Asbestos Updates

Asbestos News Roundup:  8.13.2014 taken from

A roundup of recent asbestos-related news and information that you should be aware of. An ongoing list of reported asbestos hot spots in the US from the Asbestos News Roundup archive appears on our asbestos map.

Remodeling and Asbestos ContaminationAsbestosRoundupLogo1 Asbestos News Roundup: 8.13.14   Remodeling and Asbestos Contamination

Recently, Bayshore Broadcasting published a report about new developments with the demolition of the former Hillcrest Public School in Orillia, Canada. According to the article, asbestos has been discovered in the structure and building materials. Consequently, the structure is being demolished to make way for the construction of a new playground and park.

For many years, asbestos was added to a number of common building materials to increase their strength and durability, and to provide insulating and fireproofing properties. Many older buildings across Canada still have materials that contain asbestos in them. Some of the many materials that may contain asbestos in older structures include:

• Attic and wall insulation containing vermiculite

• Vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring

• Adhesives

• Roofing and siding shingles

• Textured paint and patching compounds used on walls and ceilings

• Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves protected with asbestos paper, millboard or cement sheets

• Hot water and steam pipes coated with asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape

• Oil and coal furnace insulation and door gaskets

• Heat-resistant fabrics

When asbestos-containing materials age or are disturbed, they can become friable and asbestos fibers can become airborne. During remodeling and demolition activities, such as at the former Hillcrest Public School, these materials can be easily disturbed and become airborne. If not properly handled, these fibers can pose a threat to workers and other building occupants and in this situation could have created a hazard in the soil of the new playground and park if the asbestos had not been identified and properly managed.

Asbestos News

Flint, MI: An out of state law firm has initiated asbestos testing for thousands of former GM employees. Begun some four months ago, the firm reportedly wants to test workers who their current health problems are related to exposure. The firm is paying for the testing, which consists of two x-rays.

In cases where people test positive, they become eligible to receive money from as many as 47 asbestos trusts that have established for this very reason. The amount of financial compensation varies from person to person, depending on the severity of symptoms that are found to be directly related to asbestos.

In cases where peoples test results are negative they don’t owe any money for the testing.

According to the attorney heading up the effort, thousands of GM employees were exposed to asbestos if they worked at GM plants from the 1960′s to 1982. (

Asbestos Lawsuits

St. Clair County, IL: Danny Balensiefen has filed an asbestos lawsuit alleging Crane Company, Foster Wheeler Corporation and dozens of other defendants are responsible for his diagnosis of asbestos lung cancer. Balensiefen was diagnosed with asbestos-induced lung cancer on May 9.

According to his complaint, Balensiefen was exposed to asbestos by products designed, manufactured, marketed and sold by the defendant companies and used in his employment in various capacities, including laborer at an auto repair shop, clerk at Safeway Groceries, truck driver at Eagle Motor Lines and laborer at several other companies.

Balensiefen is seeking more than $50,000 in damages. (

Asbestos Settlements

Medina, OH: RPM International Inc. settled a lawsuit that resolves personal injury asbestos-related claims related to Bondex International, Inc.

The agreement calls for a plan of reorganization with the United States Bankruptcy Court. Under the terms of the agreement a $450 million trust will be established for the benefit of the asbestos claims. Over the next fours years RPM will deposit an additional $347.5 million into the trust fund.

RPM’s industrial products include roofing systems, sealants, corrosion control coatings, flooring coatings and specialty chemicals. Industrial brands include Stonhard, Tremco, illbruck, Carboline, Flowcrete, Universal Sealants and Euco. RPM’s consumer products are used by professionals and do-it-yourselfers for home maintenance and improvement and by hobbyists. (

Asbestos Hot Spots

Martinsburg, WV: The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has cited The Veterans AffairsMedical Center near Martinsburg for improperly disposing of asbestos-containing material.

The debris was discovered July 21 by Greenfield Enterprises while the general contractor was working on demolition of a concrete slab in the boiler plant, according to information released by the DEP and provided by Krista Bowen, an industrial hygienist with the medical center.

The material was spotted in soil along the rear wall of the boiler plant, according to information provided to the state. Work was stopped on the day the debris was spotted and appropriate measures were taken to cordon off and wet down the area, officials said.

The work was being done as part of upgrades to the boiler plant, which is about as far away from the hospital building as you can get on the medical campus, medical center spokesman Michael J. McAleer said.

The contractor began demolition work on the concrete slab on July 11, according to the DEP.

A DEP notice of violation was issued July 24 by inspector Michael Kanehl, according to a copy of the notice released by the agency. (

The Lipitor Scandal: Are All the Claims Against Pfizer Valid?

As a legal nurse consultant I am asked to screen medical records for merit in various legal cases. I strive to conduct myself with my clients to the highest ethical standards, and I am committed to being trustworthy and honest in all my business interactions.

Several months ago I had been contacted by phone by a company claiming that I may be eligible for compensation if I had been prescribed the drug Lipitor. Lipitor is a medication used to treat high cholesterol.

Lipitor has been coupled to an increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Lawsuits are being filed alleging that Pfizer, the manufacturer of Lipitor, failed to warn physicians and patients about the serious side effects of Lipitor.

To make a long story short, I had been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in 2003. Then in 2007 I was diagnosed with high cholesterol and started on Lipitor. According to the company representative, I was still eligible for compensation.

Am I honestly eligible for compensation, when I had a prior diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes? Why or Why not?