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Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer News - Return to Menu

US tunnel workers face mesothelioma risk

March 29, 2006 - Washington: Workers who work in the Capitol, the seat of US Congress in Washington, tunnels say they risk a slow death from asbestos-related disease.

Asbestos is a known carcinogen, linked to lung cancer and to mesothelioma, a cancer caused only by asbestos exposure. It causes other health problems, including asbestosis.

According to the workers the tunnels covered with thick asbestos dust, punishing heat and locked emergency exits.

The Hill, a newsletter that covers Congress, reports that it obtained a copy of a letter sent to legislators by 10 employees of the Office of the Architect of the Capitol, which is responsible for maintaining the complex.

The workers said that the tunnels that connect the power plant to the House and Senate office buildings and the Capitol are so dangerous that Capitol Police do not patrol them. This has also raised security risk.

In their letter, the workers said the air in the tunnels is not surveyed for asbestos.

"The one thing we can tell you is we have breathed in an awful lot because it is everywhere and you can see it and physically pick it up," workers said.

Railroad caused asbestosis and colon cancer, suit claims

By Steve Gonzalez - Edwardsville Bureau
March 29, 2006 - A man suffering from asbestosis and colon cancer filed a Federal Employers' Liability Act suit in Madison County Circuit Court March 27 claiming Illinois Central Railroad (ICR) is responsible for his illnesses.

Charles Cleary alleges that on May 8, 2003, he was diagnosed with asbestosis and also claims that in July or August 2005, was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer. His complaint states that he has been given three- to- four years to live.

Cleary clams that his injuries were caused in whole or in part by the negligence of ICR which failed to use ordinary care to provide him with a reasonably safe place to work. The suit also claims ICR failed to supply safe methods of work, reasonably safe equipment and sufficient help.

The railroad also failed to inspect the asbestos levels and failed to modify or eliminate certain job duties so to minimize the levels of asbestos, the complaint states.

According to Cleary, he has in the past experienced and endured, and may for an indefinite period of time in the future experience and endure pain, suffering, inconvenience, irritation and annoyance.

Cleary claims that he has become liable for medical expenses, suffered loss of wages, and has suffered an impairment of his general health, strength and vitality, and the loss of the ability to enjoy life.

Represented by Daniel Francis of St. Louis, Clearly is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 plus all costs of the suit.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian.

Roche launches Tarceva for lung cancer

Our News Bureau - Mumbai

Roche Scientific Company announced that the innovative drug, Tarceva (erlotinib) will be available in India. Tarceva brings a glimmer of hope to Indians suffering from lung cancer. More than 90,000 men and 79,000 women are diagnosed each year in India with cancer of the lungs and bronchi.

Tarceva is a novel therapy for patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), after failure of at least one prior chemotherapy regimen. It is an oral tablet taken once a day and has the potential to treat many types of solid tumours. It has been approved in the US since November 2004 and in the European Union since September 2005.

The drug has demonstraed a striking survival benefit (42.5 percent) in advanced non-small cell lung cancer, the most common form of the disease. It has also been shown to significantly improve patients' quality of life by alleviating the severe and debilitating symptoms that characterise advanced stages of the disease, such as cough, pain and breathlessness.

Chemotherapy can be very debilitating due to its toxic nature. Tarceva works differently to chemotherapy by specifically targeting tumour cells, avoiding the typical side-effects of chemotherapy
“During the last decade, there have only been marginal improvements in the effectiveness of chemotherapy agents”, said Dr G L Telang, Managing Director of Roche Scientific Company. “Tarceva is an innovative breakthrough in the treatment of lung cancer. It is the only Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor inhibitor to have demonstrated a survival benefit in lung cancer,” he added.

Currently, most people with lung cancer are treated with chemotherapy, which can be very debilitating due to its toxic nature. Tarceva works differently to chemotherapy by specifically targeting tumour cells, avoiding typical side-effects of chemotherapy.

Crews Begin Cleaning Asbestos at Cypremort Point Camps

A deadly substance in St. Mary Parish is causing demolition delays.

May 29, 2006 - Early Monday morning, asbestos cleaning began in Cypremort Point. TV 10 followed a clean-up crew as workers made their way through the vacation hot spot.

Boat trailers could be seen docked at Vermilion Bay as fishermen took to the waterways, but then there's the other side to this popular vacation site. The side still recovering from Hurricane Rita. Abandoned camps line Highway 319, waiting to be destroyed. Eleven camps have been barricaded by red tape and declared dangerous. Seven men, suited in protective gear and respirators, made their way through Cypremort Point to clear the camps of asbestos.

Before they can begin clean-up, workers must drag out all the furniture and debris. This gives them access to a clearer area.

Once the furniture is out, workers airlock the camp and seal in a watering hose. Water is used to keep the material from becoming airborne. The floor base is scrapped, drenched in dish-washing soap and the debris and microscopic fibers are double-bagged, loaded into a trailer and hauled off to a landfill near Baton Rouge.

A company has been hired to follow clean-up crews with an air-monitoring device. Once hazardous materials are removed the air is tested for remaining fiber residue and clearance is given for the camp to be demolished.

Asbestos clean-up will continue through next week.

Camp demolition began in April.

Of the 500 camps at Cypremort Point, 46 have been scheduled to be torn down.

So far, 35 have been leveled.

Demolition came to a stand-still two weeks ago when construction crews stumbled upon eleven camps laced with asbestos.

Insulation Technologies cleared five camps Monday.

Six camps remain.

Demolition must be complete by June 29th.

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