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French Court Issues Monumental Judgement [Sep. 5th, 2006|05:23 pm]
meso_awareness
Lille, France - A court ordered Monday that Alstom Power Boiler, a company that manufactures industrial boilers, was liable for exposing employees to asbestos.

The ruling was the first time a French court has ruled that companies can be criminally liable for exposing employees to asbestos.

The court fined the company €75,000 (US$96,435), the maximum amount for the charge and sentenced former Lys-les-Lannoy site director Bernard Gomez, to a nine-month suspended jail term with a fine of €3,000 (US$3,857).

The court also awarded €10,000 (US$12,858) to each of the 150 defendants in the case as part of a civil judgment.

Asbestos a hazardous substance can cause serious problems if it is inhaled. For more information on asbestos exposure, please visit
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Dutch Playing Defense Over Toxic Ship [Aug. 29th, 2006|05:26 pm]
meso_awareness
August 29, 2006 Netherlands –

Dutch Environmental Secretary Pieter van Geel was unsuccessful in persuading Turkey to accept an asbestos laden ship for demolition.

The Otapan had been lying in Amersterdam until it left in late July to be demolished in Aliaga, Turkey. When it arrived, authorities denied permission to dock and the ensuing controversy has both sides on the defensive.

Part of the problem lies in the fact that according to Turkish sources, the amount of asbestos on the ship was underreported by nearly 53 tons. The original documentation approved by Dutch authorities gave the amount as being around 1000kg.

In talks earlier this week van Geel was trying to get the ship clearance as it has been off the Turkish coast awaiting a decision. The Turkish government however rejected his offer and chose not to accept the ship.

Now the Dutch government will have to search for new solutions as it comes under heavy fire from groups like Greenpeace who claim the government deliberately mislead Turkish authorities by approving the original documentation.

This is the second time in a matter of months that a ship full of asbestos caused international problems.

Earlier this year, the French ship Clemenceau was to be demolished in India before massive protests and government pressure forced Prime Minister Jacques Chirac to recall the ship back to port.

Asbestos Exposure Information
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Indiana University Dorms Full of Asbestos [Aug. 24th, 2006|04:07 pm]
meso_awareness
At Indiana University some parents were surprised to learn asbestos, a deadly carcinogen, is present in university dormitories.

The ceilings of the Briscoe, McNutt, and Forest dorms contain asbestos, which can cause cancer and other lung problems if it is damaged and inhaled.

According to the University, Resident Assistants will be informing students on the issue and how to report problems but some parents are frustrated by the university’s lack of prior disclosure.

"It would be nice if they told us beforehand," said Maryanne Sides as she helped her son move in to McNutt. "I wish they'd have someone take all of it out."

While intact asbestos poses no health risks, inhaling the damaged fibers can stick in the lungs creating buildups that may lead to future health problems given prolonged exposure.

The University is planning to renovate the dorms over a 10 year period but renovations won’t begin until 2008 at the earliest.
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EPA Considering Legal Action [Aug. 17th, 2006|04:29 pm]
meso_awareness
Rainelle, West Virigina - The Environmental Protection Agency is considering whether it will seek legal action against a town recycling plant.

Asbestos was initially discovered when state officials began investigating a complaint made by a former employee.

While officials declined to say how much Asbestos was found, former employee Sean Thornton alleged that workers illegally burned Asbestos.

Thornton is currently involved in secondary legislation against the town.

-William Gallahue
Staff Writer Meso Awareness
<a href="http://www.mesothelioma-aid.org> Mesothelioma Aid </a>
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Interesting Article on Corporate Responsibility [Aug. 15th, 2006|02:53 pm]
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“My answer to the problem is: if you have enjoyed a good life while working with asbestos products why not die from it. There’s got to be some cause.”

This quote came from a purchasing director for Johns Manville corporation in 1966. Years later the company would face bankruptcy from being overwhelmed by nearly 16,500 asbestos lawsuits in what would become an important moment in the history of asbestos litigation.

For years large corporations like Johns Manville operated their asbestos manufacturing operations with internal knowledge of health problems and tried their best to control any information that hinted to the safety risks of asbestos.

It is a sad corporate legacy and one that continues to haunt the numerous dying and diagnosed men and women who seek compensation for their exposure. Some estimates put the number of exposed patients to nearly 27.5 million between 1940 and 1979.

It wasn't until the mid-1970s that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration began to regulate asbestos exposure. By then however it was all too late. New cases of asbestos related health problems will continue to be diagnosed every year at a rate of nearly 3,000 cases for mesothelioma alone. The reason is that asbestos related illnesses have long latency periods of up to 40 years before exposure can lead to cancerous formations.

According to Adam Raphael, "the best estimate of what lies ahead is a study published by the Yale School of Organization and Management in 1992. It predicts that there will be 200,000 asbestos-related deaths over the next quarter of a century at a cost to asbestos manufacturers and their insurers of $50 billion.”

With such liability it is easy to see why since 1985, nearly 16 major asbestos manufacturing firms have gone out of business. When they go out, it makes it nearly impossible for families to collect compensation.

Furthermore other companies still in business like Johns Manville have set up inadequately funded pools for compensation. Just last year W.R. Grace sent a notice to residents of Libby, Montana (the site of a once booming asbestos mine where 1 in 8 residents is infected with a lung disorder of some type) telling them that they were no longer sick and should seek other forms of medical assistance.

Its a sad corporate legacy where millions of average Americans worked long hours to provide a better life for their families only to get nothing in return from the employers who benefited.

For more information, please visit Causes of Deadly Mesothelioma Lung Cancer
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What is Mesothelioma? [Aug. 7th, 2006|03:14 pm]
meso_awareness
Mesothelioma is a medical condition relating to asbestos exposure. Most people believe asbestos exposure is a thing of the past, but with an average of nearly 2,500 cases per year that past is coming back to haunt us.

Over the next few weeks we will focus on the history, treatment, and future of mesothelioma.

Please feel free to visit http://www.mesotheliomaweb.org for more information.
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