America’s veterans were exposed to asbestos on a constant basis in the years between World War II and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and as a result many have since been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. What is most heartbreaking about this tragedy is the fact that so many asbestos companies that supplied the military with the asbestos-contaminated materials were aware that asbestos was hazardous, yet chose not to do anything to protect or even warn of the dangers that service members faced. Now a San Diego news station’s reporting has revealed similar negligence on the part of the San Diego Fire Department, which knowingly allowed firefighters training at the San Diego Fire Academy to be exposed to the carcinogen on a regular basis. Continue reading
While American veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos from the ships they served on, the barracks they slept in and the equipment they worked with, people today are at risk from an entirely different source. Though the carcinogenic material has been largely removed from occupational environments, it is still very much a concern where it remains in place from previous construction projects, as well as from being dumped or disposed of carelessly. A group of researchers from Unitec, the largest technology institute in Auckland, New Zealand, have tackled the issue, and believe they’ve come up with a solution for cleaning up asbestos-contaminated soil, and possibly for breaking down asbestos in other applications as well. Continue reading
Veterans of America’s Armed Forces, and particularly those who served in World War II and the years following, are at significant risk of malignant mesothelioma because of the ubiquitous use of asbestos in military applications. Much of the American public is only familiar with this asbestos-related disease from late-night television ads, in part because it has long been classified as an occupational illness often associated with veterans. Now a new generation is becoming more aware of mesothelioma after word is spreading that they too may be vulnerable to its impact: there is growing awareness that the baby powder that they used as children and adults may have been contaminated with the same carcinogenic material that sickened generations of veterans. Continue reading
Veterans make up the lion’s share of mesothelioma victims in the United States. This is a direct result of the large quantity of asbestos that was present in military settings during the years between World War II and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. There is no doubt that if military personnel had been aware of the dangers of asbestos, they would have taken action to remove the carcinogenic material and protect the troops from its harmful effects. Today, there is another group that is known to be similarly at risk for exposure to asbestos, yet far too little is being done to remedy the situation. The group at risk is America’s school children, and recent developments in Philadelphia are an excellent example.
The widow of a Navy veteran who died of malignant mesothelioma has won the first round of a legal battle against the asbestos company that she blames for her husband’s death. Lorraine Allen’s husband Peter died of malignant pleural mesothelioma in October of 2017 just 15 months after first being diagnosed with the disease. Mrs. Allen has filed a lawsuit accusing Armstrong Pumps Company of having exposed him to asbestos in a variety of ways while he was serving as an Electrician’s Mate aboard the LST 528 (later renamed the U.S.S. Catahoula Parish) and the U.S. S. Marquette, and though the company sought dismissal of the case, Judge Manuel J. Mendez of the Supreme Court, New York County, denied that motion and is allowing the case to move forward for a jury to decide upon. Continue reading
Union Carbide fought for nearly 8 years against having to take responsibility for Charley Edenfield’s death from malignant mesothelioma, but this past Tuesday a New Jersey jury put an end to their battle, awarding $2.38 million to Charley’s widow and considering whether to assess further penalties against the company. The case was heard in New Jersey, where a Middlesex County jury heard about Edenfield’s forty years working at a manufacturing plant, and how he’d worked withUnion Carbide asbestos for at least 15 of those forty years. Though the company argued that there was no proof that it was their asbestos that had caused his illness, the jury agreed with Charley’s widow and the witness and documentary evidence that her legal time provided. Continue reading
Decades after the W.R. Grace & Co. vermiculite mine at Libby, Montana was shut down, lessons are still being learned about asbestos, mesothelioma, and the way that the mineral impacts the human body. Dr. Brad Black is a physician who runs the Center for Asbestos Related Disease in Libby, a nonprofit center that treats patients exposed to asbestos every day. He calls it an uphill battle, explaining that he is treating hundreds of new patients every year, but also describing the ways that he and his colleagues are providing medical professionals outside of the area with essential training in recognizing asbestos-related diseases.
When it comes to taking action to stop malignant mesothelioma and asbestosis, Canada has now pulled far ahead of the United States. This past week saw the beginning of that country’s ban on asbestos, and though activists are welcoming the shift and hoping for the best, they also recognize that there is still a great deal of work to be done. Continue reading
A National Cancer Institute study on the safety of an experimental immunotherapy drug for patients with unresectable mesothelioma has delivered positive and encouraging results: researchers have determined that patients who are treated with Avelumab are able to achieve positive results without fear of unsafe or negative side effects. Continue reading