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Asbestos Issues Span the Globe, Increase in Asbestos, Related Deaths Expected in Asia

Asbestos is a group of naturally-occurring minerals that has been used in products such as roofing materials, cements, floor tiles, patching and spackling compounds, brake pads and lining, toasters and other heat-related household items, and furnaces and furnace doors. Inhaling asbestos fibers can lead to serious health problems, including lung cancer, throat cancer and malignantmesothelioma, a fatal cancer that is almost always attributed to asbestos exposure. Asbestos use within the United States has been limited since the 1970s, but the toxic mineral is still widely used in other parts of the world, including many countries in Asia. Despite the asbestos regulations that have been in place in the U.S. for several decades now, American men and women continue to die from mesothelioma at a rate of nearly 2,600 people per year (based on CDC data for the years 1999 – 2005). If you or a loved one has received a…
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Biomarkers May Help Detect Metastasis With Melanoma

According to the Doctors Lounge, a new study has found that biomarkers may predict metastasis in people with melanoma. A set of plasma biomarkers may be useful in predicting which patients are at risk for metastasis, according to a study published in the Clinical Cancer Research. Harriet M. Kluger, M.D. of the Yale Cancer Center in Connecticut and a team of researchers measured plasma proteins in 108 metastatic melanoma patients and 108 patients with resected stage I or II disease. The group studied protein levels in the former group. The researchers found seven biomarkers, all which were higher in metastatic melanoma patients than in those with early-stage of the cancer. 81 percent of the early-stage patients had no marker elevation. In 69 percent of those with metastatic disease at least one marker had an elevation. The team used blood tests to predict the risk of metastasis with melanoma, which would…
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Asbestos Found in Fire Rubble: Our Mesothelioma Attorneys Discuss a Recent Asbestos Spill in Colorado

Castle Rock Bike & Ski, originally built in 1976 and located in downtown Castle Rock, Colo., was damaged in a fire on January 4, 2013. According to the Castle Rock News-Press, cleanup at the storefront “came to a halt after crews discovered asbestos in the fire’s rubble.” A demolition inspector reported the asbestos spill to the state health department, although as of January 28, the department had not yet received an official permit for asbestos removal. Christopher Dan, communications liaison for the department’s air pollution control division, reported that while the origin and extent of the asbestos spill was still being investigated, the department had confirmed that asbestos fibers were disturbed and released during the fire. As Dan explained, “When you have an event like a fire, depending on the age of building, [asbestos] can be on walls, ceilings, floor tile or behind walls as insulation and piping.” Asbestos warning…
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Our Mesothelioma Attorneys Discuss Asbestos Risks in the Auto Industry

On Sept. 24, 2012, 52-year-old Eric Smith died at his home in Ilkeston, England, one year after receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis. According to his wife, as reported by the Ilkeston Advertiser, he had worked as an auto mechanic since he was 16 years old, blowing asbestos dust off brake and clutch pedals without any protective clothing or face mask. He often worked “very long hours, seven days a week,” and he was “‘fit and well’ before his diagnosis.” As a result of the disease, he had most of his right lung surgically removed in September 2011. The deputy coroner reportedly identified Smith’s cause of death as “industrial disease.” Breathing in toxic asbestos fibers can lead to the development of mesothelioma, lung cancer, throat cancer and other serious illnesses. Certain occupations have an especially high risk of asbestos exposure. Auto mechanics, construction and demolition workers, railroad workers, aircraft mechanics, textile mill…
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11 workers missing after expolsion on oil platform

Eleven workers are still missing after a massive explosion aboard an oil platform off the Louisiana coast. In addition to the missing, 17 workers were injured — four critically — and evacuated to hospitals onshore. The remaining 111 people who were on the offshore platform “Deepwater Horizon” when the explosion occurred have been safely evacuated to Port Fourchon, La. They were checked by doctors before being brought to a hotel in suburban New Orleans to reunite with their relatives. According to an Associated Press report, rescue crews had covered the 1,940-square-mile search area by air 12 times and by boat five times, by Thursday morning. Officials hoped the 11 missing workers might have been able to get to a covered lifeboat with enough supplies to survive for an extended period. The rig, owned by Transocean Ltd., was under contract to oil giant BP and was doing exploratory drilling about 50…
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Chinese Auto Maker Widens Recall Related to Asbestos-Containing Car Parts

On Aug. 30, China’s largest car exporter, Chery Automobile Co., expanded a vehicle recall in Australia to include five other countries where asbestos-containing auto parts are believed to have gone. The initial recall issued on Aug. 16 included 23,000 vehicles in Australia. Now, an estimated 18,875 Tiggo and A3 models in Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina and Singapore are also subject to the recall. The recall was initiated after customs authorities in Australia detected asbestos in engine and exhaust gaskets. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, at the time of the Australian recall, Chery indicated that workers had erroneously used a batch of auto parts not intended for Australia-bound vehicles. A spokesperson for the company who commented on the expanded recall said, “The same supplier that provided the parts for the cars made for Australia also mistakenly provided us parts containing asbestos that went into these other cars.” He did not identify the…
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