A Monroe, Wisconsin medical clinic failed to inform maintenance workers that they were being sent into areas containing asbestos – which the company had known about since 2008. The company also failed to provide the workers with equipment which could have protected them from asbestos hazards.
Asbestos is a long, thin, fibrous mineral made of up of microscopic crystals. There are six different types that are split up into two different groups: serpentine or amphibole. Serpentine asbestos is classified by its layered structure and curly fibers. One particular type of serpentine asbestos – chrysotile – is most commonly found in building materials throughout the United States.
47K deaths per year v. billions to remove the substance
July 20, 2015
The total number of asbestos-related deaths in Europe could peak at 47,000 per year -- 50% higher than previously believed and double the number of deaths caused by road accidents – according to an expert who spoke last month at a conference entitled, Freeing Europe Safely from Asbestos.
Asbestos has been found in several brands of children’s crayons and fingerprint kits made in China and sold in the U.S., according to tests commissioned by an environmental group. The findings are detailed in a report being released today by the Environmental Working Group Action Fund. It marks the third time in 15 years that the cancer-causing substance has been detected in crayons or fingerprint toys marketed to children—apparently, due to the use of asbestos-contaminated talc.
Report from the European Trade Union Institute: An important international meeting on toxic products opened in Geneva on 4 May with, as one of the main items on its agenda, the inclusion of chrysotile in the Rotterdam Convention. In spite of the deleterious effects of this form of asbestos, lobbying by producer and importer states has so far enabled this carcinogenic substance to remain outside the purview of this instrument.
OSHA has filed suit against the Idaho Falls School District, after an employee was fired for questioning whether the timeline of a construction project at a school allowed for the safe removal of asbestos.
Long-term changes seen at relatively low exposure levels
January 9, 2015
People exposed to asbestos from mining in Libby, Mont., show long-term changes in lung imaging and function tests, even with relatively low asbestos exposure, reports a study in the January Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).
Cruise ship safety, hand injuries and PtD in headlines
February 8, 2014
The ASSE and AIHA weigh in on OSHA’s proposed silica rule, a worker dies from heat stress and good news about air pollution in the U.S. were among this week’s top EHS-related stories as featured on ISHN.com:
OSHA has released a new Fatal Fact resource on "Falls from Telecommunications Towers" (PDF*), illustrating how failure to plan, provide the right equipment, and train workers effectively can lead to worker deaths.