Asbestos Update: Nanofibres, Drugstore Cowboy, Non-lung Asbestos Cancers

Nanofibres ‘may pose health risk’: Inhaling tiny fibres made by the nanotechnology industry could cause similar health problems to asbestos, say researchers.

“Knowing the length beyond which the tiny fibres can cause disease is important in ensuring that safe fibres are made in the future as well as helping to understand the current risk from asbestos and other fibres.”

Prof Stephen Spiro, from the British Lung Foundation, said cases of mesothelioma had almost quadrupled in the past 30 years because of asbestos.

He added: “This research is particularly interesting as it gives us an indication of the size of fibre that might lead to mesothelioma if inhaled.

BBC News. August 23, 2012. Full Article

Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Wofford College Finds Asbestos in Dorm; Sends Students to Hotel

The dorm wasn’t used in the summer except when maintenance teams were trying to work on air conditioning units to improve their efficiency. Officials say moisture from the air conditioning system, rainy, humid summer weather combined with the building being closed up likely created a moisture issue on the ceiling coating. Wofford spokesperson Laura Corbin says the ceiling coating in the building does have asbestos in it.

The asbestos was found on the ceiling coating last week and wasn’t an issue as long as it went undisturbed. Officials said the asbestos had the potential to be compromised when the coating was being removed on Monday and it will take about three weeks to get rid of. Corbin says crews will work around the clock to fix the problem.

Scarpelli, Christine News Channel 7. August 23, 2012. Full Article

Spartanburg, North Carolina

City seeks grant for asbestos removal: Abating asbestos is the first step in renovating the former National Guard Armory

An inspection of the armory property was done last month to determine the amount of asbestos that would need abated to move forward with the project. Preliminary estimates indicate it would cost $300,000.

The grant is being sought through the Tourism Attraction Program of the Illinois Department of Tourism and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The grant would pay for half the costs of asbestos abatement if it were approved for the city.

Culli, Tesa Mt. Vernon Register-News. August 23, 2012. Full Article

Mt. Vernon, Illinois

‘Drugstore cowboy’ author dies in Wash. Prison: James Fogle, who wrote “Drugstore Cowboy,” an autobiographical crime novel that led to an acclaimed 1989 film starring Matt Dillon, has died. He was 75

Fogle died Thursday at a prison in Monroe, Wash., about 30 miles from Seattle, said Selena Davis, a state corrections spokeswoman. A judge had sentenced him to almost 16 years in prison for holding up a pharmacy in a Seattle suburb in 2010, the last in a string of crimes that put him behind bars for most of his adult life.

Fogle died of probable malignant mesothelioma (meh-soh-thee-lee-OH’-muh), the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s office said Friday.

The Associated Press via The Seattle Times. August 24, 2012. Full Article

Seattle, Washington

City will repair roof, remove asbestos from former senior center: The city of Farmington will put nearly $55,000 into repairs at the old Rambling River Center, with the hope that one day, those repairs will help sell the building.

On Monday, the Farmington City Council approved a plan to replace the building’s roof and do necessary asbestos abatement. Though currently there is no funding for the project in the city’s budget, council members hope to recoup the cost in the building’s selling price.

Hansen, NathanThe Farmington Independent. August 24, 2012. Full Article

Farmington, Minnesota

Demolition of old Rock Island school will resume Monday

Several people who gathered Friday morning at the school site, 2125 7th Ave., to pick up keepsake bricks said they had heard that work had been shut down by the either the Illinois or U.S. Environmental Protection Agency because of a complaint about how the building’s asbestos-containing waste was being handled.

Jeff Eder, the city’s community and economic development director, said the rumor is “absolutely not true,” and a spokesman for the Illinois EPA confirmed that.

Gaul, Alma Quad City Times. August 24, 2012. Full Article

Rock Island, Illinois

State: LHA renovations violated lead-paint, asbestos regs

During the course of its rehab of 132 units at the North Common Village, the Lowell Housing Authority violated multiple regulations governing lead-paint safety and failed to determine if asbestos was present prior to the work beginning as required by law, according to the state’s Department of Labor Standards.

The lead-paint and asbestos regulations on renovation and demolition are designed to protect workers, as well as occupants of the buildings where the work is conducted.

Moran, Lyle Lowell Sun. August 25, 2012. Full Article

Lowell, Massachusettes

Easton foundry demolition continues

The town’s building department granted an emergency demolition permit, pending DEP approval. But the work started before the permit was issued.

Local public health and state officials met with the demolition company and the property owner to lay out plans for the containment of hazardous materials and dust and the disposal of asbestos and any other toxic materials at the site.

“They’re playing by the rules right now,” Easton Health Agent Mark Taylor said.

Parkou Weinstein, Susan Taunton Daily Gazette. August 25, 2012. Full Article

Easton, Massachusettes

Asbestos may raise risk of non-lung cancers

Children exposed to blue asbestos may face more wide-ranging health problems in adulthood than mesothelioma and lung cancer, according to an Australian study….

Among women who spent a childhood at Wittenoom, the risk of mesothelioma (asbestos-related lung disease) was 70 to 113 times greater than among the general population. They also had a roughly four-fold increase in risk of brain cancer and three-fold increase in the risk of ovarian cancer.

Nogrady, Bianca ABC Science. August 27, 2012. Full Article

Wittenoom, Perth, Australia

Project digs up repeat asbestos trouble: “They knew better,” state inspector says

The company had been hired by the city of Bloomfield to improve the roads in some of the city’s neighborhoods. During the construction, Advantage workers dug up a 400-foot section of asbestos pipe, broke it up with hammers and other tools on a residential street and dumped it throughout town including at a Dumpster at Bloomfield High School.

The mayor at the time told KRQE News 13 that the city never told residents about the incident because it feared lawsuits. The Environment Department later fined the company more than $800,000.

Auslander, Jason; Holland, Kim KASA 2. August 28, 2012. Full Article

Bloomfield, New Mexico

Bay City Academy official: Asbestos problem at school expansion remediated, classes expected to start on time

Ingersoll said that updating the 59-year-old building was a process faced with numerous construction hurdles, including asbestos abatement.

“As in all old buildings, we have a myriad of construction difficulties with asbestos being one of them,” Ingersoll said. “That’s all clear, and we are going to be just fine — the asbestos has been remediated.”

Burger, MacKenzie MLive. August 28, 2012. Full Article

Bay City, Michigan

Hale Road Elementary students settle into new classrooms after asbestos problem

During summer construction, asbestos was disturbed at the Riverside School District building and needs to be cleared before construction can be completed, and children can enter the building.

Fertal, Caitlin The News-Herald. August 28, 2012. Full Article

Painesville, Ohio

Study pinpoints malignant mesothelioma patients likely to benefit from drug pemetrexed

Previous studies have hypothesized that low levels of the enzyme thymidylate synthase (TS) likely mark patients who will benefit from the drug pemetrexed – but results have been inconclusive at best and at times contradictory. A University of Colorado Cancer Center study recently published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology provides an explanation why: only in combination with high levels of a second enzyme, FPGS, does low TS predict response to pemetrexed in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Read more at:

Medical Express. August 29, 2012. Full Article

Denver, Colorado

Chinese car maker Chery announces Brazil recall of 12,500 vehicles for asbestos

A Chinese automaker says it’s recalling nearly 12,500 cars sold in Brazil after asbestos was found in engine and exhaust gaskets.

Chery International says in an emailed statement that it investigated the asbestos problem after it was discovered about two weeks ago in vehicles sold in Australia. Asbestos is a known carcinogen.

The Associated Press via The Washington Post. August 29, 2012. Full Article

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Asbestos abatement cost tops $600,000

Asbestos levels aren’t believed to be dangerous, but prior air monitoring tests determined that moving the tiles to access cables and anything overhead could cause additional asbestos fibers to be released. The asbestos was discovered earlier this year, but a full survey of the building hasn’t been completed.

Poole, Andrew Pall Times. August 29, 2012. Full Article

Mexico, New York

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