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Mesothelioma and Asbestos Law Blog

Mesothelioma Awareness Day arrives on Sept. 26

For the 17th straight year, the U.S. will mark Mesothelioma Awareness Day on Sept. 26. Established in 2004, the day focuses on the people and families affected by this deadly disease caused by exposure to asbestos. Its mission is to gain wider public attention for this form of cancer, which is usually fatal.

Due to the recent health crisis, nationwide events and activities marking Mesothelioma Awareness Day will take place virtually rather than in person. Survivors of mesothelioma may be more susceptible to COVID-19 due to medical treatments that have compromised their immune systems.

Asbestos exposure among old house renovation dangers

Many Minnesota residents like the idea of purchasing old homes in order to renovate them, either for resale or as a personal residence. In fact, many savvy entrepreneurs have earned substantial profits by buying old houses, fixing them up, then selling them for a higher price than what they initially paid. It might sound like a great income opportunity; however, there are numerous potential dangers associated with renovating older homes, including asbestos exposure.

One of the greatest dangers in home renovations, especially when the house in question is more than 10 or 15 years old. The wiring in such homes can place people at risk for serious injuries, especially if someone who is not a certified electrician tries to do electrical work. Unstable wiring is also a tremendous fire hazard. 

Asbestos exposure: Company admits hiding information

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that primarily affects the lungs. Symptoms are typically not immediately apparent, and there is no known cure for this disease. This particular terminal illness is caused by asbestos exposure. There is no such thing as a safe amount of exposure, so any Minnesota worker or resident who believes he or she may have been exposed will want to discuss the issue with his or her employer and physician.

One of the largest chemical companies in the world recently settled a string of lawsuits and will be paying upwards of $100 million in compensation once legal fees are calculated. For decades, the chemical company was accused of knowingly placing products that contained asbestos into consumers' hands. The talc used to manufacture these products was mined in a New England state. 

Mesothelioma case involving Honeywell gets an appeal

A wrongful death lawsuit against Honeywell International Inc. will get another day in court after an appeals judge ruled sufficient evidence existed that an Ohio man who died from mesothelioma was exposed in his workplace to asbestos-containing products made by the industrial giant.

On Aug. 6, Judge Eileen A. Gallagher of the Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals reversed a 2019 summary judgment in favor of Honeywell, noting that the trial court erred. The judge wrote that reasonable grounds for appeal existed in the case, which was remanded to the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

Mesothelioma: New treatment said to be promising

In Minnesota and throughout the country, many lives have been devastated by an often fatal form of cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs. Most patients who have mesothelioma contracted the disease through exposure to asbestos. A new treatment is showing great promise to help those who are in the advanced stages of this disease.

People diagnosed with mesothelioma typically survive one to two years after diagnosis. Because symptoms usually remain hidden for years, diagnosis often is not made until a person is already in the late stages of illness. Transarterial Chemoperfusion (TACP) is said to be a safer and more effective form of treatment than traditional methods for those suffering from mesothelioma.

Asbestos exposure risk high in homes with these issues

Many Minnesota residents live in older homes. While new construction appeals to some people, others are more attracted to older homes because of the architectural beauty or character of such structures. Then, too, many people have inherited older homes, perhaps, living in the same houses where they spent their own childhoods. An old house might have a lot of artistic value, but such homes also often carry a high risk for asbestos exposure.

If a house was built before 1980, there is a good chance it contains asbestos. In fact, during this time period, it was common for ceilings, walls and floors to be constructed with materials that contain asbestos. Vinyl flooring, in particular, is often laden with asbestos and was a popular floor choice in pre-1980s home construction.

What is asbestosis?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral mined in numerous regions around the world. Centuries ago, asbestos was found to excel as a noncorrosive, flame-resistant insulator. Ground into fibers and mixed with various ingredients, asbestos was used in countless products including both consumer goods and construction materials. Unfortunately, it was later discovered that the ingestion or inhalation of asbestos fibers could lead to serious – often deadly – lung conditions.

Asbestos exposure at home: Is it a possibility?

Many Minnesota readers may recall the ban the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placed on asbestos in 1989. However, such readers may be unaware that the ban was lifted several years later. Many homes throughout the state pose asbestos exposure risks to household members and visitors, particularly homes built in the 1970s or earlier.

Asbestos is a compilation of microscopic fibers used in construction materials. There is no safe amount of exposure to asbestos. The problem is symptoms of exposure may not be immediately apparent. In fact, many people with asbestos injuries do not know of their conditions until years later when symptoms of illness develop.

20 years since death of U.S. Rep. Bruce Vento from mesothelioma

It has been nearly 20 years since the death of Minnesota’s own U.S. Rep. Bruce Vento, who succumbed to mesothelioma in October 2000. Born and raised in St. Paul, Vento served the congressional district of his hometown region for 12 terms up until his death.

Vento’s background as a laborer and public school teacher shaped him in understanding the challenges of blue-collar workers and everyday people. This led to his political path, first in the Minnesota House of Representatives and then U.S. Congress, where he was known as a champion for environmental causes, banking reform, public housing and the homeless.

Asbestos exposure: Senator upset about government delay

In Minnesota and many other states, there are people being support by palliative care for terminal illnesses such as mesothelioma. It is a malignant tumor caused by asbestos exposure. Sadly, in many cases, injuries were preventable but were caused by employers' negligence in keeping their workers safe on the job.

A U.S. senator from another state recently criticized the Environmental Protection Agency, stating that thousands of lives remain at risk because of government delays in completing a review (and possible ban) of asbestos. The senator noted that the Lautenberg Act empowers the EPA to ban asbestos. He also said that, several years ago, chemical safety reform was passed with bipartisan agreement, but the EPA has not only failed to ban asbestos, it has not even completed the agreed upon review.

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