A renowned expert on asbestos-related diseases is calling the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new rules on asbestos “nothing short of outrageous.” Arthur L. Frank is a professor in the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University and adviser to Philadelphia’s Air Pollution Control Board. After 50 years of researching mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, he says that the idea of the EPA allowing new uses for asbestos instead of banning it entirely is putting human life at risk.
Though many Americans believe that asbestos use was banned in the United States after it was determined to be the cause of malignant mesothelioma and other deadly illnesses, that is not the case. The initial efforts to ban its use were defeated by lobbyists from the chemical industry and construction industry, who successfully argued for its continued use in areas where it was currently in use. Now, almost fifty years later, the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is about to introduce new rules to allow greater use of the deadly mineral in construction materials, and in response the American Institute of Architects has issued a formal statement opposing the decision and urging a blanket ban on asbestos use anywhere in the country. READ MORE
Neighbors in the Westminster, Colorado neighborhood thought themselves lucky when an apartment building fire in their midst was quickly extinguished, but now experts are saying they’ve found asbestos in the building’s structure, and that means they may be at risk for malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
The people of Libby, Montana have had more than their share of worries about mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other asbestos-related diseases. Just when they think that their town has largely been cleared of asbestos and they can breathe a sigh of relief, another catastrophe appears, this time in the form of the Highway 37 Fire. The conflagration is currently affecting roughly 70 acres and is only 10 percent contained, and part of the threatened area is the contaminated forests that surround Libby. Residents are concerned that if the forest burns, asbestos in the topsoil would be carried downwind in the resulting smoke. But experts say that studies have shown that very little asbestos is carried in smoke: the real concern is in the ash and dirt where firefighters work, and that is why a specially trained group has been brought in to combat the blaze. READ MORE
Mesothelioma advocates have been looking to the future with the hope that as asbestos use in the United States declined, the number of people being diagnosed with the disease would eventually fall. But recent moves by the Environmental Protection Agency have made it easier for companies to use the carcinogenic material in new ways, including some that could come directly into contact with consumers.
Asbestos has been very much in the news recently, and that has raised many people’s concerns about malignant mesothelioma, the rare and deadly form of cancer caused by exposure to the toxic mineral. Most people’s familiarity with mesothelioma comes from ads they see on television. Though most don’t pay much attention, assuming that they haven’t been near it, news of possible asbestos contamination in baby powder, the existence of asbestos discovered during a renovation, or even exposure to New York’s steam pipe explosion or the fires in the west suddenly have them on alert.
Facing the reality that asbestos causes malignant mesothelioma, asbestosis and other serious conditions, the state of Colorado has passed rigorous laws aimed at protecting its citizens from exposure to the deadly mineral. One of the most impactful of these regulations are those that dictate the need for asbestos testing and remediation whenever renovation or demolition needs to be done on an immediate structure. Though this is clearly for the common good, it has also created a remarkable backlog of residents waiting for asbestos remediation services, and that is frustrating a lot of residents. READ MORE
A steam pipe explosion in New York City has exposed several city blocks to dangerous asbestos insulation, raising concerns about mesothelioma, asbestosis and other asbestos-related diseases for citizens and clean-up crew alike. The incident took place last week in the vicinity of 5th Avenue between 19th Street and 22nd Street. The area is undergoing an extensive clean-up and is closed to pedestrian traffic while experts address the toxic dust that is now covering the street, cars and buildings.