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Month: October 2013

News

Grayville City to Knock down Fire-destroyed, Asbestos-containing, High School Building

Grayville, IL – The city is developing plans for razing as well as cleaning up of the remains of the Grayville High School building.

On Monday (14th October), the city council granted permission to Jay Walden – the City Attorney – to go ahead with actions for obtaining a demolition order for the remains that were left after a fire which gutted the historic building 2 months ago. The building was more than 100 years old.

The demolition order will make way for the Illinois State Environmental Protection Agency to proceed with the knocking down of the building that contains dangerous levels of asbestos. The main school building’s demolition

There won’t be any direct expense to the Grayville City for the knocking down of the main school building.

Moon G Bark, a Baptist missionary from Korea and the owner of the building, hasn’t responded so far to a certified service letter of the imminent action, according to Walden. Walden said Bari is in Alaska now and has signed a receipt. However, the response period of 15 days has run the course without any reply.

He asked the commissioners for the authority to go ahead with next stage that would be asking for a demolition order and they agreed by voting 4-0. Andy Linnemann, the Water Commissioner, was absent because of the harvest.

David Jordan, the finance commissioner, said he had discussed with an Environmental Protection Agency representative about the project. According to Jordan, the state asked whether the city was willing to waive the water charges as the project would need to have water to be put on during the demolition work in order to minimize the release of asbestos fibers into the surroundings. Linnemann hadn’t had any objection and the city would abide by the request, said Jordan. If asbestos fibers become airborne, they could be breathed in easily and could cause serious respiratory disorders and fatal diseases including malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer, pleural plaques and asbestosis.

He said the EPA requires a designated way for trucks and equipment to arrive at the worksite.

According to Jordan, the city is looking at shutting the Gray Street south of the school and a part of the 2nd Street to the school entrance, keeping entry to the Meadowood Nursing Home (Grayville, IL) across from the building for emergency vehicles such as ambulances.

News

Family Files Lawsuit over Woman’s Mesothelioma Death

New Orleans, Louisiana – The family of a woman has filed a lawsuit against a number of companies over her malignant mesothelioma diagnosis and death thereafter.

The lawsuit was filed by Joseph E Babin – the husband of Judy G Babin – and her children in the civil dist. court in Orleans Parish.

Anchor Packing Co, Coltec Industrial Incorporated, Foster Wheeler Energy Corp, Flowserve Corp, Riley Power, Durco International, Babcock Borsig Power Incorporated, Riley Stoker Corp, D.B. Riley, William Powell Co, General Electric Co, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co, Entergy Gulf States, Gulf States Utilities Co, Mosiac Fertilizer, IMC Phosphates Co, IMC Agrico Co, Motiva Enterprises, Texaco, Shell Oil Co, Momentice Specialty Chemical Incorporated, Hexion Specialty Chemicals Incorporated, Borden Chemical Incorporated, Borden Incorporated, The Borden Co, BASF Corp, BASF Wyandotte Corp, Borden Chemical & Plastics Limited Partnership, Honeywell International, Georgia Pacific LLC, Allied Signal Incorporated, Allied-Signal Incorporated, McDermott Incorporated, Zeneco Incorporated, ICI Americas Incorporated, Bovay Engineers International, Rubicon Chemicals, Burns & Roe Enterprises, The McCarty Corp, Taylor-Seidenbach Incorporated, Anco Insulations Incorporated, Liberty Mutual Insurance Co, Arrowood Indemnity Co, Eagle Incorporated, Brock Enterprises Incorporated, Cannon Sline Incorporated, Technip Energy & Chemicals International Incorporated, Shaw Energy & Chemicals Incorporated, Stone & Webster Incorporated, The Shaw Group, Turner Industries Group, and Technip E & C Incorporated are the companies named as defendants in this case.

According to the plaintiffs, Judy G Babin was regularly exposed directly as well as secondarily to toxic asbestos fibers through her husband’s work clothes, tools, car, and shared surroundings. The suit says she developed malignant mesothelioma as a result of this continuous asbestos exposure. She died shortly after being diagnosed with the terminal cancer, according to the plaintiffs.

The suits says the defendant companies were negligent and are responsible for Mrs. Babin’s death as they designed, tested, contracted, evaluated, manufactured, packaged, furnished, stored, handled, transported, installed, supplied and/or sold products containing asbestos.

The plaintiffs say medical as well as scientific data and test reports had been readily available which clearly indicate the hazards of asbestos exposure, but the defendant companies fraudulently, maliciously, and willfully concealed those facts.
The defendant companies are sued for strict liability, negligence, and fraudulent conspiracy.

Judy Babin’s family is seeking an undisclosed sum in damages for her physical pain and sufferings, emotional pain, mental anguish, physical disfigurement, physical impairment, reasonable and essential medical costs, loss of society, loss of consortium, and wrongful death.

Hon. Lloyd Medley, the judge of Division D, will be presiding over the case.

News

Parmatown Mall Gets $2 million for Asbestos Abatement and Building Demolition

Cleveland – Plans for transforming Parma’s downtown got a $2M boost on Wednesday. The funds will go towards the $70M project for redeveloping a former mall (Parmatown Mall) into the Shoppes at Parma. The redeveloped structure will feature new medical and modern retail offices, among other amenities.

Council members at Cuyahoga County approved the award from the Western Reserve Fund of Cuyahoga, created for supporting financial development all through the county, a press release recently released by the office of the county executive says.

Ed FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County Executive, said that the site had been a development priority for long.

The funds will be used for removing asbestos from the retail buildings as well as the medical office buildings. They will also pay for tearing down dated retail structures.

Asbestos is the generic name given to a number of strong as well as flexible minerals which are chemically inert, virtually indestructible, and highly resistant to fire, heat and electricity. Asbestos poses a health threat when the material is friable (which means it can be crushed or crumbled into a powder).

Microscopic asbestos fibers have nearly the same thickness as cigarette smoke. When tiny asbestos fibres are released into the surroundings, they could be inhaled easily and either ingested or trapped in lungs, especially in the lower parts of lungs.

Asbestos exposure is linked to a number of serious health issues. Lung cancer is the most commonly found asbestos-related disease and it takes nearly 20 to 30 years to appear after the exposure. Another asbestos-linked disease is asbestosis, which is a chronic scarring of lung tissue. Although asbestos itself is not fatal, it is a debilitating condition which could eventually result in deadly cases of flu, pneumonia, lung cancer, or mesothelioma.

The most dangerous asbestos-related disease is mesothelioma – a rare cancer that affects the lining of lungs and abdomen. Mesothelioma is always deadly. The victim usually dies within a year following the diagnosis. Even low levels of asbestos exposure can result in mesothelioma.

Asbestos removal is a very time consuming and expensive process. The initial step is to have a certified inspector for determining where all asbestos is located in the building. The removal of asbestos should be performed by a licensed asbestos abatement contractor. Asbestos removal is a mandatory process prior to the redevelopment or demolition of any building that contains the mineral.

News

Former Asbestos Mine Owner Reaches Settlement in Site Cleanup

Eden, Vermont – A former northern Vermont asbestos mine owner has reached a settlement with the state. As part of the deal, the mine has to help pay for the expenses of certain pollution controls.

Additionally, Vermont Asbestos Group will pursue $3.5m in insurance money which would help pay for the operation and maintenance of pollution control activities at the old mines in Lowell and Eden.

Court papers show that the company is going to pay $50000 to the Vermont state over the coming 10 years, reserved from the likely insurance money. Court documents also say that the settling defendant should not use that site or any other such property in a way that the state or the EPA determines would pose a risk to the environment or human health because of exposure to waste material (asbestos).

The mine, which located on nearly 1500 acres along the Belvidere Mountain, operated in Lowell and Eden for at least 8 decades. Asbestos is a mineral used in a number of applications such as roofing tiles, floor tiles, insulation, automobile brake pads, clutches etc.

The mine was closed in year 1993 after it was determined by scientists that asbestos fibers had caused cancer as they became airborne. When the mine was closed, 30 tons of debris or trails containing hazardous asbestos were left behind.

Some of those tailings has been washed by rainwater into 2 adjacent brooks and contaminated the wetlands. The total cleanup cost for the site estimated by the state is $250 million. However, the state’s plan to declare the land as a Superfund site was rejected in Eden and Lowell by voters in year 2012.

John Schmeltzer, an analyst with the waste division of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, said that the settlement agreement won’t resolve the long-term environmental issues of the mine. However, it is the first step, he said.

Schmeltzer said they do not know what amount of money they will get from the insurance policies. Anyway, Schmeltzer says, that money is not going to be enough for generating a long-term solution.

Vermont Asbestos Group should keep the site under the supervision of a project manager, as per the settlement agreement. Schmeltzer said they had met every responsibility they had been asked to do until then.

Asbestos is a human carcinogen. Regular exposure to asbestos fibers could result in diseases including malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.

News

Dumped Asbestos Found in Streets

A man who dumped a load of hazardous asbestos material in a truck in 2 suburban streets close to Maitland has put more than 50 individuals at risk.

Police have requested the public for details for identifying the individual who drove the tip truck into Central Ave. in Tarro on Tuesday at 9:30 PM and began releasing construction materials onto the center of the road.

Residents in the area heard the noises and they went outside for investigating. The driver became startled. The residents were shocked to find the dangerous material being dumped within meters of their houses and were quickly concerned for their and their children’s health.

The startled driver ran out of that street with hazardous asbestos material hanging off his truck’s back. He turned onto Anderson Dr. and then onto Woodberry Rd. where he dumped the remaining load.

Hazmat workers confirmed that the dumped substance was asbestos as they arrived following a triple-zero call from the residents of Central Ave. The crew wore protective wears and respiratory masks for cleaning up the mess. They disposed it of rightly at a waste facility at a Newcastle City Council.

Officials with New South Wales Environmental Protection Authority have said repeatedly that illicitly dumped asbestos material poses a very serious risk, especially if asbestos fibers become airborne. That’s why EPA regulations say asbestos should be wetted and contained in heavy-duty polythene before the substance was taken to a proper waste disposal facility.

John Zdrilic, a Maitland Detective Inspector and the Crime Manager of the NSW Police Central Hunter Local Area Command, said the driver hadn’t shown any concern for the safety and health of the people residing in the two suburban streets. Zdrilic appealed for more info to help the police locate the driver.

Zdrilic said the residents in the streets have possibly inhaled dangerous asbestos fibers. He said he was really worried about the children. Zdrilic said asbestos fibers could’ve been carried through air and there wasn’t any way to know how far the fibers had spread.

He said someone who saw the truck or knows the driver needs to come forward and help him and the police. Illegal asbestos dumping carries a fine of $1M $250000 for individuals and for businesses. The EPA had conducted a campaign a year ago to attempt to tackle the illegal behavior. The agency has the authority to seize the vehicle used for unlawful dumping.

News

New Orleans Woman Says She Contracted Pleural Mesothelioma because of Direct and Secondary Asbestos Exposure

New Orleans, Louisiana – A woman from New Orleans (LA) is suing a number of companies, alleging that they are responsible for her cancer diagnosis.

Rosemary Rodosta says she developed pleural mesothelioma – a deadly form of cancer – as a result of her direct as well as secondary exposure to asbestos fibers and dust. She has filed a lawsuit against the companies on 6th August in Orleans Parish Civil Dist. Court. Companies named as defendants in her lawsuit include: Lorillard Tobacco Co, Hollingsworth & Vose Company Incorporated, Eagle Incorporated, One Beacon American Insurance Co, McCarty Corp, Reilly Benton Co Incorporated, Falstaff Brewing Corp, and Taylor Seidenbach Incorporated.

Mesothelioma is a very rare cancer which is caused by inhalation or ingestion of asbestos dust and fibers. However, it is always deadly. A mesothelioma victim typically dies within a year after the diagnosis.

According to the plaintiff, her pleural mesothelioma diagnosis was a result of her asbestos exposure, which took place when she was a child and living with her parents’ home in Louisiana, and the exposure occurred while smoking Kent Cigarettes between 1947 and 1967.

Rodosta says her father was working with Falstaff Brewery when she was living with parents in her childhood. According to Rodosta, her father was regularly exposed to dangerous asbestos, and always he came home with his dresses covered in toxic dust. Rodosta was exposed to this dust through her father’s work clothes, according to the suit.

Additionally, Rodosta was directly exposed to asbestos fibers while smoking Cigarettes from 1947 until 1967. She says the micronite filters of those Kent cigarettes contained blue asbestos (also known as crocidolite) during the period of 1952 March and 1957 May.

Rodosta is suing the defendant companies for alleged fraud, intentional misconduct, fraudulent concealment, conspiring for concealing or defrauding the hazards of products containing asbestos. Rodosta is asking for an unspecified sum in damages for physical pain, mental anguish, emotional pain, loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, loss of life quality, loss of enjoyments in life, fear of death, medical costs, court costs, interest, and attorney’s fees.

Scott Bickford, an attorney with New Orleans, Louisiana (LA)-based law firm ‘Martzell and Bickford, A.P.C.,’ is representing Rodosta in her legal battle.

The case will be presided over by Hon. Ethel Julien, a judge for the division ‘N’ of the 41st Judicial Dist. Civil Court in Orleans Parish, LA.

News

Asbestos Discovered at Uxbridge School

Uxbridge, MA – A middle school was closed on Tuesday after deadly asbestos was discovered at the parking lot.

Pat Rocheleau, the grandparent of a McCloskey Middle School student, said he likes to believe that the students go to their school in an absolutely safe atmosphere.

Kevin Carney, the superintendent of Uxbridge Schools, said flooring was taken off from the building over the summer. Test results returned positive for the presence of asbestos on Monday. Asbestos exposure can be deadly because it can cause terminal diseases including mesothelioma, pleural plaques, asbestosis, and lung cancer.

Carney said everyone should cautiously hopeful that they were going to deal with that properly. He said the building was tested on Monday and the air quality levels were found safe. Carney said crews cleaned up the affected areas on Tuesday and additional testing will be conducted on Wednesday in order to ensure the safety. He said they’ll have to close down the school again if the lab results come positive for asbestos, Carney said.

The school building is at least 75 years old. Carney said the presence of asbestos in such old buildings is not uncommon because asbestos was a popular construction material before the 1980s.

Asbestos products should be handled with extreme care because asbestos fibers can become airborne if they are disturbed or broken, Carney said. He said they were working with independent contractors and state agencies to fix the issue.

Some parents were concerned about sending the students back to the school while some others were optimistic that there was nothing to worry about.

One of the main concerns of American parents is the presence of dangerous asbestos present the school buildings across the United States. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, asbestos products are there in most of the nation’s nearly 132,000 school buildings that serve at least 55M children. Additionally, 7 million or more teachers, support staff and administrators work in these buildings.

Some of the school buildings in the U.S. are as old as 100 years. Until the 1980s, asbestos was an extensively used building material because the risks associated with asbestos exposure was not known then to everyone. If the school buildings are not comparatively new, it’s almost definite that they contain quite a few asbestos products such as floor tiles, cement, pipe covering, insulation etc. Asbestos exposure is linked to fatal diseases such as cancer and asbestosis.

News

Lung Cancer Patient Files Asbestos Lawsuit

New Orleans, Louisiana – A man has named a number of companies as defendants in an asbestos suit which states that the plaintiff developed lung cancer because of his continuous exposure to dangerous asbestos products from the 1970s.

The suit was filed by Lones J Gagnard Jr. against Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Incorporated, Avondale Industries Incorporated, Huntington Ingalls Inc., Eagle Incorporated, Hopeman Brothers Incorporated, International Paper Co, Champion International, Liberty Mutual Insurance Co (as Wayne Manufacturing Company’s insurer), US Plywood, McCarty Corp, Maryland Casualty Co (as Marquette Insulation’s insurer), Metropolitan Life Insurance Co, Reilly-Benton Co, Taylor-Seidenbach Incorporated, Uniroyal Incorporated, Viacom Incorporated (successor to CBS Corp), Wayne Manufacturing, OneBeacon Insurance Co, Albert Bossier, J.D. Roberts, James Melton Garrett, and Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London in the Civil Dist. Court in Orleans Parish on 19th July.

According to the plaintiff, he had been exposed to high levels of toxic asbestos and products containing the substance during his job from year 1972 until 1974. As a result of this, Gagnard Jr. says, he developed lung cancer.

The defendant companies allegedly mined, manufactured, sold, supplied, distributed, and/or used asbestos products which were unreasonably hazardous and known to have inherently perilous properties with potential for severe injuries. The lawsuit states that the defendant companies failed: to warn workers including the plaintiff regarding the dangers of their asbestos products in their anticipated use; to provide adequate safety guidelines to reduce or eliminate hazards associated with their products; to truthfully inspect the products and properly report the findings; to adequately design their products; and to package their products properly. The companies are blamed for manufacturing defective products. Additionally, the companies failed to provide the workers with a safe working environment, proper engineering and industrial hygiene measures for controlling the asbestos exposure levels, and to warn regarding the hazards associated with asbestos as well as asbestos products, according to the suit.

The claimant is seeking undisclosed damages for medical costs, other costs, lost earnings, loss of earning capacity, sufferings, physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of enjoyments of life, loss of life quality, disability, interest, and attorneys’ fees.

David Cannella, an attorney with New Orleans (LA)-based law firm ‘Landry, Swarr and Cannella LLC,’ is representing Gagnard Jr. in his legal fight for justice.

Hon. Christopher J. “Chris” Bruno, a judge for the Division F of the 41st Judicial Dist. Civil Court in Orleans Parish (Louisiana), will preside over the case.

News

Reclamation Bureau Awards $2.5M Contract for Asbestos Removal

Grand Coulee, Washington – The Reclamation Bureau has awarded a $2.5M contract to carry out asbestos removal work at Grand Coulee Power Office located in Washington and also at Hungry Horse Power Office situated in Montana.

Dallas (Texas)-based Modecor Corporation was awarded the contract on 16th September, 2013. This contract is for a maximum time period of 5 years.

Grand Coulee gravity dam is situated on the Columbia River nearly 90 miles W. of Spokane (Washington). The dam was constructed mainly for producing hydroelectric power and for providing electricity. Grand Coulee was constructed in the 1930s.

Hungry Horse is an arch dam on the South Fork Flathead River in the Rocky Mountains of Montana State, nearly 20 miles NE of Kalispell. Completed in year 1953, Hungry Horse is Montana’s highest concrete dam. It is the eleventh largest concrete dam in the United States.

The Reclamation Bureau’s Pacific NW Regional Office had a requirement for removal of asbestos at both Grand Coulee and Hungry Horse Office Power Offices. The award includes a base year as well as four option years. The services were purchased compliant with FAR Part 15 as well as FAR Part 16.5. The main components of the job to be carried out according to the contract include acquiring services of a contractor for removing asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) and contamination from different areas. Asbestos has to be removed from hydroelectric generators, HVAC (Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning) systems, mechanical control systems, electrical control systems, TSI (Thermal System Insulation), surfacing materials, floor tiles, ceiling tiles, cable insulation, wire insulation, cable trays, cable conduits, crane floors, crane brakes, elevator brakes, and other areas associated with buildings, hydroelectric dams, and equipment. The contract includes removal as well as disposal of coatings with heavy metals. Contractors must abide by all the aspects of the FAR Part 23.

Asbestos is the basic term used for a number of naturally occurring fibrous minerals. It was widely used by the construction industry as a building material until the 1980s, as the health risks associated with the mineral were not known. Other industries also used the material extensively because of its low cost and useful properties such as durability, fire resistance, chemical resistance, heat resistance, electricity resistance, flexibility, strength etc.

Medical and scientific evidence supports the information that simply working or residing in an asbestos-containing building is not at all dangerous as long as the material remain in good condition. However, it can be dangerous when deteriorated or disturbed.

News

Sacramento County Fined by OSHA for Asbestos Violations

Sacramento County, CA – The California Occupational Safety & Health Division has cited the county for 2 state labor code violations. According to the agency, the county failed: to adequately train the employees; to protect the employees from asbestos exposure; and to promptly report the event to OSHA as needed with any dangerous emission of a strictly regulated cancer-causing substance. The County was issued a fine of $2810.

The county has recently filed an appeal with the OSHB (Occupational Safety & Health Board) – a panel of 3 members appointed by the governor. As the appeal is pending, the county was not supposed to comment on the citations against it and the fines issued, according to Chris Andis, the spokeswoman representing the county.

Nearly a year following the incident, quite a few of the total 230 employees who were working at the administrative building have continuous questions regarding whether they had been exposed to hazardous materials such as asbestos.

Sonia Hernandez, the president of the Association of Professional Engineers, County of Sacramento, said that they are attempting to figure out what was actually going on. Hernandez said employees were concerned regarding whether they had been exposed to asbestos.

Hernandez said she contacted OSHA and requested them a meeting for getting questions answered. According to Hernandez, the agency would meet with the employees of the county next month.

Erika Monterroza, a spokeswoman representing OSHA, said the agency would not comment on the risks the county employees would have faced as the appeal is pending.

Asbestos exposure increases the chance of developing cancer and some serious respiratory disorders. The risk of disease typically depends on the intensity and length of one’s exposure to the dangerous mineral. However, even short-term exposure to asbestos can be dangerous and could result in severe diseases.

However, county managers who were responsible for the cleanup operation said the substance on the floor actually didn’t contained asbestos. Anyway, OSHA’s citation refers to the likelihood of asbestos presence in ceiling tiles. Safety inspectors also had told that the county failed to provide the workers with sufficient protective equipment while cleaning up asbestos.

However, county managers then said that protective equipment was not essential as asbestos was not present. However, OSHA didn’t agree with this. The agency found that the county failed to follow proper work practices and cleanup procedures during the work.