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January 2014 Archives

Should smokers with occupational asbestos exposure be shut out?

In October, Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, a longtime smoker, filed a lawsuit for lung cancer she has medical evidence to show was caused by exposure to asbestos when she was a teen and young adult. She was primarily exposed while doing laundry for her father and brother, both boiler makers, whose clothing came home covered in the deadly fibers. Because of her smoking, however, her lawsuit brought a storm of criticism.

Negligent asbestos abatement ends $80-million development in KC

When a developer proposed replacing seven city-blocks’ worth of rundown homes in the southern part of Kansas City with an $80-million retail project to be called Citadel Plaza, officials in our neighboring state were enthusiastic. The thrilling prospect of bustling redevelopment, however, has long since been replaced by the dismaying reality of 35 acres of new brownfields right in the city. Brownfields are parcels of land that can’t be developed because they’re contaminated, and Citadel Plaza is newly polluted with asbestos.

Washington mesothelioma victim's verdict stripped for bad judging

In 2006, a long-term employee of the Crown-Zellerbach paper mill in Washington state was diagnosed with pleural malignant epithelial mesothelioma. As our readers are aware, mesothelioma is a rare but deadly cancer known to be caused by exposure to airborne asbestos particles. This man, now deceased, said he had regularly worked around asbestos-containing dryer felts over the course of his career from 1968 to 2001. He was even allowed to bring the dryer felts home to use as gardening underlayment.

High school gym closes doors due to asbestos

While the following story did not occur here in Illinois, it is indicative of what could happen anywhere in the country. A high school gym in Hartford is undergoing a renovation project and, while the project was underway, it was discovered that the gym had asbestos in it. The gym was quickly shut down and will not be reopened until the asbestos is removed. According to officials, there was no risk to the health of students as a result of the asbestos.

Man says dad's mesothelioma came from work, neighborhood asbestos

As we discussed last month, the devastating effects of asbestos exposure on Americans was in no way limited to people who worked for the companies producing it or in high-risk occupations. All too often, asbestos was spread around the environment in the form of cheap, recycled materials used for ground fill and paving projects. Others who never worked directly with asbestos were exposed through dust brought home on the clothing of family members who did -- and that exposure was often enough to cause mesothelioma and asbestos lung cancer.

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