Articles Tagged with Boston asbestos exposure

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Asbestos has not been produced in the United States for decades, and while it is still being imported in small quantities, the real danger lies in the asbestos that fills many of the older buildings in Boston and the rest of the nation.

According to a recent news article from the Boston Herald, the current presidential administration is attempting to step back from the mandated review of asbestos and other toxic chemicals that was established by U.S. Congress and the Obama administration.  This includes a review of the dangers posed by what is estimated at millions of tons of asbestos in buildings across the county.

Boston MesotheliomaWhen asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can become trapped in a layer of tissue called the mesothelium that serves as a protective membrane from most of the internal organs in the human body.  Once these fibers become trapped, they can metastasize into the deadly form of cancer known as mesothelioma. Continue reading →

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A new study found the highest asbestos-related cancer rate in New England, specifically in Maine.

Asbestos has been used all over the world in many different applications for hundreds of years.  However, it was during the Industrial Revolution that began in the mid 1800’s when the heaviest use of asbestos began.

Maine AsbestosAsbestos itself is a mineral that occurs naturally and is comprised of six silica elements.  While it doesn’t seem remarkable at first glance, it can withstand extreme amounts of heat, fire, electricity and caustic chemicals.  It is also chemically perfect to serve as bonding agent in many applications such as construction adhesive.    The downside, as we all known today, is that asbestos causes a very aggressive type of cancer known as malignant mesothelioma. Continue reading →

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We have recently been hearing about asbestos and mesothelioma a lot lately in terms of how President Barack Obama and some members of Congress are using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to finally ban the sale, manufacture, and importation of asbestos. Now, the latest asbestos trouble may be hitting close to home for our federal lawmakers.

openpitmineWhile many people believe asbestos was banned in the U.S. in the late 1970s, that is not exactly accurate.  There was a ban on the use of all asbestos products to be enforced by the EPA, but it was not done with the full assistance of Congress.  There was a lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of this asbestos ban, and the Supreme Court ultimately overturned the asbestos ban on grounds that it was unconstitutional.  This is not to say that Congress could not create such a ban, but the manner in which it was done back then was not constitutional.

Now, officials are trying to do something to close this regulatory loophole.

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When we think about exposure to asbestos and the risk of mesothelioma, we might think the most at risk are those who work in the trades: The construction workers, the painters, the ship builders, the auto mechanics. openpitmine

Certainly, those groups see higher rates than others, particularly when they worked in the 50s, 60s and 70s, when asbestos was still commonplace in so many building materials and products. But as a new study has shown, the group with the highest rate of mesothelioma deaths in the world is in West Australia. Specifically, indigenous West Australians have the highest mortality rate for malignant mesothelioma in the world.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive and terminal type of cancer that develops years after exposure to asbestos fibers, breathed into the lungs and scarring the delicate tissue lining of either the lungs or stomach. In most cases, illness and diagnosis occur many years – even decades – after exposure.  Continue reading →