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Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer News - Return to Menu

UK Asbestos Disposal Made Safe With New Collection and Disposal Product

24th April 2006 - The Asbestoclear™ products consist of two different disposal packs (mini and maxi bags) each contain working instructions, Personal & Respiratory Protective Equipment and asbestos disposal sacks. Once the asbestos has been safely removed and bagged up, a dedicated telephone number should be called or builders can go online to their website where the low cost collection of the completed packs can be conveniently arranged.

The Asbestoclear solution was developed in answer to recent legislation which closed the door to asbestos at 95% of the UK landfill sites. Since the introduction of the legislation, there has been a significant increase in fly-tipping which poses a risk to the public.

Paul Woodhead, Managing Director, comments: “There are limited choices available now to the general builders and tradesman when it comes to disposing of UK asbestos cement products. New laws mean it is often not possible to take the asbestos to disposal sites. Some builders do not know what to do with it legally. This can result in additional costs not quoted for in the original works.”

Paul continues: “In a situation where tradesmen have a small amount of asbestos cement to remove and dispose of, they run the risk of removing it without instruction and safety equipment or they have to invest in using a licensed asbestos contractor. Asbestoclear reduces the costs for the building contractor and eliminates the need to hire skips, or at worst, the temptation to fly-tip.”

Asbestoclear™ will be sold through UK builders merchants as well as online and consist of two different sized disposal packs (mini and maxi bags) each containing working instructions, a short guide to asbestos in the home, a high grade disposable hooded coverall, disposable fibre filter mask, working gloves, disposal sacks and polycoth tape. The packs will retail at £25 for the mini and £55 for the maxi bags. Once the asbestos has been safely removed a dedicated telephone number should be called where the collection of the completed packs can be arranged.

Come and see us at Interbuild 2006 - NEC - Birmingham

We will be showcasing our new Asbestoclear product and service.

Asbestos disposal made simple, safe and clear. New product offers simple disposal solutions to construction trades.

Asbestoclear, part of the PPF Waste Management, provide dedicated solutions to minimising the impact of waste related issues on companies and the environment. This year saw the launch of a new asbestos cement disposal service for tradesmen and the building trade.

The two-step solution sees Asbestoclear provide disposal packs, available in mini and maxi sizes, with complete usage instructions to tradesmen onsite. Once the asbestos has been safely removed and bagged up, builders can go online or use the dedicated telephone number to arrange for Asbestoclear to collect the completed packs.

The solution was developed in response to recent legislation that closed the door to asbestos at 95 per cent of UK landfill sites. Since the introduction of the legislation there has been a significant increase in fly tipping, which poses a significant health risk to the public.

As asbestos products and materials age, or become damaged or worn, they release tiny fibres into the air, which can be breathed in, causing lung diseases including cancer. The exact level of exposure to asbestos fibres required to cause ill health is unknown, but what is known is that the more asbestos a person breathes, the greater the risk. It is therefore vital that the release of asbestos dust is kept to a minimum.

Asbestos was widely used in building materials from about 1930 to 1980, so the issue is of particular relevance to those in the construction and building maintenance trades. Many heat resistant household products such as ironing boards and oven gloves also contain asbestos materials, although its use in most products has been banned since 1993.

Paul Woodhead, managing director of PPF Waste Management, comments: “There are limited choices available now to general builders and tradesmen when it comes to disposing of asbestos products. New laws mean it is often not possible to take the asbestos to disposal sites. Some builders do not know what to do with it legally. This can result in additional costs not quoted for in the original works.”

Woodhead continues: “In a situation where tradesmen have a small amount of asbestos cement to remove and dispose of, they run the risk of removing it without instruction and safety equipment or they have to invest in using a licensed contractor. Asbestoclear reduces the costs for the building contractor and eliminates the need to hire skips, or at worst, the temptation to fly tip.”

For further information, please visit our stand at Interbuild 2006 06-D14.

Leeds Today 21st January 2006 has reported:

Woman duped out of £700 as gang flees
By Geoff Fox

A GANG of cowboy demolition workers who duped an elderly woman out of £700 went on the run after police and environmental officers swooped as they illegally removed lethal asbestos. The terrified woman phoned the Environment Agency after the men demanded even more money to pull down her asbestos garage.

The call triggered a raid on the woman's Seacroft address by Leeds City Council's environmental enforcement team, West Yorkshire Police and Trading Standards. Two of the four men believed to be working in the area were caught in the act of loading asbestos into a white van.

One of them escaped in another vehicle, leaving a 16-year-old alone with the van filled with potentially deadly asbestos to face officers.

The vehicle was found to be untaxed and uninsured and has been impounded by the police. It is likely the van, a white Ford Transit, will be destroyed.

The teenager was arrested in connection with theft offences but has since been released without charge.
Leeds City Council executive member for city services Coun Steve Smith said: "This is a terrible story and I have every sympathy with the woman involved who was obviously put in a very difficult situation. These are extremely unscrupulous people.

"Our advice to householders who find themselves in a similar situation is that they ring the police or the council immediately. "Traders who call offering to remove waste from somebody's property should always have a waste carrier licence and householders should not agree to anything without seeing this first. "Just as important is that householders or businesses should always get a receipt for their waste from whoever they give it to."

The woman told officers she had been put under extreme pressure when the men first called at her home. They said they were part of a gang working in the area demolishing and removing derelict garages.

The men returned to the woman's house later demanding even more cash, informing the woman the waste was asbestos and needed to be disposed of at a hazardous waste site, which was even more expensive.

Chief Officer for West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service, Graham Hebblethwaite said: "My advice is simple – don't do deals on the doorstep as they invariably end in disaster. "Anyone who has concerns about traders operating in their neighbourhood should report the matter to Trading Standards by calling Consumer Direct on 08454 040506."

A maximum fine for fly-tipping is £50,000 and/or up to five years imprisonment. A householder can be prosecuted if they allow their waste to be taken by anyone who is not licensed to carry controlled waste.

Police are appealing for witnesses who saw the men working in the east Leeds area on the morning of January 13 to contact them on 0113 241 3659.

21 January 2006

PM rejects bid to cut cancer drug cost

Jason Koutsoukis

August 26, 2007 - Prime Minister John Howard has refused to support a push by asbestos disease sufferers to subsidise the only drug available to treat mesothelioma.

Mr Howard has instead told the Asbestos Diseases Foundation that mesothelioma sufferers should go to their state governments for help to buy the drug, which costs $20,000 per treatment cycle.

About 600 Australians are diagnosed every year with mesothelioma, a fatal cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

Health Minister Tony Abbott also tried to shift blame onto the states, saying that state governments had an obligation to treat patients in public hospitals free of charge.

Mr Abbott has consistently refused to support the push to have the drug, Alimta, listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme schedule.

Mr Abbott refused to speak to The Sunday Age but through a spokeswoman said that Alimta had not been listed on the PBS because "the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee — an independent, expert committee — rejected the submission on the basis of unacceptable cost-effectiveness and uncertainty about whether there is any increased quality of life associated with any survival gain".

Alimta, which is manufactured by pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, has been knocked back three times by PBAC over the past three years. It is due for consideration again in November.

It would cost taxpayers between $5 million and $7 million a year to subsidise the drug. Last week, the 2006-07 budget surplus was revised upwards to more than $17 billion.

Alimta does not cure mesothelioma, but can extend a patient's life for several years and reduce pain and suffering.

Asbestos Diseases Foundation president Barry Robson urged the Government to support the push to have the drug listed on the PBS.

"Alimta makes for a softer landing for meso sufferers," Mr Robson said. "Not only does it extend life, but it improves the quality of life.

"So, for people who can't afford it, it's just tragic, and also for the doctors who want to use it but can't prescribe when they know patients can't afford it."

Alimta is subsidised for the treatment of mesothelioma in most other OECD countries, such as France, Germany, Sweden, Japan and Britain.

Last week, Mr Robson received a letter from a senior adviser to Mr Howard, Perry Sperling, which said Mr Howard could not interfere with the deliberations of PBAC and urged mesothelioma sufferers to put pressure on state governments to provide assistance through the state hospital systems.

In NSW and Western Australia, government subsidy schemes are in place to help mesothelioma sufferers gain access to Alimta, but Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania provide no government assistance.

The executive director of the Asbestos Diseases Society of Victoria, Leigh Hubbard, said the inequities were outrageous.

"If the PBAC submission in November is unsuccessful, we will hound whoever wins the federal election until they do the right thing," Mr Hubbard said.

"The Government has acted unilaterally on other vaccines and drugs and we expect them to support people in need — victims who in some cases are cancelling treatment or whose doctor won't even suggest Alimta because they know they can't pay for it."

The Asbestos Diseases Foundation has joined forces with Eli Lilly in a bid to get the drug listed on the PBS. Eli Lilly spokeswoman Rikki Jones said the company disagreed with PBAC's view that Alimta was not a cost-effective medicine for mesothelioma treatment.

"It is important to note the price offered to the PBAC in the last two submissions is among the lowest of any country within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development," Ms Jones said.

The latest submission included additional data from clinical programs showing that Alimta's toxicity was "mild and manageable for most patients", she said.

Senior pharmaceutical industry sources remain bitter over the conduct of a senior adviser to Mr Abbott, Isobel Brown, who has been accused of trying to bully pharmaceutical manufacturers into not making their PBAC applications public.

Industry sources say Ms Brown has been instrumental in ensuring that Alimta was rejected by PBAC. Mr Abbott said through a spokeswoman that he had confidence in Ms Brown.

Asked if Mr Abbott was aware that Ms Brown was alleged to have threatened Eli Lilly if it tried to raise public awareness regarding Alimta, Mr Abbott's spokeswoman said: "It is important for companies to respect the processes for drug approvals for PBS listing. Ms Brown would have been doing her job in pointing that out."

Federal Labor health spokeswoman Nicola Roxon backed the push to have the drug listed on the PBS.

"We're talking about brave Australians who have suffered a lot, and obviously government should be doing all it can to help them," she said.

"Labor would ask PBAC to reconsider its decision to reject the listing of Alimta."

Battle for a wonder drug

- Alimta is a chemotherapy drug manufactured and marketed by US pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and is the only available treatment for mesothelioma, a type of tumour that affects the lining of the lung.

- It works by inhibiting a number of enzymes that are required for the growth of the cancer cells.

- It costs patients $20,000 for a standard 18-week treatment cycle.

- The previous three submissions were rejected by the PBAC on the grounds that it is not cost effective and that the treatment's toxicity may outweigh the gains.

- Alimta is listed on the PBS for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.

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