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Month: November 2019

News

Study Warns that British Children are at High Risk for Mesothelioma

In the United States, the risk of malignant mesothelioma for educators is higher than that of the general population as a result of asbestos having been used in the construction of the majority of the nation’s schools. In response, strict regulations have been put in place regarding air quality and monitoring of the condition of asbestos in place, and millions of dollars are spent on asbestos remediation, as well as on relocating students and faculty. Unfortunately, the same high level of attention that is dedicated to protecting school children and educators is not present in the United Kingdom, where a recent study indicates that 80 percent of schools and 94% of National Health Service buildings are contaminated with about 6,000 tons of the carcinogenic material across 1,500 buildings. The study warns of dire consequences if the situation is not addressed.

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News

Anti-Asbestos Bill Advances in House of Representatives

Health advocates and environmental groups have long favored banning asbestos, the mineral responsible for malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Despite decades of efforts to that end, the powerful chemical industry lobby has successfully fought any type of significant controls being taken, but now the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee has advanced the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2019 to the full House. If passed, it would amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to effectively ban the carcinogenic material in the United States.

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Judge’s Decision Viewed As Win For Mesothelioma Advocates

People fighting the rare and deadly disease known as malignant mesothelioma have advocates working on multiple fronts. While medical professionals and legal advocates work on behalf of those who have already been diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease, there are just as many working on the preventive side, challenging asbestos companies and the U.S .Environmental Protection Agency to provide greater protections against asbestos exposure for workers and the general public. These groups are allied, and all were cheered this week when U.S. District Judge Edward Chen sided with health and environmental groups working to make asbestos regulations stronger.

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Japanese Courts Award Millions to Mesothelioma Victims

Like most other industrialized societies, Japan saw extensive use of asbestos in its construction industry, and that has resulted in a high ratio of its citizens being diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.  A study conducted by the Hamamatsu University School of Medicine had predicted a continuing rise in mesothelioma deaths through 2027 before those numbers eventually begin to decline. In response to greater understanding of the role that construction companies and the government played in workers’ exposure to the carcinogenic material, many of those who have been sickened have pursued justice in the country’s courts. This week the Fukuoka High Court ordered the government as well as four construction materials makers to pay the equivalent of $3.2 million to workers affected by the illnesses, as well as survivors of those who’ve died.

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While Mesothelioma Advocates Point to FDA Report, Johnson & Johnson Issues Contradictory Results

There are currently over 15,000 lawsuits pending against consumer giant Johnson & Johnson, accusing the company of knowingly exposing them to asbestos contamination in their talc-based products and causing their malignant mesothelioma and ovarian cancer. Though the plaintiffs in these cases all point to laboratory test results and internal company memos supporting their case, the company has pushed back, arguing that asbestos has never been in their product. That position has won over several who have already decided on these cases, while other juries have ruled against the company, awarding millions of dollars in compensation to victims. But the company’s position was significantly weakened when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently reported that it had identified the carcinogenic mineral in a bottle of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder purchased just last year. With that news representing a legal bombshell in the cases yet to be heard, the company first responded by recalling 33,000 bottles of their product, but they are now pushing back with results of a lab report contradicting the FDA’s results.

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Justice for Mesothelioma Victim Comes in Multiple Steps

Imagine going through a long battle against an asbestos company, winning in court, and then having to pursue yet another legal battle to get the company’s insurer to provide the compensation that you’re owed. That is exactly what is happening to Patrick Rossello, a man diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma after having been exposed to asbestos in a building where he was taking a training program in preparation for becoming a bank manager. When Mr. Rossello sued Lloyd E. Mitchell, Inc., the builder who was responsible for using asbestos-contaminated products in the building, they won a $2.7 million judgement, but that was not the end of the story. Now the man has to pursue the builder’s insurance company, which is attempting to avoid having to pay the full amount.

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Asbestos in Beer May Have Contributed United Kingdom’s Rise in Certain Cancers

In July of 2019, the United Kingdom’s Health and Safety Executive revealed that the death toll from asbestos exposure had reached crisis levels, with a shocking number of deaths from mesothelioma and asbestosis having been reported in 2017. Most of the cases identified had come from exposure to asbestos in industrial settings: people were exposed either in their workplace or their family members were exposed to the carcinogen that they carried home on their skin, hair and clothing. Now a new report suggests that there are other increasing rates of cancer arising from asbestos exposure, but this time it is affecting those who drank from the nation’s beer supply in the 1970s.

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