Many homeowners are unaware of whether their house contains asbestos. Used throughout the 20th century as an insulator, asbestos is not detectable by sight alone. Asbestos is a deadly carcinogen linked to mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos-related illnesses.
Randy Gori, founding partner of Gori Julian & Associates, P.C., was recently awarded the 2018 Friend of Labor Award. The award recognizes the community achievements of Gori by the Central Labor Council representing over 30,000 members of 80+ unions, lodges and other affiliated organizations throughout Madison County and surrounding counties. This is the highest award given to a person who is not a member of a labor organization.
One of the largest problems facing those who have been exposed to asbestos is the long latency period between exposure and mesothelioma.
Several months ago, a consumer sent products purchased at Claire's to be tested for asbestos. The results were shocking: several makeup products targeted to teens came back positive for asbestos.
The sad truth is that mesothelioma is not curable. If found early, aggressive treatments including radiation, chemotherapy and surgery can both lengthen and improve the quality of life for the patient. Even later-stage mesothelioma can be treated aggressively. However, mesothelioma is hard to diagnose, as symptoms can be indicative of any number of things, including pneumonia. And because mesothelioma usually doesn’t develop until decades after exposure to asbestos, it often catches the patient by surprise.
The Missouri House recently passed House Bill 1645, which amends existing state law regarding compensation for asbestos exposure. The proposed law’s stated purpose is to limit and delay payouts to mesothelioma victims.
We have written extensively on the vermiculite mine in Libby, Montana. Run by the W.R. Grace Company, the nation’s largest vermiculite mine was also home to extensive asbestos deposits. Mining the vermiculite ore disturbed the asbestos, leading to workers and residents being exposed to asbestos dust in large quantities and contaminating the vermiculite with dangerous and carcinogenic asbestos fibers. It remains one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in the country.
Due to the city’s failure to have an adequate asbestos abatement policy in place, as many as 200 Austin city employees may have been exposed to asbestos in four different departments, according to KXAN news.
Awareness of the prevalence and harm of asbestos has been fading in recent years. That has led many contractors to become lax about asbestos safety. In Detroit, which has seen the largest blight removal project in the country, this is a dangerous oversight.
Many victims of asbestos-caused mesothelioma are living longer and healthier lives due to advances in treatment. Still, the sad truth is that mesothelioma is incurable, with a one-year survival rate of less than 50 percent.