Can asbestos be used "safely"?

The Statement: “All scientific reviews clearly confirm that chrysotile [white asbestos] fibres can be used safely under controlled conditions.” (Dimitri Soudas, PMO communications director, 06/15/2011)

Chrysotile, or white asbestos, is back in the news again, and doctors around the world are questioning the Canadian government’s championing of a substance that has been banned in most developed countries. “My jaw dropped when I heard [Soudas’ statement],” says Dr. Matthew Stanbrook, a specialist in respirology at Toronto’s University Health Network and assistant professor in the department of medicine at the University of Toronto. “It’s so completely misrepresentative of the science.”

The term “asbestos” refers to two types of naturally occurring fibrous minerals: serpentine and amphibole. Chrysotile, derived from serpentine minerals, makes up 100% of the asbestos used and produced in the world today and 95% of all the asbestos used worldwide since 1900. It’s also the stuff Canada produces, alongside such countries as Kazakhstan, China, Brazil, and Russia.

Though there has been some debate about whether chrysotile is less hazardous than other forms of asbestos, the World Health Organization (WHO) is one of many international bodies which doesn’t discriminate among types of the mineral in discussing its dangers. “All forms of asbestos are carcinogenic to humans, and may cause mesothelioma and cancer of the lung, larynx and ovary,” the organization has concluded, estimating that about 125 million people in the world are exposed to asbestos in the workplace, and that each year, more than 107,000 people die from asbestos-related lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis resulting from occupational exposure. They also estimate that one in three deaths from occupational cancer is caused by asbestos.

As for Soudas’ claim that it’s safe to use white asbestos in controlled conditions, a recent article on asbestos in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives noted: “Numerous epidemiologic studies, case reports, controlled animal experiments, and toxicological studies refute the assertion that chrysotile is safe. [...] These studies demonstrate that the so-called controlled use of asbestos is a fallacy.”

Science-ish contacted the Quebec-based IRSST (Robert-Sauv√© Occupational Health and Safety Research Institute) to get their view. A spokesperson said, “All the studies we know of tend to show that all types of asbestos fibres have adverse effects on health.” They cite the findings of a scientific working group brought together by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in March 2009, which concluded there is a link between all forms of asbestos (including chrysotile) and an increased risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma. They added: “Although the potency differences with respect to lung cancer or mesothelioma for fibres of various types and dimensions are debated, the fundamental conclusion is that all forms of asbestos are carcinogenic to humans.”

In Canada, asbestos remains one of the leading causes of lung cancer, according to the Lung Cancer Association, up there with smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke and radon.

In 2006, the WHO said that if a global ban on asbestos were enacted, a decrease in the incidence of asbestos-related diseases would surface approximately 20 years later, adding that “the most efficient way to eliminate asbestos-related diseases is to stop using all types of asbestos.” The International Labour Organization also passed a resolution to promote a worldwide asbestos ban.

Such bans require some international consensus, though, and Canada has twice blocked even the inclusion of chrysotile on a list of hazardous substances under the United Nations Rotterdam Convention, which regulates the global trade of certain hazardous chemicals and requires countries that import the substances to give “prior informed consent” that they are aware of the hazards associated with them. Canada is expected to do so again at the Rotterdam Convention in Geneva on Monday.

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City in Russia Unable to Kick Asbestos Habit

ASBEST, Russia — This city of about 70,000 people on the eastern slopes of the Ural Mountains is a pleasant enough place to live except for one big drawback: when the wind picks up, clouds of carcinogenic dust blow through. 

Asbest means asbestos in Russian, and it is everywhere here. Residents describe layers of it collecting on living room floors. Before they take in the laundry from backyard lines, they first shake out the asbestos. “When I work in the garden, I notice asbestos dust on my raspberries,” said Tamara A. Biserova, a retiree. So much dust blows against her windows, she said, that “before I leave in the morning, I have to sweep it out.”
 The town is one center of Russia’s asbestos industry, which is stubbornly resistant to shutting asbestos companies and phasing in substitutes for the cancer-causing fireproofing product.

In the United States and most developed economies, asbestos is handled with extraordinary care. Until the 1970s, the fibrous, silicate mineral was used extensively in fireproofing and insulating buildings in America, among other uses, but growing evidence of respiratory ailments due to asbestos exposure led to limits. Laws proscribe its use and its disposal and workers who get near it wear ventilators and protective clothes. The European Union and Japan have also banned asbestos. (A town called Asbestos in Quebec, Canada, has stopped mining asbestos, though it hasn’t changed its name.)

But not here, where every weekday afternoon miners set explosions in a strip mine owned by the Russian mining company Uralasbest. The blasts send huge plumes of asbestos fiber and dust into the air. Asbest is one of the more extreme examples of the environmental costs of modern Russia’s deep reliance on mining.

“Every normal person is trying to get out of here,” Boris Balobanov, a former factory employee, now a taxi driver, explained. “People who value their lives leave. But I was born here and have no place else to go.”

Of the half-dozen people interviewed who worked at the factory or mine, all had a persistent cough, a symptom of exposure to what residents call “the white needles.” Residents also describe strange skin ailments. Doctors interviewed at a dermatology ward say the welts arise from inflammation caused by asbestos.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is a branch of the World Health Organization, is in the midst of a multiyear study of asbestos workers in Asbest. Because of the large number of people exposed in the city, the researchers are using the location to determine whether the asbestos causes ailments other than lung cancer, including ovarian cancer. “All forms of asbestos are carcinogenic to humans,” the group said.

Standing on the rim of the world’s largest open pit asbestos mine provides a panoramic scene. Opened in the late 1800s, it is about half the size of the island of Manhattan and the source of untold tons of asbestos. The pit descends about 1,000 feet down slopes created by terraced access roads. Big mining trucks haul out fibrous, gray, raw asbestos.

The Uralasbest mine is so close by that a few years ago the mayor’s office and the company relocated residents from one outlying area to expand its gaping pit.

So entwined is the life of the town with this pit that many newlyweds pose on a viewing platform on the rim to have their pictures taken. The city has a municipal anthem called “Asbestos, my city and my fate.” In 2002, the City Council adopted a new flag: white lines, symbolizing asbestos fibers, passing through a ring of flame. A billboard put up by Uralasbest in Asbest proclaims “Asbestos is our Future.”

The class-action lawsuits that demolished asbestos companies in the United States are not possible in Russia’s weak judicial system, which favors powerful producers. Russia, which has the world’s largest geological reserves of asbestos, mines about a million tons of asbestos a year and exports about 60 percent of it. Demand is still strong for asbestos in China and India, where it is used in insulation and building materials. The Russian Chrysotile Association, an asbestos industry trade group, reports that annual sales total about 18 billion rubles, or $540 million. And the business is growing, mostly because other countries are getting out of the business.

 The mine and the factory Uralasbest owns are the principal employers. The town depends on the jobs that mining asbestos and making asbestos products bring. Nationwide, the industry employs 38,500 Russians directly while about 400,000 people depend on the factories and mines for their livelihood, if supporting businesses in the mining towns are counted. About 17 percent of Asbest residents work in the industry.

Asbest is a legacy of the philosophy known as gigantism in Soviet industrial planning. Many cities wound up with only one, huge factory like this town’s sprawling asbestos plant. The cities, known as monotowns, were an important engine of the economy. A Russian government study counted 467 cities and 332 smaller towns that depend on a single factory or mine. A total of 25 million people out of Russia’s population of 142 million people live in towns with only one main industry that cannot close, even if it is polluting.

In a sign of just how scarce other employment options are in Asbest, a guard requires cars leaving the factory to open their trunks, lest anyone try to steal scrap metal for resale. That is about the only other way to make a meager living in Russia’s old industrial towns.

The trade association says that the type of asbestos mined in Russia, called chrysotile, is less harmful than other types. The United States, though, has tightly restricted its use. The country imports about 1,000 tons of asbestos, mainly from Brazil, for use in aerospace and automotive industries for items like clutch pads. “They consider it dangerous but we consider it safe,” said the association’s spokesman, Vladimir A. Galitsyn. Russia has three research institutes dedicated to studying uses for asbestos.

“As a representative of the industry, I don’t see any problem,” he said. Properly handled, asbestos is safe, he said, and it saves lives in fires. “We are not the enemy of our workers. If they died, then people would be afraid to work for us.”

Valentin K. Zemskov, 82, worked at the mine for 40 years and developed asbestosis, a respiratory illness caused by breathing in asbestos fibers, which scar lung tissue. “There was so much dust you couldn’t see a man standing next to you,” he said of his working years. For the disability, the factory adds 4,500 rubles, or about $135, to his monthly retirement check, which would be enough to cover only a few restaurant meals.

Still, he said the city had no other choice. “If we didn’t have the factory, how would we live?” he said, gasping for air as he talked in the yard of a retirement home. “We need to keep it open so we have jobs.”

A monument to residents who died was made, grimly, of a block of asbestos ore, with the inscription “Live and Remember.”

“Of course asbestos dust covers our city,” said Nina A. Zubkova, another resident of the retirement home. “Why do you think the city is named Asbest?”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: July 18, 2013

An article on Sunday about Asbest, a Russian city that remains dependent on the mining of asbestos despite the health perils, misstated Russia’s asbestos output in one reference. It is about a million tons a year, as the article noted at one point, not “about 850,000 tons,” the figure used in another reference. (The lower figure was from the Russian trade association’s Web site; the higher one from a more detailed year-by-year breakdown from the United States Geological Survey.)


A Glossary For Mesothelioma Cancer

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is often caused by malignant cells develop in the mesothelium, a protective lining that covers most of the organs. The most common is the pleura (outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall), but it may also occur in the lining (the lining of the abdominal cavity), the heart, or membrane vaginalis.

Most of the people affected by mesothelioma caused by working at a job in inhaled asbestos particles, or perhaps because they have been exposed to asbestos dust and fiber in other ways. Washing clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos can also be at risk for developing mesothelioma. Unlike lung cancer, and there is no association between mesothelioma and smoking. Compensation via asbestos funds or lawsuits is important in discussing mesothelioma (see asbestos and the law).

With symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath due to pleural fluid (fluid between the lung and the chest wall) or chest wall pain, and also because of being overweight. Diagnosis may be suspected with chest X-ray and CT scan, and confirmed with a biopsy (tissue sample) and microscopic examination. A thoracoscopy (inserting a tube with a camera into the chest) can be used to take biopsies. Allow the introduction of objects such as talc to obliterate the pleural space (called pleurodesis), which prevents more fluid from accumulating and pressing on the lung.

Despite treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery, which carry the disease prognosis. Research about screening tests for the early detection of mesothelioma is ongoing.

Skin Cancer the Uncovered Truth

Skin cancer strikes an estimated three million people a year worldwide making it the most common of all types of cancer. We know the main cause of most skin cancer cases and we know how to prevent the vast majority of them. Yet still millions of people across the globe are ignoring the warnings and deliberately putting themselves at risk of developing a disease which can both maim and kill its victims.

The difficulty in tackling many types of cancer lies in the fact that no-one knows the real cause - and that's a major obstacle to prevention. Skin cancer is different. Over exposure to the sun causes most types of skin cancer (both melanoma and non-melanoma) so reducing that exposure and taking sensible precautions are obvious prevention measures.

Thanks to high profile public health campaigns in recent years, most people in the developed world are aware of the danger of damaging ultraviolet rays and know, at least to some degree, what they should be doing to protect themselves. So why do holidaymakers still flock in their droves to fry themselves on sun drenched beaches each year? And why do tens of millions of tanners across the globe expose themselves to the UV rays of artificial sun beds.

One simple answer could be that a tan is still perceived as sexy. A bronzed body has been the ultimate fashion accessory since Coco Chanel arrived back from the south of France with one in the 1920s. But in those days we didn't know the dangers of stripping off intermittently in pursuit of a sun-kissed skin. Now we do.

Many stars of the pop world and silver screen still flaunt a tan as something highly desirable (whereas many dermatologists will tell you a tan is a sign of damaged skin). Sunscreen manufacturers assure us we'll be protected from skin damage if we slap on their expensive high protection lotions (whereas studies have shown that many of these high factor lotions don't live up to the claims of their makers). And many unscrupulous tanning salon owners promote their sun beds as an aid to good health (whereas some skin specialists want them outlawed claiming they cause skin cancer.)

source : ezinearticles

What Is Asbestos? (Version 2)

What Is Asbestos?
It is to use a combination of silicate minerals for commercial desired physical properties such as asbestos. Asbestos word from the Greek word meaning "to turn off it. Impossible" asbestos in the history of the use of the original asbestinon nature and this term, which means Pliny naturalist of Rome long-term "or not being" controlled can be attributed to the Elder "in the wild".

Asbestos, had become popular among the latter part of the 19th century architecture and the manufacturer. Because of its affordable sound absorption, average tensile strength, resistance to fire and heat and electrical and chemical damage

Are used in applications such as wire insulation and building insulation panels such. Asbestos is used to fight fire or heat, are woven into fabric or mats or mixed with cement (cement fiber result) often fiber.

Inhalation of asbestos fibers, you will be able to asbestos, pleural mesothelioma and lung disease, and lung cancer.

Greater risk of disease, such as increased intake of fiber and risk of lung cancer from inhaling asbestos fibers you smoke. Usually, symptoms of the disease do not appear until years after exposure first 20-30 to asbestos.

You can find out where the asbestos

You are in your home where you can find a few places where asbestos:
· Downpipes rainwater eaves, soffits, and gutter Fire blanket, Thatched hut and garage
· Panelling thatched roof and wall or door Insulation of these panels in some storage
- Bathtub Exhaust steam heating system Lot of asbestos packing between wood and wall

Tile For asbestos removal

You can have the first two options, you can remove it by yourself, if you find asbestos in your environment, you can hire a professional second to them. If you are planning to be aware of the following: u that you

• Use a dust mask approved for asbestos,

· Wear disposable coveralls

• Keep other people from the region

Wet materials are not ready to check out a small amount of water and dish soap, the possibility of premature contact with electricity

-Always without interruption, to remove all or part of the leaf

· I do not put a small plastic bag and seal small, strong brands and

· Clean the dust with a damp cloth, then while wet, sealed in a plastic bag

• It is possible to pass through the dust filter vacuum cleaner for every home, please do not use

Double-wrapped in heavy plastic bag If asbestos waste or full-duplex.

If you are using your own asbestos removed from your home, you will usually need to be disposed of separately from household waste.
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Mesothelioma Cancer and Asbestos

Mesothelioma Cancer and Asbestos

It is a lot of people have never heard of because it is a rare cancer mesothelioma. According to the National Cancer Institute, has been about 2,000 new cases diagnosed annually in the United States. To 213,380 cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2007, compared with the laboratory that can be expected.

Cancer of mesothelioma begin in the organization, called mesothelieum surround the lungs, stomach, heart and other organs. To protect these devices at two levels of tissues and body fluids can be moved and devices Mesothelieum. It can be found in the vicinity of either of these institutions, was found mainly in the chest and abdomen.

Exposure to asbestos is the major risk factor. You may have asbestos insulation in many buildings. In addition, asbestos dust tile, roof, of the rock, you can search.

Most of the use of asbestos in building materials are identified in 1989. Because it takes time to develop, but cancer has been diagnosed after 50 years after the exposure of only 20.

Therefore, the more people over the late 50s. According to the American Cancer Society, has been diagnosed for three-quarters of the patients over the age of 65

Other factors that are linked to are as follows.

* Protection against radiation. Have discovered a substance called thorium dioxide that is used in the X-ray to cause cancer. However, she was such material in use for many years.

* Tobacco. Smoking is associated with this type of cancer with a combination of direct, smoking and asbestos, according to the American Cancer Society, does not increase the risk of lung cancer.

* SV40. Found the virus in the polio vaccine in the 50s and early 60s in the middle. There are no symptoms so you may have developed from 20 to 50 years, this virus before it is known whether it is a risk factor, there may be some time.

Symptoms vary from person to person such an organization has been deleted. All symptoms are as follows.

Shortness of breath

* Chest pain

Pain in the abdomen *

* Swelling of the abdomen

* Fever

* Anemia

According to the patient and treatment. Many patients had surgery to remove the food and tissues that are affected. In severe cases, withdrawal of the surrounding tissue in some lung cancer, breast cancer or film.

Physicians high-energy rays to kill and tumor shrinkage, the infected cells, some patients, you may want to prescribe radiation therapy.

Joint is another treatment, but chemotherapy is recommended, it is possible to fail in the treatment of patients with mesothelioma. By vessels of the American Cancer Society for the drug by preventing the blood supply to them, had planned to kill these cells.

It is, from the time of diagnosis, because the progression of the disease and the prognosis is poor often. According to the American Cancer Society, about 10% survival rate five years. Most patients survive one year after diagnosis. Put a new treatment and clinical trials to improve survival of patients suffering from cancer and mesothelioma

Brief Overview of Mesothelioma disease

What is mesothelioma?

Notoriety associated with asbestos and mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that people are exposed to asbestos damage. This is a rare form of cancer, which affects the people of asbestos exposure only, and there was no other history. The average amount of time that is in contact with people who have been exposed to asbestos in spite of it, people occurred in the past is present. The key to mesothelioma, as here, exposure to asbestos.

The main cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Patient, after the inhalation factors such as fiber / asbestos dust, such as smoking worsens over time. There may be other reasons for mesothelioma. Patient, for example if you do not have a history of asbestos does not, he was diagnosed. Leaving the people that people can not come into contact with asbestos. Before proceeding, we can define a mesothelioma.
Definition mesothelioma: mesothelioma, usually, has been described as a rare cancer associated with exposure to asbestos before. Has developed a protective layer of skin to grow in most organs, the body (cancer) cells in this disease. Malignant mesothelioma cells to reproduce to the affected area, usually in order to eliminate completely is very difficult.

Mesothelioma, was too far from the case in the 1960s as well as the symptoms he has been known, began to show a case of mesothelioma diagnosis. Across the United States, for people who are companies that are linked to asbestos, it was a nightmare. At that time, asbestos, because of the many advantages, because it has been used in a variety of industries worldwide widely compared to other metals. It is waiting to be unleashed, it is a tragedy of epic proportions, when he is called, it was chaos in the lives of people across the United States. Still, we continue to fight this terrible disease and thousands, were killed in thousands of mesothelioma.

More than 3,000 people were diagnosed with mesothelioma in the U.S. already. Battle of the victims and their families of mesothelioma, to cope with the disease. For mesothelioma lawsuits against the industry that survived suffered from something like the exorcism of her pain, brought the disease they were suffering. Number of victims of mesothelioma cases, lawyers were able to solve.

The Basis of Mesothelioma Lawsuits

One type of lawsuit which is arising more frequently these days is that relating to mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is caused by asbestos exposure. When an individual is diagnosed with mesothelioma, the individual usually has malignant cells within the pleura and peritoneum areas of the body. This is a type of disease which proves fatal for approximately 3,000 individuals annually. Individuals who contract this disease will frequently pursue legal avenues in order to take action and request compensation for their current situation.

How Mesothelioma Lawsuits Arise

When individuals develop Mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure, these people often want to pursue legal recourse as they feel that they are entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering. Mesothelioma, and any type of cancer for that matter, is a horrible road to travel and if the cancer was due to the negligence of another person, the individual wronged has a right to pursue this in a court of law. Lawsuits of this type usually evolve after an individual has consulted with an attorney who practices asbestos litigation and if the attorney advises the client to do so, the individual may choose to litigate.

How Long Mesothelioma Lawsuits Take to Complete

As with any type of case, lawsuits can be particularly lengthy and arduous at times. However, in order to truly assert one's rights, access to pursue an action in a court of law is entirely necessary. Generally, due to the complex nature of these types of lawsuits, cases of this sort may take awhile to complete, years even. However, settlements and compliant parties make lawsuit time lengths drastically shorter than they could be. Regardless of how long it takes to resolve an action, it is important that individuals assert their rights should they desire to do so.

Mesothelioma is a deadly disease whereby individuals who have fallen victim to mesothelioma due to the wrongful actions of others should have a right to take legal action should they feel it is in their best interest to do so.

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