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Asbestos in Your Neighborhood

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Officials Testing for Asbestos at Sinclair Plant

By Claire Kellett, Anchor/Reporter

By Aaron Hepker

Story Created: Dec 18, 2009 at 11:19 PM CST

CEDAR RAPIDS -Cedar Rapids is waiting for more test results to determine if the Sinclair meatpacking plant has significant amounts of asbestos.

A large part of that abandoned plant has been burning since Tuesday. Earlier this week, the city said asbestos was not a major concern and cited an engineering report. Now the city says there was verbal miscommunication with that engineering firm, the Howard R. Green Company. And it is doing more air monitoring for asbestos substances.

The engineering firm told The Gazette it did a structural analysis of this site before the fire and found some loose insulating material in six different locations.

It tested the material and found a little asbestos in one of those locations. It was a small sample in such an isolated area, that the city is now doing much larger tests for asbestos.

Shortly after the fire at the Sinclair meatpacking plant broke out Tuesday, the city performed tests for asbestos contamination. Those early results came back negative. But conflicting test results from a local engineering firm has the city conducting more extensive tests.

"What we are doing now is not only doing air monitoring for particulates and asbestos, we are also doing spot sampling physically to see if it is on site."Cedar Rapids flood recovery director Greg Eyerly expects those results sometime Monday. He says positive test results from the old, flood-damaged site won't be too surprising. "Based on the age of the building, we know buildings that age and some even newer many times contain those types of materials."

Even if there is asbestos, firefighters won't change the way they are fighting the fire. Asbestos does not burn. "Keep in mind if indeed we do end up with positive samples for asbestos, we are doing all the mitigation steps you would normally do in the case you are demolishing a hazard with asbestos," Eyerly says. In other words, a large amount of water is the best way to contain asbestos at demolition sites. And firefighters have been dousing the Sinclair site with water since Tuesday morning.

The Linn County Public Health Department does not have an expert for asbestos, nor does it monitor for asbestos. But it does track particulates - or dust particles - in the air. The department is still advising those with asthma or other respiratory conditions who live near the meatpacking plant to stay indoors as much as possible and to limit exercise.

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Asbestos At The Paper Mill

By Liz Tufts

Story Published: Dec 17, 2009 at 11:45 PM EST

Is asbestos lurking in the air inHolyoke? That concern was tackled in a public forum at theMorganElementary School on Thursday. It all dates back to a massive fire at the Parson's Paper Mill in 2008.

It burned out of control for hours and the building was reduced to rubble. Federal government officials went back to the site in October and found asbestos in the building. Although asbestos can cause significant health problems, state officials say at no time were residents at risk and they are doing their best to keep the situation under control.

Tom Hatzoppulos, from the Environmental Protection Agency, said, "In the places guarded during nonworking hours and the other thing you're asking me about that we should be worried about, there are air monitoring stations around the perimeter of the site. We have five of them and we are constantly monitoring the air."

The state's Environmental Protection Agency has already started the clean up process. Officials said the removal of asbestos should take about six months.

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MidtownPlaza workers have removed about 25 percent of asbestos

Diana Louise Carter • Staff writer • December 18, 2009

Previous Page

The view through the familiar arched windows atopMidtownTower was clouded by a thick layer of dust.

An entourage of media and city officials got a chance Thursday to check on progress of asbestos removal in the tower and other buildings in the Midtown complex, a necessary step in redevelopment of the 8½-acre site.

The former Top of the Plaza restaurant was one of three stops on the tour, where a state official said the asbestos removal is about 25 percent completed. The restaurant is on the tower's 14th floor, one of five floors where work has finished.

The once elegant restaurant has been gutted down to the cement floor and the corrugated metal ceiling. Only the mirrored tiles along an inner wall and a sign listing the occupancy limit revealed a hint of its former use.

Robert Kreuzer of Buffalo-based LiRo Engineers Inc. said the space is ready for redevelopment with the exception of removing the windows, which contain a stable form of asbestos in the caulking.

Despite the gloomy view, city Corporation Counsel Thomas Richards suggested that people keep in mind a future vision for the site, rather than dwell on the past.

"It's time to start looking at it as what it could be," Richards said. "It will be something that people will want to come down to, to be a part of."

PAETEC Holding Corp. plans to build a headquarters building on the northwest corner of the site, but other redevelopment — other than reusing the tower — is still up in the air. Meanwhile, there's a lot going on.

Mark Smith, director of construction for Empire State Development Corp., which is overseeing demolition, said the tour provided just a glimpse of the work being done.

Only about a dozen workers were visible, but there are 204 on site, he said, with some 50 in the McCurdy building and another 50 in the Seneca building.

Smith said an additional 20 or 30 workers will be hired after the first of the year.

The center of the shopping plaza is starting to fill with scaffolding that eventually will rise to the ceiling so a containment structure can be built around it before asbestos is washed and scraped out of the ceiling.

Already the walkways under the mezzanine have been blocked off by temporary walls and all the storefronts have been walled in to contain individual spaces where asbestos is being removed.

Kreuzer said 50,000 to 60,000 cubic yards of demolition debris has been removed so far.

In each area, workers first take out any furniture or other movable items left behind. Then they remove walls, mechanicals and any asbestos-free flooring, as disposal of clean demolition materials is much less expensive than asbestos-laden materials. Some materials are being sold for scrap, too. Once the area is contained, the asbestos — usually in the ceiling — is removed.

"The fireproofing is a major challenge in the project," Kreuzer said. "All of the beams and decking have to be scraped."

While all this work is done," target=_new>Paradigm Environmental Services keeps tabs on the air quality. Paradigm's Bruce Hoogesteger said more than 3,000 air quality samples have been taken to ensure safety of the community and the workers.

The project is 100 percent in compliance with environmental standards, he said.

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Neighborhood demands answers about asbestos concerns

By Nick Spinetto, WINK News

Story Created: Dec 16, 2009 at 5:50 PM EST

Neighborhood demands answers about asbestos concerns

FORT MYERS,Fla. - A community is demanding answers after asbestos was found in concrete pipes at theSummerlin Road project.

Now dozens of people in Whiskey Creek fear they may have been exposed to it.

For the past 6 years, Whiskey Creek subdivision has been home sweet home for Michele DePalma.

"I've always wanted to live in this neighborhood. Always," she said.

Today though, it's a different story.

"I'm not supposed to be afraid in my own home," DePalma said.

Since asbestos was found in a nearby construction project, Michele's frustrated and concerned.

"I'm scared. I want to know what's going to be done about it," she said.

Earlier this month asbestos was found in theSummerlin Road fly-over project, which is just yards from Michele's home.

Her son, and other people in the neighborhood are often sick.

Michele's worried it may be connected.

"We deserve to know what's happening in our community. Are we going to be sick?," she asked.

It's a question Michele's determined to get the answer!

For hours on Tuesday night, she went door to door handing out an asbestos flier.

It details her story and concern.

It also advertises a meeting she's hosting at her home next week.

She says it's for anyone in her neighborhood who are worried they have been exposed to asbestos.

However, the local Director of Environmental Health tells me people have nothing to worry about.

Jim Love says tests in the area show the asbestos was encased in a concrete pipe.

He says asbestos is only dangerous when the fibers break down and become airborne.

That's not the case in this situation.

Michele says she isn't going to be satisfied until tests are done in her home.

"We're scared," she said.

So far about 50 people from her neighborhood plan to be at Tuesday's meeting.

An attorney will also be there to answer questions.

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Asbestos getsLeeCounty's attention

Commissioner, others fret over cancer risks

by gabriella souza • • December 13, 2009

1:10 A.M. — The discovery of asbestos at a road project site and a construction material dump earlier this week has workers and a Lee County commissioner concerned about the effects of the cancer-linked material on public health and a $25.2 million road project.

Commissioner Brian Bigelow is worried asbestos could be contained in the already-paved portion of theSummerlin Road project. He’s told county staff to be ready to discuss the issue when he raises it at Tuesday’s commission meeting.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s discovery has delayed the project to widenSummerlin Road to six lanes, although it’s not clear for how long. The county said it considers the contractor, Posen Construction, responsible for the material being used and gave the Michigan-based company 10 days to come up with a plan to eradicate the asbestos.

 “This is not a project I want to see slowed up,” Bigelow said.

If more than 260 linear feet of asbestos is present at theSummerlin Road project, Posen could face fines of up to $10,000 a day and criminal charges if DEP proves Posen had intent of using the tainted material.

Last week, DEP also released it transported 2,800 tons of asbestos-tainted material since July from a construction material dump site offImperial Parkway inBonitaSprings. It’s also investigating a similar site offVeronica S. Shoemaker Boulevard inFort Myers. That information was made public for the first time Thursday.

Posen completed the $12.5 million construction ofImperial Parkway in August 2007. It has also been known to use the Veronica Shoemaker site, according to DEP.

Posen did not return phone calls to its Estero office offCorkscrew Road or its headquarters inShelbyTownship,Mich. It has not been fined for the asbestos discovered at theImperial Parkway site because DEP did not measure how much asbestos was contained in the construction material.

Truck driver Jeff Paul has taken loads of leftover construction materials to the Veronica S. Shoemaker site, most recently three weeks ago.

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Eternit asbestos trial opens inItaly

Dec 10, 2009 –


Eternit asbestos trial opens in ItalyAFP – Cesare Zaccone, laywer of Swiss Stephan Schmidheiny (L) and prosecutor Raffaele Guariniello pose on the …

TURIN,Italy (AFP) – Two top former shareholders in the Swiss building materials firm Eternit went on trial Thursday for alleged negligence leading to more than 2,000 deaths inItaly from asbestos-related diseases.

Victims' relatives flocked the courthouse inTurin,northernItaly, as the long-awaited trial began following a five-year investigation.

So far 700 people have joined a class-action suit in connection with the trial, but victims' associations say the number could rise to 2,000.

Eternit's ex-owner, Swiss billionaireStephan Schmidheiny, and former top executive Jean-Louis de Cartier, a Belgian baron, are being tried in absentia.

Prosecutors accuse them of bearing ultimate responsibility for breaches in work safety rules that led to the deaths of more than 2,000 people and sickened several hundred others.

The court provided three extra rooms for the public to follow the hearing on closed-circuit television.

The victims -- who include employees as well as the residents of four Italian cities where the group had factories -- are expected to seek several hundred million euros (dollars) in compensation.

Many illnesses or deaths were caused by Eternit's asbestos-based products such as home insulation, the plaintiffs charge.

The two defendants, whose lawyers say they have no direct responsibility in the case, face three to 12 years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors say it is the biggest trial ever held on the effects of exposure to blue asbestos, a highly dangerous fibrous mineral that was banned inItaly in 1992.

"It's a world first. This trial will determine whether thejudicial system is capable of handling such a complex case," said Jean-Paul Teissonniere, a French lawyer representing plaintiffs.

Schmidheiny has already reached an out-of-court settlement with some 1,500 people.

Eternit'sItalian subsidiary went bankrupt in 1986, six years before asbestos was banned in the country over health concerns.

"I hope for a little bit of justice and that this will be an example," said Paola Bastianello, whose father, an Eternit employee, died in 1984.

Another plaintiff, Maria Assunta Prato, told AFP her husband died aged 49 simply from exposure to an Eternit product. "It's a terrible tragedy. We hope... they will be convicted for what they've done."
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Asbestos found inP.A.Elementary School gym floor

November 25, 2009 ( - Injury News, Mesothelioma News)

school gym floor had asbestos in PA.

Legal news for Pennsylvania Mesothelioma attorneys—Asbestos, which can cause Mesothelioma, was found in aPennsylvaniaElementary school’s gymnasium floor.

Chester, PA ( – A Pennsylvania Elementary school discovered asbestos-containing tile in their gymnasium floor last week, reported Delaware County Daily Times Tuesday, November 24, 2009.

The removal of the asbestos-contaminated tile took three days to remove from the gym floor atColumbusElementary School, while Superintendents of the school reassured concerned parents that the process was safe and effective.

Superintendent Gregory Thornton told news sources that the problem arose last summer after the gym flooded and began to buckle the floor. When the school was ready to replace the floor, a sample of the tile was sent off for testing.

The floor tested positive for asbestos and the school district made the decision to replace the entire gym floor along with the asbestos removal process.

Parents of the elementary school children were notified of the scheduled removal for November and reassured parents that no one—staff or student would be exposed to the asbestos during the process.

EHS Environmental Inc. tested the area around the outside of the gym to prove that there was no asbestos outside of the gym.

According to Wikipedia, asbestos is natural fibrous crystals that can be toxic when inhaled into the lungs, which can cause malignant lung cancer known as Mesothelioma.

Bridget Hom
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Shipyard gets giant stop work order

Citizens protest asbestos contamination atCalifornia shipyard

Text by Rachel Buhner and Sarah Phelan
Photos by Sarah Phelan

Protesters block the main entrance to the shipyard with a giant stop work order

A sizeable crowd gathered outside the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard’s main entrance Tuesday to protest Bayview Hunters Point residents and environmental advocates ongoing concerns with Lennar’s plans to develop 770 acres at the shipyard and Candlestick Point--and to blockade the entrance with a giant stop work order.

Sponsored by Greenaction for Health & Environmental Justice, POWER and the San Francisco Green Party, the protest was also attended by Nation of Islam followers, Mothers Against Crime, and even a few young and enthusiastic school children.

The action came just days after a judge tossed out suits against the Nation's Bayview leader and its non-profit, which runs a school adjacent to the shipyard and sued Lennar for failure to control asbestos at the shipyard. And a day after the San Francisco Housing Authority suggested that the Nation needs to get more insurance at its school, lest environmental concerns at the shipyard prove to be well-founded.

Activists addressed the crowd, speaking about asbestos dust contamination at the site, radiologically impacted dumps on the shipyard, and proposals to build thousands of condos on what is now Candlestick Point State Recreation Area. And all were clear on one point: Lennar needs to be stopped and held accountable.

“We know that pollution doesn’t know property lines,” said Tony Kelly, President of the Potrero Boosters Neighborhood Association. Noting that Lennar is looking for another 42 acres to develop at Candlestick, Kelly quipped, “I guess 770 acres aren’t enough.”
“Not in our name, not in our money,” said GreenAction’s Marie Harrison, pumping up the crowd with chants, which included that perennial favorite, “Don’t cap it, just clean it,” a reference to the Navy’s proposal to cap radiologically impacted sites at the shipyard, rather than dig and haul them out, as the community has repeatedly said it prefers.

“Clean air is a right,” said John Rizzo, director of the Sierra Club’sSan FranciscoBay chapter, and aCityCollege board member. “What we have other there is poison air.”

“If there is no harm being done over there, then why not test people,” Rizzo added.

Rizzo also addressed SB 792, state legislation that would allow the sale of 42 acres of Candlestick Point State Recreation Area so Lennar can build waterfront condos.

“What would happen if the city wanted to sell 42 acres ofGolden GatePark,” Rizzo said.


A pastor for the Samoan community’s Soul’dOutChristianCenter advocated for greater outreach if the Bayview is to get its message heard.
“A citywide movement needs to rise up, if we are going to do something about Lennar,” the Soul’d Out pastor said.

His message was repeated by POWER’s Davu Flint.
“The entire city needs to rise up and call Lennar out,”Flint said.

Currently preparing land on the former Hunters Point Shipyard for the construction of 1600 new condos, Lennar Corp. was fined $500,000 in 2008 for failing to enforce stringent plans to protect residents, in particular children, from exposure to asbestos dust, but locals fear that they are still being exposed to dangerous amounts of carcinogens agents.

These events culminated in the blockade of the main entrance to the shipyard with a giant stop work order, to which four activists were chained. One of the activists, Minerva Dunn, is an 80-year-old grandmother and longtime resident ofSan Francisco.
Joining her were Marie Harrison of Greenaction, and Ros Ruiz and Max Schnuer, both allies of Greenaction.

As time passed, a small line of cars began to form outside the barricade, prompting officers to move in and attempt to clear the entrance. Although the protestors refused to unlock themselves, officers did not make any immediate arrests. The group was eventually removed with assistance from a lock cutter, and police confiscated the work order. While no one was taken into custody, the four protestors were given citations stating that they were detained by SFPD and subsequently released.

AlthoughHarrison considered the rally a success, she said she was “disappointed, though not surprised,” that a representative from Lennar declined to attend and meet the “real local community.”
However, she emphasized that the fight was far from over.

“I promise we will be back, and I never make a promise I can’t keep,”Harrison said.
She also hinted that protesters plan to make their presence known next week at city hall. But whether city leaders will hear their arguments remains to be seen.
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St. Sophia Camp Demolished (Update)

Contractor Wm. Kanayan Construction Levels Buildings

By Michael P. Neufeld
Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Update - Tuesday 3:38 a.m.

OldWatermanCanyon - The buildings at St. Sophia Camp are gone and the property is being returned to its natural state.

The campground, owned by St. Sophia Cathedral ofLos Angeles, had become an eyesore following its partial destruction in a flash flood on December 25, 2003.
The demolition of the substandard buildings at St. Sophia Camp inOldWatermanCanyon has been completed by Wm. Kanayan Construction. (Photo by Michael P. Neufeld/San Bernardino County.)

Wm. Kanayan Construction was hired to level the buildings on the 26-acre parcel that were covered with graffiti and burned the last week of August 2009.

All buildings at St. Sophia Camp, destroyed by a Christmas Day flood in 2003, have been demolished. (Photo bySan BernardinoCounty.)

San Bernardino County Fire, County Code Enforcement, Environmental Health Services and the property owners were involved in devising a plan to remove the hazards at the camp site where over a dozen people died a few weeks after the Old Fire in 2003.


OldWatermanCanyon - The long road to demolishing the buildings at St. Sophia Camp is a step closer today after the contractor cut a roadway into the property.

The first cut for the replacement roadway to Camp St. Sophia was made Monday by equipment operators from Wm. Kanayan Construction. (Photo by Michael P. Neufeld.)

Wm. Kanayan Construction of Rimforest finally received the final approval to cut the road into the project to facilitate access to the former campground owned by St. Sophia Cathedral ofLos Angeles.

After a lengthy permit process and getting approval from the property owner, the new roadway into Camp St. Sophia inches closer to reality. (Photo by Michael P. Neufeld.)

Kanayan reports the roadway will provide access to the crews responsible for removing hazardous materials such as asbestos found at the site.

Debris was cleared for the construction of a new roadway into Camp St. Sophia offOld Waterman Canyon Road. The debris included rocks, small trees, burned logs and even a mattress. (Photo by Michael P. Neufeld.)

"Now that the road is in place," Kanayan stated, "it's still about two weeks before the actual demolition can start."

On December 25, 2003 the old road into Camp St. Sophia was destroyed in a flash flood. The new road will allow access to the site for removal of hazardous materials and eventual demolition of the former Greek Orthodox campground. (Photo by Michael P. Neufeld.)

The original road was washed away during a flash flood on December 25, 2003 that killed over a dozen people at the 26-acre Greek Orthodox campground.


OldWatermanCanyon - The demolition of the buildings at St. Sophia Camp are a step closer to being razed. The contractor is currently awaiting final approval of permits.

Wm. Kanayan Construction has posted the job site onOld Waterman Canyon Road as they prepare to begin demolition of St. Sophia Camp. (Photo by Michael P. Neufeld.)

Wm. Kanayan Construction of Rimforest has now posted the site and underground utility companies have marked the location of gas, water and electric service in preparation of the actual demolition project.

A temporary road to allow access to St. Sophia Camp by demolition crews will be cut in this area off ofOld Waterman Canyon Road. (Photo by Michael P. Neufeld.)

A temporary roadway, which is reportedly awaiting approval from the California Department of Fish and Game, will be cut fromOld Waterman Canyon Road up to the actual site. The original road was washed away during a flash flood on December 25, 2003.

Original Story

OldWatermanCanyon - The buildings at St. Sophia Camp will soon be coming down, once environmental issues are resolved. But, the process has been expedited by the owners working with governmental agencies to establish a timetable.

The walls at St. Sophia Camp onOld Waterman Canyon Road are covered with graffiti and the abandoned facility has become an attractive nuisance. (Photo by Michael P. Neufeld.)

The property owners, St. Sophia Cathedral ofLos Angeles, have hired Wm. Kanayan Construction of Rimforest to do the actual demolition and site clearance project.

"I met with the owners representative yesterday," William Kanayan, "the first meeting since the contract was approved last Friday."

This outbuilding at St. Sophia Camp is covered with graffiti and is scheduled to be demolished under a contract awarded to Wm. Kanayan Construction. (Photo by Michael P. Neufeld.)

Kanayan acknowledged there are several environmental issues that must be addressed before the actual demolition can commence.

Approval is also being sought to cut a driveway into the 26-acre property to allow access by demolition crews and equipment.

This building on the 26-acre former location of St. Sophia Camp burned in the early morning hours on Wednesday, August 26. (Photo by Michael P. Neufeld.)

Issues such as asbestos and other environmental hazards must be addressed and mitigated before Kanayan's workers can start knocking down the walls and removing the debris. That process also requires the issuance of certain permits fromSan BernardinoCounty.

A fire at the abandoned camp the last week of August drew a large response from fire officials because it was initially reported as a vegetation fire.

A fire August 26 at St. Sophia Camp destroyed the shell of this empty structure and came close to igniting brush and trees at theOld Waterman Canyon Road location. (Photo by Michael P. Neufeld.)

San Bernardino County Fire Battalion Chief Marc Peebles explained "squatters" probably caused the fire that caused the roof of the 2,500-square-foot main building to collapse, along with a wall.

Firefighters had to avoid this tilting wall while controlling a fire August 26 in a building at St. Sophia Camp onOld Waterman Canyon Road. (Photo by Michael P. Neufeld.)

"CountyFire has been working with Code Enforcement, environmental health services and the property owners to remove the hazards at the camp by abating the buildings and site," Peebles emphasized.

Only a portion of the shell of this building remains standing at St. Sophia Camp following an early morning blaze on August 26. (Photo by Michael P. Neufeld.)

St. Sophia Camp was destroyed on Christmas Day 2003 when a flash flood swept through the Greek Orthodox campground, killing over a dozen people.

Since that time, the abandoned facility has been covered with graffiti and paintball markings, and squatters have been known to frequent the area. Several fires have been reported over the years, in the area of the camp, while church officials were trying to resolve litigation with the State ofCalifornia.

During several spot checks of the St. Sophia Camp over the past few days by personnel, a guard has been stationed onOld Waterman Canyon Road to discourage persons from trespassing on the property.
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As Honeywell closes its 60-year-old site, workers are dealing with the fatal after effects

ByNadia Pflaum - Published on November 17, 2009 at 11:06am

·        Emily Henson

Herman Oates Jr.

Herman Oates Jr.
·        Emily Henson

Ivory Mae Thomas

Ivory Mae Thomas

Tony Ross' bat connected, sending the softball rocketing to the fence. While the outfielders scrambled after what should have been a home run, Ross stopped at second, doubled over and gasped for breath. Then he sat down on the base.

The two teams playing were made up of machinists, custodians and guards from the late shift at the Bannister Federal Complex in southKansas City. They had met, as usual, around midnight on the baseball diamond at the nearbyHickmanMillsHigh School to play until four or five in the morning.

Ross was about 50 years old then. He's 65 now, retired, and suffering from chronic bronchitis and asbestosis. He's a Vietnam veteran, and one of thousands of people who worked at the Kansas City Plant making non-nuclear components for nuclear weapons. The plant has been known as Bendix, AlliedSignal and Honeywell — the companies that have operated it under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration since 1949.

Though no nuclear components are manufactured at the Kansas City Plant, its workers are exposed to plenty of hazardous materials. The U.S. Department of Labor maintains a list of 785 toxic substances verified as having been used there.

The 60-year-old building will soon be abandoned. Honeywell is condensing its services and moving to a new, $673 million facility at Missouri Highway 150 andBotts Road. The General Services Administration, which also has offices at the Bannister Federal Complex, is pulling up its stakes, too. In June, representatives from Honeywell and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources told members of the City Council that they are proud of the cleanup that has already been done at the site, at a cost of $65 million.

But people have been abandoned, too: former workers who live with chronic pain, who struggle to breathe or who have died.

When Ross was 19 years old, he worked as a locker-room attendant at Brookridge Golf & Country Club inOverland Park. One day, a golfer at the club misplaced his wallet. When Ross found the wallet and returned it intact, the man offered Ross a tip: The Bendix plant was hiring, and he should apply.

Ross took the advice and was hired at the Kansas City Plant as a custodian in October 1964. "We made three dollars an hour, plus vacation time and benefits," he recalls.

Ross took out trash and cleaned the building and the grounds around the plant. Infrequently, and only in certain areas, supervisors ordered him to wear gloves as well as tape along the wrists and ankles of his coveralls to avoid contamination. Contamination from what, exactly, Ross never knew.

"We had meetings," Ross says, "but they didn't tell us anything about safety. They told us what was coming up next, as far as the job, stuff like that, but they didn't tell us nothing about safety. I don't think they thought about it."

He later became a general machinist, then a tool and die maker. As a skilled laborer, Ross worked in a room that was kept at a constant 56 degrees so that metals could be fabricated to exact specifications. Ross says he didn't always know what the parts were for, only that they had to be precise. He worked with metals such as copper, gold, steel, aluminum and beryllium. The latter is an element that, when combined with another metal to form an alloy, is vital to the space program as well as to the manufacture of weapons because of its lightness and ability to withstand high temperatures.

Beryllium is a carcinogen whose harmful properties were first reported in the early 1940s. Its dust is particularly corrosive to the lungs. Medical experts say there is no safe level of beryllium exposure.

Workers at Honeywell handled beryllium with their bare hands, Ross says. He saw it in every form: sanded, melted, chipped, cut, bent. "You just picked it up, if it was small enough of a piece."

Ross also remembers the asbestos remediation that went on at Honeywell in the late 1980s and early '90s. The workers removing the asbestos in his department wore protective suits and respirators. The abatement took place behind a plastic sheet, which opened and closed and sometimes fell down. "We're in the same area working, with nothing on ... running the machines," Ross says. In the mornings, the delivery trucks that ran up and down the halls inside the facility kicked up the dust "just like driving down a dusty road."

Two years ago, when prescription medication no longer seemed to help Ross' chronic bronchitis, his doctor sent him to Dr. Thomas Beller, a pulmonary specialist with an office at64th Street and Prospect. Beller knew about the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program, begun in 2001 to assist workers and contractors suffering from illnesses linked to toxic exposures at Department of Energy sites. Through Beller, Ross learned that he has asbestosis and that he is eligible for a settlement of up to $150,000 from the Department of Labor through the EEOICP.

"Before I saw Dr. Beller, I didn't have a clue what was going on," Ross says. "I didn't really know how bad I was until he was explaining it to me."

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Asbestos removal to cost nearly $1 million


Ross Schulz -November 04, 2009 | 08:26 AM

Bret Dodd of RQAW Corp. reported Monday morning to the Harrison County Board of Commissioners that asbestos removal at the old hospital could cost triple the amount estimated.

The removal of asbestos is one of the first physical actions in the $13 million to $15 million county government complex project at the old hospital campus in Corydon.

Dodd said to mitigate the asbestos — which is a naturally occurring silicate mineral that can be toxic when its fibers are inhaled — will cost $800,000 to $900,000. The original estimate in the budget was between $200,000 and $300,000.

"It's on everything," Dodd said.

He said the company accessing the asbestos in the building, AsbesTECH Inc., began nearly a month ago and said asbestos was found throughout the building.

"What they encountered was somewhat different than the (original) report," Dodd said. "It's not what we considered in the budget … we can do some things to offset that."

He said it wasn't necessarily an error on the part of the original estimate but a more detailed examination of the building and the passing of time increased the scope of the problem.

The board gave Dodd the go-ahead to send out bid specifications for the Purdue Cooperative Extension building, the health and education center, the government complex and the asbestos work.

The board will open a portion of the bids at a special meeting Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 6:30 p.m. at the courthouse in Corydon.

In related matters Monday morning, Harrison County Community Foundation executive director Steve Gilliland updated the board on the riverboat gaming funds replenishment of the $9 million grant from the Foundation to the county for the old hospital government complex. He said Horseshoe Southern Indiana has had "a little bit of an off year," with only two months exceeding revenue from last year. Gilliland said at this rate, the replenishment should be complete by July.

Also at the meeting, Capt. Eric Fischer of the Harrison County Sheriff's Department requested seven new police cruiser vehicles for the department. Fischer said many of the vehicles have more than 100,000 miles on them.

Commissioner Carl (Buck) Mathes said he would like to see seven cars retired when seven are purchased. Mathes and Commissioner James Goldman (Terry Miller was absent) advised Fischer he needs to return to the board with a detailed list of department vehicles and mileage before the additional appropriation will be considered to be sent on to the county council.

"We're the ultimate rule when it comes to the cars," Goldman said. "You need to inform somebody of that."

Mathes said he had no problem buying seven new cars, but he didn't want to make the department bigger.

The board sent a request of $56,900 to the council for the Regional Sewer District's 2010 budget. The sewer district did not request a budget in 2009, but instead used remaining funds from the previous year. The district plans to focus project funds on the Lanesville Interchange area, secretary Darin Duncan said.

"I'm glad to hear you talk about the Lanesville Interchange," Mathes said. "I always thought that should be a priority."
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URI building renovated after asbestos outbreak

Elexa Broder -Issue date: 11/3/09


Facility Services has been forced to move from it's offices in the Sherman building in order to remove asbestos.

Media Credit: Teresa Kelly

Facility Services has been forced to move from it's offices in theSherman building in order to remove asbestos.


11/03/09 - Last week, theUniversity ofRhode Island removed the carpet and floor tiles of the second floor of theSherman building due to an asbestos outbreak.

According to the Director of University Facilities Services Jerry B. Sidio, asbestos was one of the most common materials that was extensively used during the 1970s. It is often found in ceiling and flooring tiles and was originally used because it was both extremely durable and flexible.

Sidio said asbestos is dangerous because when a tile breaks it releases asbestos fibers into the air.

He also said in the 1970s, the U.S. Department of Health and Wellness condemned the use of asbestos because of the dangers it posed, so it was no longer used in construction materials.

According to the Web site, long-term exposure to and inhalation of asbestos fibers may cause asbestosis, a condition of severe inflammation of the respiratory track and the lungs, which may lead to a cancer known as mesothelioma.

Sidio said that at least 50 percent of URI's buildings were built with, and still contain, asbestos-based tiles.

Sidio said Facility Services began an asbestos removal project on the second floor of theSherman building last Monday. He said the carpet and tiles were removed by Wednesday of last week and new flooring is scheduled to be installed by this Wednesday.

Sidio said only the second floor of theSherman building was closed, and the first floor remained safe to access.

Although the carpet replacement is a routine procedure URI's older buildings are required to undergo inspections that test for asbestos, Sidio said.

"We've been trying to do it for several years and just decided to get it launched this year," Sidio said. "We don't necessarily know right now, in every building, what's there. What we know is that when we go into a building and do a renovation, we do a test to see if it's there."

Sidio said while in a controlled state the asbestos is not harmful. According to Sidio, an asbestos floor covered by a carpet is not health-threatening.


"It doesn't become a problem until the floor would start to become brittle," Sidio said.

He said in a situation in which a tile were to break, a licensed contractor would be required to remove the tiles.

Sidio sends the asbestos-infected materials to another company, which disposes of it in a designated landfill.

Sidio said that URI Facility Services informs the students of asbestos removal depending on the location. He said that Facility Services blocks off the contaminated area and creates a removal plan, required and approved by the state.

Sidio and his staff were aware of the presence of asbestos tiles in theSherman building. He said the asbestos would not have been a problem had they not replaced the carpet.

"If it doesn't break, the asbestos remains in the tile and is not a problem," Sidio said.

In addition to the tile on the floors, Sidio said asbestos also exists in the walls of older buildings as pipe insulation. He said the pipe covering does not need to be replaced as long as it remains solid and undisturbed.

Pipe insulators are only checked anytime a repair is necessary, Sidio said.

"We check for asbestos in any construction material if we're going to do something to disturb that material," Sidio said. Sidio and his staff have received formal training regarding the materials asbestos is commonly found in.

He said the two most common materials that contain asbestos are floor tiles and pipe insulation. Pipes are not as much of an issue as floor tile because they exist between walls and are unexposed to staff and students, he added.

Before regulations were put in place, nine-by-nine-inch tiles used in construction, commonly contained asbestos, Sidio said. Today, tiles with twelve-by-twelve-inch dimensions are commonly used and are less likely to contain asbestos but are not necessarily 100 percent asbestos free.

Sidio said the buildings built after the 1970s are free of asbestos. He added before renovations, his staff tests buildings constructed during the 1970s to reassure that they're safe.


Sidio said there has been one asbestos removal this academic year discovered by the building housekeeper. He said there are 66 housekeepers throughout the campus who advise on the safety of the buildings.

"We're always alert and aware of [asbestos] in the buildings," Sidio said. "It's something that, whenever we do either maintenance work or renovations we have to take into consideration. It's another aspect and another cost that we have to add into the plan because it's a considerable cost to remove asbestos."

Sidio said the replacement of the floor was standard procedure and nothing unusual.

He also added URI'sBiologicalScienceCenter, will need an asbestos removal of the floor before the demolition. The building is said to be demolished this academic year.

"The largest jobs we do are in old buildings that we're tearing down or fully renovating," Sidio said.

URI's Tucker House will also face an asbestos inspection in the near future due to a broken asbestos-based tile. He added the rest of the building will remain in operation.
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Mount Sinai assessing health impacts of 1 of the nation's largest environmental disasters

Public release date: 2-Nov-2009


TheMount SinaiHospital /Mount SinaiSchool of Medicine

To coordinate critical asbestos research inLibby,Mont.

Over nearly a century, thousands of residents and workers in Libby, MT, have been exposed to asbestos-contaminated vermiculite ore, leading to markedly higher rates of lung disease and autoimmune disorders, and causing to Libby in 2002 to be added to the federal Environmental Protection Agency's "National Priorities List."

Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, leading a team of investigators from four institutions, are now launching three investigations into disease pathology in the town and to determine recommended cleanup efforts.

The Principal Investigator of the project is Stephen Levin, MD, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a nationally known expert in occupational medicine and asbestos-related diseases who has also served as PI of the nationwide World Trade Center Medical Monitoring & Treatment Program, coordinated byMount Sinai since 2002.

"The asbestos-related disease in Libby is far more aggressive and rapidly progressive than what's seen in most asbestos-exposed workers, with high rates of cancers and severe effects on respiratory function," said Dr. Levin. "For that reason alone, the health problems in Libby are important to study and understand."

The first of the three programs will focus on particular risks of exposure to Libby asbestos during childhood, when lungs are still developing and maturing. This research may determine the level of environmental cleanup necessary in Libby to protect children, who are a particularly sensitive target population.

A second study will compare lung scarring among Libby residents who were exposed to asbestos only in their environment (and not at their place of employment) with lung scarring seen in workers with historically long-term, heavy exposure to common commercial forms of asbestos. Researchers hope to discover why Libby residents have advanced rates of lung scarring. They will also investigate the mechanism for asbestos-related scar formation and approaches to preventing scar formation after exposure has already occurred.

The third investigation will examine the relationships between autoimmune disorders, autoimmune antibody abnormalities, and CT-scan evidence of scarring lung disease in the context of exposure to Libby asbestos. Auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus have been found to occur more frequently in Libby, and antibody levels to the body's own tissues are found in Libby residents more frequently and at higher concentrations.

Mount Sinai researchers will collaborate on the research effort, to be known as the Libby Epidemiology Research Program, with Libby's Center for Asbestos Related Disease (CARD), investigators from theUniversity ofMontana andIdahoStateUniversity, and a national scientific advisory group. The research will be supported by a grant of over $4.8 million from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The crisis in Libby, a mining town whose history has been shaped by vermiculite-producing corporations since the 1920s, is the result of community-wide occupational and environmental exposure to Libby's naturally occurring vermiculite, contaminated with asbestos and asbestos-like silicate fibers up to 26% by weight.

Health effects have been detected not just in mine and processing plant workers, area lumber mill workers and loggers (from asbestos dusting of forests) and their families, but also among other Libby residents and their children. Many were exposed through ambient air or to mine tailings and other contaminated materials provided to the town by mining companies for the construction of ball fields, school running tracks, playgrounds, public buildings and facilities, as well as for private gardens and house and business insulation.

There is evidence that even relatively low-level exposures to Libby asbestos can cause serious scarring lung diseases, which markedly impair respiratory function, as well as asbestos-related cancers like lung cancer and mesothelioma, which occur at higher rates among the Libby population than elsewhere in theUnited States.

The health crisis potentially extends far beyond the borders of Libby, since millions of homes and businesses inNorth America have used vermiculite from Libby as attic insulation, fireproofing and soil conditioner. The ore from Libby was shipped by rail to 49 plant locations throughout North America and theCaribbean for processing, exposing many more workers and communities to the hazardous dust.

CARD Director Brad Black, MD, said, "The pattern of asbestos disease caused by exposure to Libby amphibole asbestos has led to excessive morbidity and mortality for the Libby population, and has been exceedingly challenging for the medical community. The severity of nonmalignant pulmonary disease in non-occupational exposure has been very unusual, raising question as to the potency of the unique amphibole mixture. We look forward to working with Dr. Levin andMount Sinai to find some of these answers."


About TheMount SinaiMedicalCenter

TheMount SinaiMedicalCenter encompasses The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. TheMount SinaiHospital is one of the nation's oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. Founded in 1852,Mount Sinai today is a 1,171-bed tertiary-care teaching facility that is internationally acclaimed for excellence in clinical care. Last year, nearly 50,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients, and there were nearly 450,000 outpatient visits to theMedicalCenter. Mount Sinai School of Medicine is internationally recognized as a leader in groundbreaking clinical and basic science research, as well as having an innovative approach to medical education. With a faculty of more than 3,400 in 38 clinical and basic science departments and centers,Mount Sinai ranks among the top 20 medical schools in receipt of National Institute of Health (NIH) grants. For more information, please
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Estes' Urban Renewal Authority committee hears asbestos concerns

Physician warns about Park Theatre Mall fire`s possible hazards

Juley Harvey Trail-Gazette

Posted: 10/23/2009 12:27:12 PM MDT


As if there isn`t enough to worry about this week, Dr. George Crislip of Salud warned the Estes Park Urban Renewal Authority (EPURA) about possible asbestos contamination in the air from Monday`s Park Theatre Mall fire. He spoke at Wednesday`s EPURA meeting.

He drew commissioners attention to the mental and physical effects on health from the "tragic fire that potentially let loose unknown quantities of asbestos." Asbestos, used during construction (especially in certain decades before the health hazards were known), was encountered during the remodeling of the hospital, he said. The discovery caused the project to be shut down while the asbestos was removed, costing about $60,000.

Crislip said he has contacted the town about the asbestos problem that could be unleashed as a result of the fire from a 100-year-old building. The Park Theatre Mall was built and remodeled during an era when sprinkler systems were not required and it was considered all right to use asbestos. Crislip said it`s hard to calculate the amount of asbestos that might have been in the building after the remodeling.

Asbestos becomes an issue when it is "disturbed," he told commissioners. When it`s confined, it`s not disturbed. It could have been located in many areas of the mall, within the gypsum, the ceiling and the walls, he said.

"It`s a hidden disaster," he said.

Over time, construction/emergency personnel exposed to its effects could develop pulmonary system problems. It can stay in your system for 40 years before it develops into a disastrous lung cancer (mesothelioma) or asbestosis.

One contact with asbestos can be enough to cause contamination, he said.

"That`s why HazMat`s so religious about its removal," he said.

Crislip said he contacted the state and county environmental health departments on Tuesday and talked with acting EPURA executive director Lowell Richardson and fire chief Scott Dorman as well. Several groups are looking at the fire site to determine if there is the chance of asbestos contamination. If there is, there will need to be a substantial cleanup, the doctor said.

"EPURA will be a major financial tool," he said.

He then linked the possibility of providing asbestos remediation with the necessity of retaining EPURA as a viable entity. We`re going through a period of time when some people feel EPURA has reached the end of its usefulness, and it is facing a vote in January, he said.

"I personally believe, from a medical standpoint, that we`ll have a disaster here (from which it will take a long time to recover)," he said.

He urged the individuals who brought the lawsuit against EPURA that resulted in a ballot issue for Jan. 2010, to rethink and withdraw their petition.

Those "good citizens need to come forth and consider withdrawing the vote," he said, to avoid a legal appeal and to save money. There is a major redevelopment project upcoming that will be a "huge event," he said, and provide a more major economic impact than the flood of 1982 redevelopment.

EPURA chairman Wayne Newsom said a redevelopment of the demolished mall area could provide an opportunity for public/private cooperation for further development and recovery for the 12 businesses lost in the fire.

"It would be an opportunity for them to get going again and another opportunity for us (EPURA)," he said.LarimerCounty election officer Scott Doyle said over the phone Wednesday afternoon that it is possible to withdraw the issue at any time. Ballots will be printed in December, but even then, supporters "could pull the plug on it, if they wanted....They can quit at the last minute -- but I`d want my money back."

In a phone call, Bill VanHorn, one of the initiators of the EPURA lawsuit, said nobody had contacted him, asking whether he would withdraw the ballot issue. If they did, he wouldn`t consider it, he added.

"I fail to see the connection between urban renewal and the fire," he said. "I hate to see the town use a personal, individual catastrophe for political gain."

About the mall area, he said the town has had 26 years and $50 million to fix it.

"It`s a fundamental issue way beyond individual property or disaster," he said. "For somebody to use the worst fire in the history of the town is really too bad."

Decision on the urban renewal issue needs to be made on the merits, not on emotions, he said.

"I can`t understand the logic behind (using the fire)," he said.

On asbestos, EPURA commissioner Art Blume asked Crislip whether the intense heat of the fire could have caused the asbestos to burn off. The smoke plumes may have carried the asbestos over the whole downtown area, the doctor said. The heat could`ve turned the asbestos into crystals that could be carried through the air and into people`s airways, or fractured it into fibers capable of going deeper into bodies. It might take years, but the outcome could be disabling, he said.
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School officials: Asbestos-related repair not done properly

Wed 07 Oct 2009

Carle Place school officials said Tuesday they erred in not hiring a specially licensed contractor to run conduits through an asbestos-insulated space beneath the district'sRushmoreElementary School.

But in a letter to parents, the district added that air tests showed no asbestos contamination resulting from last week's work.

"If we had 20-20 hindsight, we'd probably hire somebody licensed to work in a protected area," said Superintendent W. Michael Mahoney, referring to the crawl space. State law requires special licenses for contractors working in such areas when they contain asbestos.

Karen Williamson, a spokeswoman for the state labor department, said an inspector visited Rushmore Friday in response to a complaint and that a report would be completed later.;jsessionid=08AD964BDE5636E9ADA805B3DC67420E?site=newsday&view=page8&feed:a=newsday_5min&feed:c=nassau&feed:i=1.1506015&nopaging=1
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Fulton HS evacuated due to asbestos concerns, homecoming game canceled

Steven Martens | Posted: Friday, October 9, 2009 3:20 pm |

FULTON,Ill. - Students and staff atFultonHigh School were sent home about 12:15 p.m. Friday due to concerns about asbestos contamination.

The decision was made to evacuate the school after a staff member removed a floor tile that contained asbestos without permission, Superintendent Jane Bauer said. The tile was removed in the shop area.

The district also canceled tonight's homecoming football game against Erie-Prophetstown because the floor tile was removed from the building through a corridor that leads to the locker room. The players cannot be allowed back into the corridor to get their equipment, Bauer said.

This afternoon's homecoming parade will be held as scheduled, but Saturday's dance has been moved toRiverBendMiddle School.

Bauer said the district has contacted the Illinois Department of Public Health and is working with an asbestos abatement contractor to address the problem, but it is possible students may not return to class until after the department inspects the site, which is scheduled for Wednesday.

The school was scheduled to be closed Monday for Columbus Day.

The high school has about 300 students.

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Planned implosion of ASU dorm delayed due to asbestos

By Staff Report - Posted September 1, 2009 at 8:43 a.m.

The implosion of University Hall on theAngeloStateUniversity campus has been delayed because of the discovery of additional asbestos that must be removed first.

The former residence hall popularly known as the Women’s High Rise, was scheduled for demolition by implosion on Sept. 20. A new date will be set for October, according to an ASU news release.

Mayoral candidate Alvin New had the winning bid of $10,500 at the Athletic Foundation Blue & Gold Banquet, which offered the opportunity to push the button for the implosion as an auction item at the annual fundraiser.

the 103,883-square-foot University Hall opened in 1968 at a cost of $4 million. The facility was vacated after the summer of 2004 because of increasing maintenance costs. Three separate consultant studies showed that both renovation and/or conversion to another use were also too expensive. The residence hall housed 490 students each semester during its life span.

A contract for the demolition was awarded to ARC Abatement Inc. ofGarland earlier this year.
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Bids onMinnesotaCityCenter work come in under estimates

Asbestos removal to begin soon atGlencoeCityCenter


GlencoeCity Council members heard that the bid openings for phase one of theCityCenter project came in under bid last week. The phase one bids are expected to be awarded at the Tuesday, Sept. 8, council meeting.

On bid already awarded was for the asbestos abatement in the 1957 addition of Henry Hill. That went to Mavo Systems Inc. at $54,500, or about $26,000 under estimate, according to City Administrator Mark Larson.

The asbestos work needs to be completed before the phase one work begins. The abatement work is expected to begin soon.

Phase one includes the demolition of the 1957 addition to the Henry Hill building, reroofing and the replacement of windows and entrance doors in the 1932 building. It also includes electrical work inside the 1932 structure.

The low bid on the windows and doors contract was from MW&D LCC for $456,751.

The reroofing low bid of $270,000 was from Horizon Roofing of Waite Park, and the electrical work low bid of $54,594 was from Zinniel Electric of Sleepy Eye.

The demolition contract low bidder was Veit Construction for $173,200.

Larson said the total low bids for the phase one work came in at about $954,000, or lower than the estimate of $1.1 million.

For the complete story, see this week's Chronicle.
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Portsmouth schools without sprinklers called safe

Maine schools can’t afford sprinkler systems due to asbestos

Adam Leech

By - September 04, 2009 2:00 AM

PORTSMOUTH — Fire officials assure the city's elementary schools are safe and up to code, despite the fact two of the buildings do not have sprinkler systems.

Built in the 1960s, the Little Harbour and Dondero schools were not required to have fire suppression systems and would be considered "grandfathered" from present day building codes, which Deputy Chief Steven Griswold said require systems in certain buildings. All schools are inspected annually to ensure they are safe. Griswold said both schools were designed so most, if not all, of the classrooms have access to the outside close by.

"(Both schools) have exits from just about every room to the exterior," Griswold said. "So they do meet life safety codes ... We would love to see sprinklers in all schools because it increases life safety, but the city would have to make that determination because it's not required."

The need for a sprinkler system depends on how the building is used, its size and number of stories, and who occupies it, Griswold said. Whether a new school would be required to have a sprinkler system would be determined by a engineering study, he said. NewFranklinSchool now has a sprinkler system; a fire destroyed the building in 1981.

Scott McKee, a parent of a Little Harbour fourth-grader, said he and a group of other parents became aware of the lack of sprinklers while advocating for the school budget this spring. He said they were both surprised and concerned.

"It does concern us especially because we're also aware the schools, as they exist now, are over capacity or nearing capacity in terms of the number of kids in a classroom," McKee said. "Obviously, all three schools are in a place where we're going to have to start looking at them in terms of renovation. We just found it hard to believe a place where we're educating our children doesn't have a fire suppression system."

The city has earmarked $10 million (not including state school building aid) in the outlying years of the capital improvement plan to upgrade the elementary schools. Although it is slated for 2015, that is not necessarily when the project will begin. The city will already be paying bonds for the $38.3 million middle school ($24.4 million with state aid) and a $36 million high school ($17.4 million with state aid), as well as the $23 million water treatment plant project that is under way. The city also plans to relocate thePeirceIsland wastewater plant in the next decade, which is expected to cost at least $55 million.

School officials discussed installing sprinkler systems in the two schools in the past, but ultimately the cost was ruled too high, said School Business Administrator Steve Bartlett. "They've considered them," he said. "But it's not a cheap thing to do."

Little Harbour has asbestos ceiling tiles that are not harmful unless they are disrupted. A new sprinkler system would require replacement of those tiles, which is very costly. In addition, adding systems to the schools would require they provide a separate water source and a pump house. Since the buildings are up to code, it would make more sense to address the issues when the schools are upgraded.

"Obviously, everyone would prefer we have them, but we're not out of code compliance,"Bartlett said. "There's always more stuff to do than we have money to do it with."

School Board Chairman Mitch Shuldman said the board has not had an in-depth conversation about the state of elementary schools, but there are several issues related to those schools that will need to be addressed in the near future.

"I think members of the board would want to raise a number of questions about the schools, including population and redistricting as well," Shuldman said. "We haven't had a conversation about it, but it's something in the coming year we at least need to discuss because we don't know the exact state the elementary schools are in."
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Unexpected Asbestos Finding in High School

2009-08-10 02:17:31 (GMT) ( - Mesothelioma Asbestos, News)

Asbestos found in aWisconsin high school may prolong summer maintenance projects.

Mesothelioma Cancer News (Mount Pleasant,WI) – An unexpected finding of asbestos in aWisconsin high school will likely prolong summer maintenance construction projects. As reported by The Journal, the asbestos discovery in the Mount Pleasant based Case High School is expected to lead to work having to be continued into the upcoming school year.

As noted in the report, the asbestos has been removed and is not expected to present any health risks for students or staff; however, the removal has left some projects uncompleted.

The continued work will reportedly not be a disturbance to students. Andy Stefancin, Racine Unified project manager, is quoted in the report as stating of the issue, “It’s going to be real close… There may be a few doors on field house or something we may do after school starts. Kids can still be there. We replace doors all year long.”

Mesothelioma Cancer News provides news and information onWisconsin asbestos attorneys and law.
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Saturday, August 08, 2009



Kansas City'sCitadelPlaza Contaminated with Asbestos


A veryAWESOME TKC TIPSTERS reports on what could be a Kansas City first . . .Mowers working in moonsuits to try and clean up one of this town's most obvious signs of failure.

And while other newsies might have noted the clean-up . . . TKC isEXCLUSIVELY posting the entire text of the document which provides some striking detail which demonstratesKansas City is nothing but a collection of dumping sites.

The emphasis added is mine.

Check it:

City Communications Office
City of Kansas City, Mo.

CONTACT: Mary Charles, city communications officer,


City to take action on weed violations at Citadel site

The City of Kansas City, Mo., is scheduled to begin mowing weeds at the Citadel, a commercial development site, near 63rd Street and Prospect Avenue beginning Aug. 10.

The Neighborhood and Community Services Department cited Citadel owners on July 24 for violating the City's Nuisance Code regarding weeds and were given 10 days to abate the weeds.

The owners, including primary owner Community Development Corporation ofKansas City, did not take steps to correct the situation in the allotted time period forcing the City to take action.

Due toconcerns that the property's soil may be contaminated with materials containing asbestos, the City of Kansas City, Mo., Health Department Air Quality Division has recommended the following safety precautions be taken to protect both the general public and the mowers, contracted by the Neighborhood and Community Services Department.

· The Department of Natural Resources has been notified and may be present to monitor the work.

· Mowing will take place after rainfall, or the soil will be sufficiently watered prior to mowing

· Workers will be equipped with respirators due to their close proximity to the soil

· Air Quality will monitor the air and will test air samples before and during the process to ensure that further asbestos contamination does not occur.

· Monitors will test the workers' uniforms to see how many, if any, asbestos-containing particles accumulate throughout the day

· If test results show that too many asbestos-containing particles have been found, the project will be halted and re-evaluated.

All procedures have been reviewed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency.

We want to assure the public that this cleanup effort will remove the health hazard caused by the overgrown weeds, and the process will be handled with safeguards in place to protect the public and the workers from exposure to any potential contaminants, said David Park, acting director of the Neighborhood and Community Services Department.

A bill for the cost of the mowing will be sent to the owners and a lien will be placed against the property.

The ongoing story here is that this effort is going to be INCREDIBLY EXPENSIVE . . . So while Mayor Funky is fighting for his wife's right to walk barefoot in City Hall . . . While they're studying how to screw up MAST and while KC is spending big money on a huge hotel study . . . This dumpy town is engaged in a clean up that comes years too late and will cost much more than anyone thinks.
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Recently in Disease and research Category

Research centre pledge..but payout fight goes on

By Emily Cook on Jul 22, 09

THE Daily Mirror won a victory for workers last night with our Asbestos Timebomb campaign.

Jack Straw said he wants to set up a national research centre to study asbestos-related illnesses - one of our key demands.

But there was disappointment as thousands of victims of pleural plaques were left waiting to hear if they will get compensation.

The Justice Secretary told MPs he wants to make theUK a "global leader" in research and treatment of conditions caused by asbestos. He also said he wants to speed up compensation claims for those who develop serious illnesses such as mesothelioma.

But on the key issue of getting cash for people suffering pleural plaques, he said there would be no decision until after summer.

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Building atCravenCommunity College closed; asbestos blamed

July 31, 2009 4:21 PM

Laura Oleniacz - Sun Journal Staff

TheCravenCommunity College building slated to house theCravenEarlyCollegeHigh School when it opens for the first day of classes next week was closed after asbestos was found in old floor tile being removed during the building’s renovation.

Asbestos was discovered during testing required for a city permit for the renovations of the Mary Dale Bender Continuing Education Center located near the entrance of the college’s New Bern campus, said Sandy Wall, Craven’s public information officer.

The mineral fiber has been commonly used in building construction materials, and sources of it can be found in damaged or disturbed insulation, fireproofing, acoustical materials or floor tile, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Web site at

Pat Wylie, industrial hygiene consultant with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, said that depending on the level of exposure, asbestos can cause lung disease, mesothelioma (which is a cancer of the lining of the chest and abdominal cavity), and asbestosis, in which the lungs become scarred with fibrous tissue.

“But in general, these type of health effects take a number of years to appear,” Wylie said.

Wall said there were 10 full-time employees whose offices were in the building during the renovations. But according to the college, test results suggest that the material’s exposure to people in the building was minimal.

College employees have been moved out of the building, and the renovation, which was estimated to cost about $74,200 including furnishings, has been halted.

“We would certainly not leave the building open if there was any risk to anyone,” Wall said.

The results showed that the building needs to be cleaned and the asbestos removed. The college has hired an environmental engineer and a specialty contractor to do cleanup work and perform more tests, according to the release.

The length of time needed to complete the repairs was unknown Friday, but college officials hope to be back in the building on or before Sept. 1.

Information sessions for employees were held at noon and 1 p.m. on Friday. An additional session was scheduled at 1 p.m. on Monday. There were 21 employees who attended the noon session, said Kathy Beal, vice president for institutional advancement.

“Our first priority is the safety and well-being of our students and employees,” said college President Catherine Chew in a prepared statement.

The early college is still on track to open Wednesday, said early college Dean Daniel Colvin. But the students and employees will be moved to other classrooms in the college. The building was also slated to house several classrooms for the college’s basic law enforcement training program and two continuing education law enforcement classes.

“No one is in there now,” Wall said.

The early college program, with 188 high school students, graduates students in five years with a high school degree as well as an associate’s degree or transferable college credits. Students apply and are selected by lottery to get in, and take community college classes tuition-free.

“I can tell you that the community college is handling this situation in a very superb manner,” Colvin said in a phone interview on Friday. “They’re’ doing everything to accommodateCravenEarlyCollege to make sure we get started on time.”

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Construction crew finds asbestos at TF South

GREGORY TEJEDA - Times Correspondent | Posted: Thursday, June 25, 2009 12:00 am |

CALUMET CITY | Thornton Fractional High School District officials learned this week the renovation of office space for guidance counselors will take longer than originally expected due to asbestos discovered inside an old pipe within the office's cinderblock walls.

District 215 Superintendent Creg Williams said the potentially harmful substance was discovered at TF South when construction crews were knocking out a wall meant to be removed as part of a plan to enlarge the counselors' offices.

While he jokingly referred to the asbestos flakes floating in the air as looking "like popcorn," he said it should not come as a surprise that the substance was discovered in the 51-year-old school building.

"It is not uncommon to find it in buildings of this age," Williams said. "As long as it is not active, it does not cause a problem."

Williams said he was told by construction crews it would take them two weeks to remove the asbestos, and the district would have to pay roughly $16,100 more for the office remodeling because of it.

Development of improved office space for counselors at the two high schools is expected to cost the high school district a little less than $900,000.

The delay would push the completion of the renovation of the TF South counselor's offices to early November. Work also has begun on remodeling an old gymnasium at TF North High School into counselors' offices, and Williams said there have been no complications in that end of the overall project.

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Gold Coast school asbestos bungle

A GOLD Coast father has forced a Queensland Government review of its building arm Qbuild after a bungle this week in its removal of asbestos from a city school.

Despite assurances from the school that material being removed was not asbestos - it was and now Public Works Minister Robert Schwarten has asked for anyone with information that Qbuild lied over the issue to contact him. 

Simon Smith, whose daughter attendsCaningerabaStateSchool, would not rest until he knew for certain whether a bag rack removed from the school on Wednesday contained asbestos.

Mr Smith said despite QBuild workers' denials, his suspicions proved correct.

As a result of his investigation, the Minister for Public Works, Robert Schwarten, said QBuild would review its removal processes so that such items were removed well outside school hours.

The racks were meant to have been taken away before students and staff arrived.

Work had started at 6.15am.

"I take very seriously any treatment of asbestos material as I have had a family member die with asbestosis," said the minister.

"It is unfortunate the parent did not complain directly to the workers concerned as they may have been able to explain the methodology employed and alleviate his concerns.

"If anyone has evidence that QBuild workers have lied in this issue, they should contact my office as I have no evidence of this."

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An asbestos notice is posted at E. Russell Hicks Middle School. Crews are working to remove asbestos from two Washington County schools as part of scheduled summer maintenance projects, Washington County Public Schools officials said.

An asbestos notice is posted at E. Russell Hicks Middle School. Crews are working to remove asbestos from twoWashingtonCounty schools as part of scheduled summer maintenance projects, Washington County Public Schools officials said.(Credit: Yvette May / Staff Photographer)



Crews removing asbestos from schools


HAGERSTOWN — Crews are working to remove asbestos from twoWashingtonCounty schools as part of scheduled summer maintenance projects, Washington County Public Schools officials said.

The asbestos removal work began Monday at bothFountaindaleElementary School onNorthern Avenue and E. Russell Hicks Middle School onSouth Potomac Street, said Michael Whiteley, project manager for Washington County Public Schools.

At Fountaindale, the asbestos removal is preparation for a project to replace all of the exterior doors and windows, Whiteley said. The glazing compound and caulking on the old windows contain tiny amounts of asbestos, he said.

At E. Russell Hicks, the removal is part of a project to replace glass, doors and heaters in two corridors that connect the front section of the school to the back section, Whiteley said. There, the asbestos is part of a fireproofing insulation that was sprayed on the roof deck above the ceiling tiles, he said.

In both cases, the asbestos has been present since the schools were built and did not pose a hazard during normal use, said Tony Suranno, environmental safety specialist for Washington County Public Schools.

Fountaindale was built in 1949 and E. Russell Hicks was built in 1967.

The asbestos abatement only became necessary because the maintenance projects would disturb the asbestos-containing materials, Suranno said.

Washington County Public Schools has an asbestos management plan that identifies the location of all asbestos in county schools, school system spokesman Richard Wright said. The public can obtain copies of the plan by contacting the facilities management office, he said.

Suranno said the work was being done by licensed crews in compliance with all federal and state laws. As part of that process, air samples are tested periodically and at the end of the project to ensure the air is clean, he said.

The asbestos removal at both sites was expected to take about three weeks, Whiteley said.

At Fountaindale, the asbestos removal work cost $24,360, and at E. Russell Hicks, it was estimated to cost about $21,000, Whiteley said.

At E. Russell Hicks, a mandatory notice of the asbestos project was posted outside of the school. The notice stated it had been posted June 4 and the project was scheduled to begin June 8 and end June 26. Inside, a plastic entryway had been set up around the door to the corridor and more signs warned of the hazards beyond it.

At Fountaindale, caution tape wound around playground equipment on thePennsylvania Avenue side of the school and workers, some wearing plastic coveralls, could be seen removing window panels and air vents from the building Thursday morning.

Whiteley said posted notices and containment areas were not necessary at the Fountaindale project because the asbestos content there was so small, and it was not in a friable, or easily crumbled, form.

However, Fountaindale’s principal did send a letter home with students participating in a summer program at the school, as a courtesy, to inform them of the work, Whiteley said. No letters were sent at E. Russell Hicks because it is not used for summer programs, he said.

The last day of school inWashingtonCounty was June 3.

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Granholm budget eliminatesMichigan asbestos inspections

By Ed Brayton 3/24/09 7:38 AM

Alex Sagady, an environmental consultant who has served on a number of state committees on air quality, writes at Michigan Liberal that Gov. Granholm’s proposed budget does away with state inspections to enforce Clean Air Act requirements regarding the release of asbestos:

Governor Jennifer Granholm’s proposed Fiscal 2009-2010 budget eliminatesMichigan inspections and enforcement of Federal Clean Air Act emission control requirements on asbestos-related demolition, renovation and waste disposal operations.

Although the federal rules requiring control measures would remain legally binding, neither Michigan DEQ nor U.S. EPA would run effective inspection, enforcement and complaint response to ensure compliance with the rules after the Granholm asbestos program cut is made.

Demolition and renovation operators would not face effective enforcement since U.S. EPA is not prepared to field an asbestos inspection/enforcement program that would approach the present state efforts.

Sagady argues that the federal EPA simply cannot enforce these rules without the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The policy thus “means a de facto deregulation of the demolition and renovation industry from the current asbestos rule requirements inMichigan.”

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Brownfield Asbestos cleanup gets state approval

By Samantha Sommer Staff Writer

Friday, January 09, 2009

Springfield,Ohio — The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has given its seal of approval to the city's cleanup of a downtown brownfield.

The Ohio EPA has issued a covenant not to sue for the former Haucke complex,301 to 339 E. Main St. and14 to 16 S. Plum St.

Under the covenant announced Friday, Jan. 9, the state agrees the site doesn't need further environmental cleaning and that it won't sue in the future.

The city ofSpringfield is happy to receive the agreement, said Shannon Meadows, community development director.

"It's another step in the direction of the redevelopment of downtown," she said. "Yet another piece of property that may have sat idle for years due to past unregulated contamination is now available for redevelopment."

The city received a more than $900,000 Clean Ohio grant in 2005 to remediate the site, but the total project only cost about $400,000, Meadows said. The remainder of the money will go back into the Clean Ohio program.

Before the Haucke plumbing business, the site had been used as a coal yard, tin shop, livery, filling station, auto repair shop and a bottling company.

The buildings came down last year.

The contamination on the 1.4-acre site included asbestos, lead and benzo(a)pyrene.

About 575 cubic yards of contaminated soil was removed and properly disposed of, according to an Ohio EPA news release.

Originally, the property was envisioned as a medical office building in the Clean Ohio grant application.

A user hasn't been identified, Meadows said, but she expects it will be some sort of office or medical-related space.

Contact this reporter at (937) 328-0363 or

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Brick by Brick: Workers prepare site for demolition, save what they can

By Michael Abramowitz-The Daily Reflector

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Workers at the Imperial Tobacco facility are making progress in their efforts toward demolition.

Under the supervision of a hazardous materials abatement team from Eastern Environmental Inc., the crew of about 10 Biggs Brothers Construction workers is sifting for reusable materials, brick by brick, foreman Jimmy Davis said.

“We've picked up what the fire dropped and gone through it piece by piece, piled it up and cut paths through the site, moving from one pile to the other, sifting and collecting materials by hand,” Davis said.

The historic facility burned April 17 in a fire officials have labeled an arson. No arrests have been made in the investigation.

Progress continues, however on cleanup, as workers sort through rubble laced with asbestos to find usable material.

Unusable materials are being placed into special double-lined containers to be buried inPittCounty at the EDC recycling facility, approved for asbestos burial by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, he said.

The work has been dangerous at times.

Several of the walls thatDavis' crew have encountered during the abatement process were very unstable, he said, and had to be brought down to allow the crew to work safely.

“They come down very easily, with a slight push, because the mortar used to build them was made of limestone and has weathered over the years,”Davis said.

But the bricks themselves are amongthe bright spots.Davis said many of the 100-year-old bricks are in virtually the same condition as the day they were set in place.

Hundreds of sightseers have wandered to the sight to watch the job and hustle a souvenir or two,Davis said, and they've become a problem now.

“They ask for a souvenir brick from the site, and I've given some away, but now there are too many people hanging around here and it's too dangerous for them to be here,” he said.

To simplify the process and satisfy the interest, he and owner Earl Wilson have decided to collect the bricks, andWilson has offered them for sale by the pallet,Davis said.

“We have 200,000 bricks collected so far, 500 per pallet,” he said. “They're for sale at 45 cents per brick, and they're in great condition, which is amazing.”

Inside the least damaged portion of the warehouse, where the floors have been cleared of debris, hundreds of pallets of bricks wrapped in plastic are ready to be picked up by those interested in brickwork built withGreenville's historic past.

“A couple of pallets were used by a local homeowner to build a chimney and fireplace mantle,”Davis said. “The many people who were sad to see the building fall can now have some of it of their own.”

The crew also has been accumulating lumber that can be reused for flooring.Davis showed off some of the beams, also in good condition.

Almost the entire job has been done by hand,Davis said, because of the dangers associated with the fire, and because each piece of material had to be inspected and washed of hazardous waste contamination, primarily asbestos.

“We're hoping to be finished with the abatement process within 3-4 weeks,”Davis said. “Then the actual demolition of the floors and walls can begin.”

To purchase bricks, callDavis at 217-4081.

Contact Michael Abramowitz at or (252) 329-9571.
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VacantIndyHospital Flagged As Health Hazard

CityWantsLand For Redevelopment

UPDATED: 6:28 pm EST November 27, 2008


-AnIndianapolis hospital building that has sat vacant for more than four years has been deemed a health hazard by police.

Indianapolis police have ordered officers and firefighters not to enter the oldWinonaHospital building, nearMeridian and 32nd streets, without protective gear, 6News' Jack Rinehart reported.


It comes more than a year after 35 members of the SWAT team spent two days training inside the building, which has tested positive for mold, asbestos and other toxins, said Lt. Jeffery Duhamell. Those officers are now under medical supervision. "If I remember right, we may have used our gas masks and equipment. I'm not too concerned about it. On the safe, the cautious side, they'll monitor us," Duhamell said.

The building has been plagued by health, environmental and crime issues since its closure afterWinona declared bankruptcy in September 2004.

There are several fuel tanks buried beneath the building and metal thieves have stripped the interior. City officials said they may have to negotiate permission from the neighborhood to erect a barbed wire fence around the vacant building to keep looters out.

Even with the problems and an unpaid property tax bill of nearly $1.9 million, the city has said it wants to acquire the land for future redevelopment.

"Certainly, there's going to be costs associated with this site. And whether it's demolition costs, environmental remediation costs, who bears those costs would be part of the conversation that we would have with future developers," said Nick Weber, Indianapolis director of economic development.

Assuming no one else bids on the property, Weber said the city plans to acquire the property next June.
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Web Posted: 11/27/2008 12:00 CST

More asbestos discovered at Big Tex

Recommend recommend0

By Anton Caputo- Express-News

Federal crews are on schedule to finish the environmental cleanup atBigTex by Christmas, but they're encountering significantly more asbestos than originally thought.

The Environmental Protection Agency is excavating contaminated soil from the old industrial site on the banks of theSan AntonioRiver, a move that should eventually open the area to redevelopment.

Initial testing showed that 26 50-by-50 foot grids and two buildings were contaminated, but testing conducted as the soil removal progressed has found another 19 grids. EPA site manager Eric Delgado said crews will continue to test soil on the 7.5-acre site and remove any asbestos detected.

“If we find any of that stuff we go ahead and clean that grid as well,” he said. “We want to eliminate any kind of doubt that we clear everything up.”

BigTex, a ramshackle collection of old metal industrial buildings, is named for the defunct grain company whose faded trademark can still be seen on the side of one of the structures. But it's the site's long association with W.R. Grace & Co. that has left it littered with a particularly toxic form of asbestos. Asbestos is a known carcinogen that can cause lung cancer and other deadly illnesses.

W.R. Grace, according to federal court documents, sent millions of tons of vermiculite ore from its mine inLibby,Mont., to more than 200 processing sites throughout the country despite company officials' knowledge that the ore was contaminated with tremolite, or amphibole, asbestos. TheSan Antonio plant was one of the biggest in the country, processing 100,000 tons of the tainted ore from 1961 to 1989.

Developer James Lifshutz, who now owns the property, wants to turn the eyesore into a mixed-use development in the theme of the nearby Blue Star Arts Complex. The site is across the river from the historic King William neighborhood.

EPA crews, who have been working onsite in protective gear for about two weeks, have left for the Thanksgiving holiday but will return Dec. 2 to finish the remaining soil excavation and decontaminate the two buildings on site that have tested positive for asbestos.

The EPA has conducted air monitoring since the work began to determine if there was any chance of asbestos fibers being flushed from the dirt and wafting offsite in the air. Delgado said that has not occurred and air monitoring data provided to the Express-News by the EPA has not indicated any problems.
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Living Near Asbestos Plant Raises Cancer Risk

NEW YORK SEPT 25, 2008 (Reuters Health) - People who have ever lived a short distance from an asbestos-manufacturing plant may have an elevated risk of a rare form of cancer, a new study suggests.

Asbestos is a heat-resistant fibrous material that was once widely used in insulation, fireproofing, tiles and a host of other building materials. Breathing in airborne asbestos fibers can contribute to lung cancer, as well as mesothelioma -- a rare cancer of the membrane surrounding internal organs. It most often affects the tissue that lines the chest cavity and protects the lungs.

People who have ever had on-the-job exposure to asbestos -- in industries like construction and insulation manufacturing -- are at greatest risk of mesothelioma.

The new findings now suggest that people who"ve ever lived near an asbestos manufacturing plant are also at risk of developing the disease, several decades later.

In the study, Japanese researchers found higher-than-expected death rates from mesothelioma among people who"d lived near a now-closed asbestos cement pipe plant between 1957 and 1975.

The risk steadily declined as residents" distance from the plant increased, with elevated mesothelioma rates seen among people living up to roughly 1.5 miles downwind of the plant.

Residents who died of mesothelioma developed symptoms of the disease an average of 43 years after their first year living near the plant, according to Drs. Norio Kurumatani and Shinji Kumagal. The findings are published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

The researchers based their findings on 35 men and 38 women who had lived near the asbestos pipe plant between 1957 and 1975 and died of mesothelioma sometime between 1995 and 2006. None had had any occupational exposure to asbestos.

The mesothelioma death rate for these residents was four times what would be expected. And the greatest risk was seen among men and women living within 300 meters of the plant; the death rate among women was 41 times the expected rate, while the rate among men was 14 times the expected figure.

The findings strongly support exposure to the asbestos plant as the cause of these mesothelioma cases, according to Kurumatani and Kumagal.

In 2006, the researchers note, the Kubota Corporation, which ran the plant before it closed, established a compensation fund for people who developed asbestos-related diseases after having lived within kilometer -- or 1.6 miles -- of the site during the time it used asbestos.

Kurumatani is at the Nara Medical University School of Medicine in Kashihara, and Kumagal is affiliated with the Osaka Prefecture Institute of Public Health inOsaka.


· American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, September 15, 2008.
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