every year approximately 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma. While it's still a rare form of cancer, it is expected to affect more people since it takes so long to develop and so many, many people have been exposed to asbestos in recent years.
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Secret Ingredients

After 19 years of trying, another effort to ban asbestos has surfaced in the House. Keep your fingers crossed.

For almost two decades, skirmishes, bare-knuckle brawls and knock-down battles have been fought to prevent Americans from being exposed to the lethal effects of asbestos. But the latest congressional assault launched yesterday may finally breech the lobbyist-protected walls surrounding the asbestos industry.


Do you remember the comic character Charlie Brown racing to kick a football that Lucy always holds and jerks away at the last moment?

That's pretty much what it has been like when it comes to government attempts to pass a life-saving law which would ban the mining, production, importation, use and sale of asbestos.

Monuments to the dangers of asbestos can be seen in graveyards near the taconite mines in Minnesota, Michigan's auto plants, Boeing's aircraft factories in Washington, talc mines in New York, the vermiculite mine at Libby, Mont., and near shipyards coast to coast. Millions more are being treated for ivarious asbestos-caused diseases like mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.

More than 40 countries, including all members of the European Union, have banned asbestos So why has it been so hard to ban the killing fiber in the U.S.?

In 1989, the EPA instituted a ban. Months later, the Canadian asbestos industry hauled it into court and the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned it on technical reasons.

Last October, after six years of meetings, scores of hearings, arm-twisting, deal-making – all vital toWashington politics at its most skillful level - Sen. Patty Murray got the entire U.S. Senate to pass a ban on asbestos.

At first, the public health community cheered. But a careful reading of the final language made it clear that the ban really wasn't all that was expected or needed.

George Biekkola, a Michigan taconite miner, testified to ban asbestos that destroyed his lungs. He died a year after speaking before Sen. Murray's committee. P-I Photo by Paul Kitagaki Jr.

But it didn't go far enough. Trying to keep Republican support and appease the automotive, sand, gravel and mining interests, somewhere between the final air-tight version that Murray fought for and the wording that the Senate finally voted upon, there were unexpected loopholes that torpedoed almost all of Murray's enormous effort.

Responding to the outcry from both civilian and government public health advocates. the House Committee on Energy and Commerce said it would try to plug the holes and issue its own ban.

Many of the same experts that worked so hard for Murray responded to the call from the House. Those opposing the ban also quickly mobilized.

The White House Office of Management and Budget tried and failed to keep the EPA from supporting a ban of "any products in which asbestos is intentionally added, used or knowingly present as a contaminant."

The bill - H.R. 6903 - is sponsored by Texas Democrat Gene Green, the chairman of the subcommittee on Environment and Hazardous Materials, who said that every year nearly 10,000 people in the United States die from asbestos-related diseases' and the ban is needed "to protect the health of all Americans from this deadly toxic material."

Peg Seminario, AFL-CIO director of Safety and Health, said: "This legislation would finally stop the future use of asbestos in this country and prevent future unnecessary exposures and deaths from this toxic killer."

Other House committees will have to weigh in to add money for research on asbestos-related disease. There are many significant improvements in Green's legislation.

One of the most crucial is a limit on how much asbestos can exist in any product that is mined, imported, processed, used or sold. Industry had convinced the Senate that any products or material with below 1 percent asbestos content was "safe."

Far from it, said the public health community. Asbestos is a proven human carcinogen and there is absolutely no known "safe" level of exposure.

The House bill sets a limit of zero percent asbestos, none, in products and much safer limit of 0.001 percent for five minerals often contaminated with asbestos fibers. They would be calcium carbonate, olivine, talc, vermiculite, and wollastonite.

Also, the law would ban the asbestos-contaminated waste from taconite iron mining which companies to sell for road and runway surfacing.

And now, years after government health investigators showed that asbestos-tainted talc was killing many of the workers who mined it and the consumers who used it, it too will be illegal.

I asked EPA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission what this legislation – if passed – will mean to the millions of home and business owners who have Zonolite vermiculite insulation in their attics and walls. Based on tests by both the government and its manufacturer, W.R. Grace, Zonolite can have and release large amounts of asbestos fibers if even slightly disturbed.

I haven't gotten an answer yet.

Of course, the legislation has several hurdles to jump before becoming law.

One is time. Congress is about to recess again some members can go home to campaign.

The other is Committee Chairman John Dingell.

Skeptics opined that the Michigan democrat was so beholding to his state's automotive industry – the targets of tens of thousands of personal injury lawsuits from asbestos in brakes and gaskets - that he'd never let allow a meaningful ban to be introduced.

People on his staff said that their had been several discussions with auto industry reps, but that "Dingell was standing firm" in his support of the need for a ban.

That may be the case, but I couldn't help noticing that committee chairman had nothing to say about Green's ban bill.

Lots of people who treat victims of asbestos disease and others who have lost loved ones, want this public health no-brainer to become law.

"The public relies on congress to protect it from known dangerous substances. This ban must be passed into law so we can finally eradicate the deadly diseases caused from asbestos exposure that plagues so many families," said Linda Reinstein, co-founder and executive director of the victim's advocacy group Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization.

Reinstein lost her husband to mesothelioma.







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Posted byAndrew Schneider at September 17, 2008
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Send Lawyers, Guns and Money: Warren Zevon Remembered

Five-year anniversary of Warren Zevon’s death from mesothelioma remembered

By Brenda Davis -Sep 4, 2008

Warren Zevon was a fantastic artist.  Zevon passed away almost five years ago and the world lost a magnificent talent.  The man that brought us "Lawyers, Guns and Money" and "Werewolves of London" would leave us on September 7, 2003.  He is still remembered and in a Rolling Stone interview with David Letterman, and it gets a little misty.

Send Lawyers, Guns and Money: Warren Zevon Remembered (Image: Wenn)

Send Lawyers, Guns and Money: Warren Zevon Remembered (Image: Wenn)

Warren Zevon reportedly had a lifelong phobia of doctors and said he seldom received medical treatment or diagnosis, an online bio for the late singer details. In 2002, after a long period of untreated illness and pain, Zevon was encouraged by his dentist to see a physician.

He would be diagnosed with inoperable mesothelioma (a form of cancer associated with exposure to asbestos, and also the same cancer that killed Steve McQueen).  In 2002 on the day before Halloween, David Lettermangave Warren Zevon the entire hour.  He recalls that in an interview.

"Here's a guy who had months to live and we're making small talk. And as we're talking, he's taking his guitar strap and hooking it, wrapping it around, then he puts the guitar into the case and he flips the snaps on the case and says, `Here, I want you to have this, take good care of it.' And I just started sobbing."

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