Archive for September, 2009

Mesothelioma Awareness Day

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

This past Saturday, September 26, was Mesothelioma Awareness Day, and people all over the United States spent the day remembering loved ones who are no longer with us. And others were asked to stop and think about mesothelioma and raise awareness for the need to develop effective treatments for it.

A great article in the KCTribune talked about Olathe, Kansas’ observing of Mesothelioma Awareness Day. A woman quoted in the article lost her husband to mesothelioma in 2006 — he was just 65 years old. He had worked as a truck driver and insulation fabricator for a subsidiary company of Owens-Corning Fiberglas. The woman, along with her son and two daughters, planned to wear T-shirts with a photo of him on Mesothelioma Awareness Day.

The woman stressed that she and her family “want people to stop and think,” and that asbestos is still out there. They don’t want other families to experience what they’ve been through.

Michael Copeland, the mayor of Olathe, made a proclamation that called on all citizens to “help raise public awareness of the disease and the need to develop effective treatments for it.” The proclamation talked about how approximately 3,000 Americans die every year from mesothelioma, and how the “use of asbestos in manufacturing, industry and construction has been recognized as the worst occupational health disaster in U.S. history.”

The Importance of Mesothelioma Awareness

The importance of mesothelioma awareness can’t be stressed enough. Families affected by mesothelioma must deal with tremendous pain, suffering and piling medical bills. There is currently no cure for mesothelioma.

To find out more about mesothelioma, call 1-888-370-0121.

History of Asbestos

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Asbestos is typically found in a fiber-like form and is a naturally occurring, fire-resistant mineral. Because it doesn’t conduct electricity, and because it increases the tensile strength of concrete when mixed in, asbestos is valuable for industrial purposes like insulation for pipes, buildings and boilers. Asbestos is not immediately dangerous when it remains in good condition. But if it’s “friable,” a term for asbestos that can be reduced to dust by a small amount of hand pressure, then asbestos becomes dangerous once it’s disturbed and released asbestos particles into the air.

What happens when asbestos is disturbed is that the bundles of fibers of which it is composed break into dust clouds of microscopic asbestos particles, and these particles enter the air or water. They can also stick to clothing, where they can easily be inhaled or swallowed. When asbestos particles are inside the lungs, the body is unable to break them down. So after many years, these particles begin to eat away at the lungs and lining of the lungs. As a result, a victim can get cancer like lung cancer or Mesothelioma.

Let’s talk about the history of asbestos. Found all over the world, asbestos is a metamorphic mineral. According to historians, it was named by the ancient Greeks, who even then were aware of asbestos’ harmful effects — slaves who wove it into cloth suffered lung damage.

In the 1940s, shipyards used asbestos for insulation around piping. Commonly applied to pillars, walls and ceilings in a spray form, asbestos was used in construction projects between the middle of the Great Depression and the 1970s. The most popular use was as a cement additive, since the addition of asbestos made cement stronger, resulting in construction companies having to transport less cement and save money.

Quebec, Canada was home to the first commercial asbestos mines, and for years Canada was asbestos’ leading producer. China, Australia, Russia and South Africa today compete with Canada in the production of asbestos.

This is a very brief history of asbestos, but if you’d like to know more about asbestos exposure and Mesothelioma, feel free to call 1-888-370-0121.

Man Pleads Guilty of Dumping Asbestos

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

According to a news story, a man in New Jersey pleaded guilty in a federal case involving asbestos. The 55-year-old man will face up to five years in federal prison as well as a fine of up to $250,000, say federal prosecutors. He’ll be sentenced in January at the U.S. District Court in Utica.

Specifically, the man admitted to obtaining a bogus state permit which allowed the dumping of asbestos. This permit was faxed to many trucking companies that had no idea it wasn’t legitimate. As many as 60 tons of materials contaminated with asbestos wound up being dumped in a field in upstate New York.

Though the man has pleaded guilty, the case is not yet over — federal prosecutors say the man is not the only one responsible for drafting the fake permit. Other co-conspirators “remain under investigation.”

The Danger of Asbestos

Typically found in a fiber-like form, asbestos is a naturally occurring, fire-retardant mineral that was used in building materials like pipes and boilers. Asbestos can be found in the ground all over the world since it’s a metamorphic mineral. Asbestos is dangerous when it’s disturbed — the bundles of fibers it is composed of break into dust clouds of microscopic particles. These particles can enter the air and water or even stick to clothing. When inhaled, asbestos fibers enter the lungs where they cannot be broken down by the body, and after many years, they start to eat away at the lungs and its lining. This can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma, along with asbestosis.

Asbestos Exposure

No doubt, residents near the New York field at which 60 tons of asbestos-contaminated materials were dumped have every right to be upset. Asbestos exposure is dangerous and, as mentioned above, can lead to mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer.

If you would like more information about mesothelioma and getting help for it, don’t hesitate to call 1-888-370-0121.

Mesothelioma Claims Army Archerd

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Hollywood columnist Army Archerd died of mesothelioma this week.  Archerd was a legendary reporter who is remembered fondly for his work at Daily Variety, where he wrote about Hollywood stars for over 50 years. Archerd collapsed on Monday and passed away on Tuesday. He was 87 years old.

Army Archerd was diagnosed with mesothelioma five years ago. In a Chicago Tribune news story, Archerd’s wife noted that doctors who diagnosed him with mesothelioma ascribed it to his asbestos exposure while working in a shipyard when he was in the Navy during World War II.

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that currently has no cure. Mesothelioma attacks the lining of various organs and areas of the body, causing victims tremendous pain and suffering. It’s also called asbestos cancer due to asbestos exposure being a cause of mesothelioma. The first signs of mesothelioma can take between 10 and 50 years to show up after a person has been exposed to asbestos. There is treatment available, but, again, there is no cure.

People who worked in the construction, ship building and general industries can be at risk for mesothelioma, as these industries were affected by asbestos exposure. Asbestos was a commonly-used material in construction in the 1900s up until 1978, used in roofing materials, siding, pipes, boilers and even automobile brakes. What’s more is that workers who endured years of asbestos exposure also put their families at risk — asbestos fibers could have been tracked into their homes by shoes and clothing.

Asbestos exposure and mesothelioma are nothing short of serious. Army Archerd is one of many, many people affected by mesothelioma, and he will no doubt be missed. Archerd’s passing brings up the importance of mesothelioma victim’s rights and knowing what should be done if you or a loved one has mesothelioma. To speak with someone to find out more information, call 1-888-370-0121.

How Mesothelioma is Diagnosed

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Mesothelioma is a deadly disease that develops very quickly.  Sadly, and all too often, the life expectancy of a mesothelioma patient can be measured in months, not years or decades.  Strangely, however, this rapid advancement can occur after a lengthy latency period of up to 50 years wherein asbestos fibers can lay in the lining of the lungs without ill effects.  Because of its rapid onset and lethality, it’s essential to diagnose mesothelioma as early as possible in order to maintain a relatively high quality of life.

A typical mesothelioma diagnosis could begin with a patient noticing symptoms including chest pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, and wheezing.  The patient might pay a visit to her general practitioner.  At this point, the general practitioner could decide to refer the patient to a specialist, who might run a series of tests to determine the source of the symptoms.

Mesothelioma Tests

Though this is not the only way a diagnosis is performed, some typical procedures follow.  One such procedure might be a chest X-ray.  This simple X-ray is often capable of detecting any major abnormalities in the patient’s lungs, such as a thickening of the pleura, the membrane that surrounds the lungs.  Pleura thickening is a sign of mesothelioma, but it could also mean something else, so further tests are often needed.  One such test is the CT scan, which provides a 3-D image of the scanned area.  Its goal is to detect the position of any tumor or pleural thickening.  Two other procedures which require samples are pleural aspirations and biopsies.  The pleural aspiration uses a syringe to take a sample of any fluid found in the pleura, which can then be checked for mesoethelioma cells.  A biopsy involves passing a specially designed needle through the skin and into the tumor or thickened pleura with the intent of searching for traces of the cancer.

Get Your Mesothelioma Tests Quickly, and Take Action

Being subjected to these tests can be stressful, and waiting for results can be an anxious time, but it can be a better tactic to undergo them as soon as possible.  An early warning, combined with aggressive treatment, can mean the difference between measuring the rest of your life in years as opposed to mere months.  Your quality of life might also be improved, as well.