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Archive for January, 2010

Australian asbestos removal specialist under scrutiny

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

An Australian asbestos removal company is facing intense scrutiny from local officials, after allegations were made that the company failed to property remove asbestos from one project site. The removal of asbestos is a matter of public health and safety, as asbestos exposure is conclusively linked to the development of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer.

The disease typically lies dormant for up to fifty years before an individual begins to suffer from mesothelioma symptoms, and the majority of patients lose their battle with this cancer in less than two years following diagnosis. Other asbestos-related dangers include lung cancer and asbestosis.

The company facing intense scrutiny is Australasian Technical Services (ATS), who were involved in an asbestos exposure incident at an auction house in the country’s capital of Canberra last year. ATS is being allowed to do business again, but is operating under strict conditions.

The Pickles Auctions warehouse in Canberra was shut down in October of last year when officials with the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) alleged the work carried out by ATS was done improperly and potentially exposed people to airborne asbestos fibers.

Now, the Australian government has ruled that ATS can stay in operation, provided that the company hires a full time asbestos assessor. In addition, the owner of ATS will need to submit to several other conditions in order to maintain his asbestos removal license.

Asbestos Cancer Alert: Asbestos a concern during Haiti cleanup efforts

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

An outpouring of international aid and support has benefited Haiti. But recovering from the quake will be a long, complex process that will likely include cleaning up environmental hazards like asbestos. While no chemical or petroleum spills have yet been reported, it is thought that many buildings that toppled or were damaged during the recent quake contained asbestos.

Exposure to airborne asbestos fibers that may have been released during the quake could be lethal. Asbestos exposure is linked to the development of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer for which there is no known cure. The disease typically lies dormant for up to fifty years before an individual begins to suffer from mesothelioma symptoms.

Tragically, the majority of patients lose their battle with mesothelioma in less than two years following diagnosis. Other asbestos-related health problems can include lung cancer, asbestosis, and pleural plaques.

The Haiti earthquake was a magnitude 7.0 quake, which was followed by strong aftershocks. Due to the quake’s severity, the shock generated a great deal of rubble and debris.

"Waste management resulting from the earthquake and the devastation of buildings is the biggest environmental concern right now because dealing with this is a precondition for getting everything else done," said Muralee Thummarukudy of the Post Conflict and Disaster Management Branch of the United Nations Environment Program. "We have to clear debris from where houses, buildings and warehouses once stood so reconstruction activities can begin."

She went on to say that much of the rubble may be reused during the rebuilding efforts. "Thousands of buildings suddenly become debris and this overwhelms the capacity of waste management. The amount of debris will be huge, because whole cities are in ruins. But the need for building material will be equally huge," Thummarukudy said. "You need temporary roads rapidly. You need to build almost the same amount of houses and buildings."

Mesothelioma cancer-causing asbestos found in Minneapolis soil

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, city officials are planning to purchase a parcel of land that would be used to create a park near the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway. However, the deal may fall through due to the recent announcement made about the quality of the soil in the area.

The city’s Park Board planned to purchase the Scherer Lumber Yard on 9th Avenue NE, and had even signed a purchase agreement in the amount of $400,000. The total area of the site spans about 14 acres along the banks of the Mississippi River. According to local news sources, “Turning the area into a park would mean people could travel on the Grand Rounds from 22nd Avenue NE through St. Anthony Falls to Minnehaha Falls.”

However, the deal is on thin ice after a 2009 study revealed elevated levels of both lead and asbestos on some areas of the site. According to the authors of the study, "If development is to occur, further investigation would be necessary."

In some cases, asbestos-contaminated soil must be dug up and transported to a designated dumping ground, or the site must be capped off with fresh dirt and/or concrete. This procedure can be quite costly, but measures must be taken to protect public health and safety, as asbestos exposure has been conclusively linked to the development of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer.

Mesothelioma affects less than 3,000 Americans each year, and while there are palliative treatment methods available, including chemo, there is no known cure. The disease typically lies dormant for up to fifty years before an individual begins to suffer from mesothelioma symptoms.

According to Judd Rietkert, the director of Minneapolis Park planning said the city does have the option to terminate the deal. The city’s Parks Department plans to run another series of tests to confirm the extent of the soil contamination.

Mesothelioma Alert: Occupational asbestos exposure leads to mesothelioma death

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

A woman from Henderson County, Texas has filed a lawsuit against eight different companies, arguing that the corporations are to blame for causing the death of her husband. Katherine Brashers claims her husband, Michael B. Brashers, developed a form of lung cancer linked to asbestos exposure due to the negligence of these eight defendant corporations.

According to court documents filed in Jefferson County District Court, Brashers was diagnosed with the cancer in April of 2008, and died from the disease later that month on April 27th, 2008.

Asbestos is linked to a variety of respiratory ailments and lung cancers, as well as mesothelioma, a rare cancer that often affects the lining of the lungs. Caused by accidentally inhaling or ingesting asbestos fibers, mesothelioma can be incredibly aggressive, often killing within mere weeks or a handful of months after being diagnosed. The cancer may affect the lungs, the lining of the heart, and various other tissues in the abdominal cavity.

According to Katherine Brashers, her husband was employed from 1963 through 1998 by Union Oil Company of California, located in Jefferson County, Texas. Brashers alleges her husband’s death was due to asbestos exposure while on the job. She added that she believed the companies failed to educate her husband about the risks of asbestos exposure, and also failed to take action to reduce his exposure to asbestos. The companies named in the suit include Able Supply, Ametek, Champlain Cable Corp., Guardline, Hercules Inc., Jett Weld Inc., Union Oil Company of California and Westinghouse Electric Co.

Mesothelioma-causing asbestos removal crucial prior to renovations and demolition

Friday, January 29th, 2010

p>In the aptly named city of Parchment, Michigan, work on demolishing the area’s vacant paper mill buildings has been delayed until the upcoming spring season. Despite the delay, however, city officials are hopeful that redevelopment of that area will be a boon to the local economy. According to City Manager Dennis Durham, the delays have been attributed to the need for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to sign off on work plans.

“I’m comfortable this project is going to move forward with breakneck speed over the next six months,” he said.

Asbestos removal will be needed at the site. Asbestos removal is required by law prior to demolition in order to prevent the occurrence of airborne asbestos fibers. Asbestos is a known carcinogen, and it is well known that asbestos exposure has been conclusively linked to the development of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer.

Mesothelioma affects less than 3,000 Americans each year, but the cancer remains incurable. However, chemo and other mesothelioma treatments can help some patients. Still, it seems that the majority of patients lose their battle with this form of cancer in less than two years following diagnosis.

The buildings in question were once home to the Crown Vantage Paper Co., and were vacated in 2000. Jeff Kroll, senior real estate manager for Frontier Renewal and project manager for the mill-property redevelopment, added:

“We’re very excited about 2010 and we’re very excited about the whole project. We need to get people building on the site, living on the site and shopping on the site…Getting vertical construction on the property is the real catalyst that is going to get this project steamrolling all the way through.”

Mesothelioma-causing asbestos removed from downtown building

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

The Lex Villa Building on Tanner Street in Carrollton, Georgia has just undergone asbestos abatement. Now, with that work complete, the site will be demolished in order to make way for the new Carroll County justice center. The demolition has been scheduled for the middle of February, according to Carroll County Public Works/Solid Waste Superintendent Charles Pope. In the meantime, workers at the site are collecting glass and other recyclable materials.

The removal of asbestos was performed by Pyramid Remedial Systems Inc. of Alpharetta, Georgia, and was completed on the 12th of this month. The removal of asbestos must be done by licensed specialists, as there are a number of state and federal laws which govern and regulate how asbestos must be handled and disposed of.

Asbestos exposure is conclusively linked to the development of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer which affects less than 3,000 Americans each year. There are palliative treatment methods available, including chemo. However, there is no known cure for mesothelioma. The disease typically lies dormant for up to fifty years before an individual begins to suffer from mesothelioma symptoms, with the cancer taking the lives of some patients within just weeks after being diagnosed.

Pope explained to local reporters that the cost of the demolition portion of the project will be lowered by using county labor rather than hiring an independent contractor. “We’re going to go in there and tear it down,” Pope said. “By doing it ourselves it’s going to be pretty reasonable.”

Mesothelioma Alert: Asbestos removal part of major school district’s planned project

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

In New York State, the Queensbury Union Free School District is getting ready to embark on a massive undertaking. The district plans to spend $16.5 million on a project to improve local schools. The project will begin this spring, and will focus on improving the middle school and upgrading the district’s transportation building. Douglas Huntley, the superintendent of schools, said the project will take two years to complete.

"We will be taking full advantage of the next two summers," Huntley explained, adding that "Most of our attention for this spring will be at the transportation site."

Renovations at the middle school will be preceded by asbestos removal. Asbestos exposure can lead to mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer, later in life. Mesothelioma affects less than 3,000 Americans each year, and is always fatal. Sadly, despite the efforts of cancer researchers around the globe, the majority of patients lose their battle with this cancer in less than two years.

The cancer may affect the lungs, the lining of the heart (known as the pericardium), or other organs and tissues in the abdominal cavity. Asbestos exposure may also cause lung cancer, lung damage, and scarring of the lining of the lungs.

After asbestos removal is complete, the middle school will undergo renovations in the science classrooms and gym. Ventilation and heating systems will also be updated. At the elementary school, boilers, electrical systems, and ventilation are also getting an upgrade.

Mesothelioma alert: Carcinogenic asbestos to be removed from two NYS schools

Monday, January 25th, 2010

In Dunkirk, New York, two area schools will soon be getting some much needed upgrades and improvements. According to Dunkirk City School District Superintendent Gary Cerne, the district plans to be well under budget for these needed projects at the middle school and high school.

"The current building project, it looks like with the bids coming in low, about $800,000 under. We might be about $1 million under budget which is huge on a project that’s just over $7 million," Cerne explained.

"So we talked about prioritizing several things at the middle school that need to be done up above the gym, which is actually some windows to science rooms. The mortar is just falling out and it’s something that should have been done years ago," he said, adding that work on the middle school gym also needs work.

"We want to shift the court over to one side so that way we have room for bleachers on the other. Right now we have portable bleachers we use but when the people in the first row sit there their feet are on the court," Cerne said.

"The third thing was some asbestos in some old tile that will be taken care of. Mostly [at the] middle school," he added. Asbestos removal is a key way that schools can protect the health of their students. Asbestos exposure is conclusively linked to the development of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer. Mesothelioma affects less than 3,000 Americans each year, and while there are palliative treatment methods available, including chemo, there is no known cure. Asbestos exposure can also cause many other respiratory problems.

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Loose mesothelioma-causing asbestos materials prompt evacuation on California

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

The recent 6.5-magnitude earthquake in California has affected the city of Eureka. One of the Eureka agencies displaced by the quake is the city’s designated art agency, which goes by the name The Ink People. The artists were formerly situated in a wing of the Eureka Municipal Auditorium, but were forced to move out of their space when ceiling tiles fell during the quake, potentially releasing asbestos. According to city officials, the damage at the auditorium totals roughly $500,000.

”There is asbestos,” said Eureka emergency response team spokesman Gary Bird, “and because the plaster is loose, there could be airborne asbestos.”

Inhaling or ingesting these tiny airborne asbestos fibers can cause serious health problems. Medical professionals agree that asbestos exposure is the leading cause of mesothelioma, a rare yet aggressive form of cancer. Mesothelioma affects less than 3,000 Americans each year, and while there are palliative mesothelioma treatment methods available, including chemo, there is no known cure. Asbestos exposure may also lead to pleural plaques, various types of lung cancers, and asbestosis.

Bird added that the city plans to fix up the auditorium, although no steps have yet been taken in that direction. For the time being, The Ink People will be housed in temporary headquarters provided by the Northern California Indian Development Council. The Ink People’s Executive Director Libby Maynard says that her organization had helped them council in the past, adding”It all comes around.” For the time being, all Ink People programs are canceled, as their new offices are much smaller than their previous location.

Connecticut building requires mesothelioma-causing asbestos removal

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

In Torrington, Connecticut, a former warehouse that once showcased the city’s manufacturing strength has been slated for demolition. Last week, the required demolition permit was filed with officials for the former Torin Corp. property along the Naugatuck River. For three years, Mayor Ryan J. Bingham and other city officials searched for a buyer for the site, but had no luck. The warehouse was once part of a larger operation run by Torrington Manufacturing Co. from 1901 until 1990, with the company changing its name to Torin Corp. in the late 1960s.

The historic building has long been noted for the striking profile that it has alongside the banks of the river. However, because no buyer could be found for the asbestos-laden building and grounds, the city has finally approved the demolition. A light manufacturing operation ran out of the building up until just a few years ago, after the Torin Corp. moved to Japan, but the last gasp of industry at the site ended with the death of the last owner of the property several years ago. Despite its striking profile and excellent location, the asbestos issues plaguing the site always made prospective buyers back off.

Exposure to asbestos, even in minute amounts, is considered unsafe. Inhaling or ingesting asbestos fibers can lead to cancers like mesothelioma, as well as lung cancer, asbestosis, and pleural plaques. Mesothelioma may affect the lungs, but can also affect other tissues and major organs. Despite a long latency period, mesothelioma has been known to kill some patients within just weeks of being diagnosed. Sadly, this cancer is incurable at the present time.

Once the building has been torn down, only time will tell if the site can once again be home to a lucrative business operation.