Anticipation of Senate vote

Writing in The New Republic blog, Michael Crowley says asbestos is not mind-numbingly boring. Its good to know some political reporters appreciate this issue, although as Crowley points out, the media has largely ignored it, probably because it is so complicated. Sen. Harry Reid was quoted as saying he “can’t stand this legislation“. The bill …

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Outsourcing death?

The public health blog Effect Measure has a post on the difference in asbestos use between the developed countries and the developing countries. Apparently, in the 1980s the Canadian government actively sought new markets for asbestos in the face of declining use in the US and Europe. Of course, the reason for the declining use …

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Overall cancer rates down. Mesothelioma still trending up.

The number of cancer deaths in the United States dropped slightly in 2003, the first such decline since 1930. Good news, attributed to cutbacks in smoking, better nutrition, better treatment. Unfortunately, mesothelioma is still an intractable form of cancer. And the numbers of mesothelioma patients, although small compared to all cancer patients, is slowly buy …

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New software from OSHA

OSHA recognizes that an estimated 1.3 million employees in construction and general industry face significant asbestos exposure on the job. Heaviest exposures occur in the construction industry, particularly during the removal of asbestos during renovation or demolition. The employers have an obligation to provide a safe work environment and OSHA has released a software package …

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Long-term effects of asbestos exposure

From spiked-online: “According to a 2005 report by the French Senate, there were 35,000 deaths as result to asbestos exposure between 1965 and 1995. Because of the long-effects, the deaths are expected to rise to 60,000-100,000 in the next 20-25 years.”

Pemetrexed clinical trial

Research is being done to determine the effects that the drug pemetrexed has on response to treatment (tumor shrinking or staying the same) and length of life, and to evaluate the side effects. Patients who qualify for this study will have cancer of their cartilage that cannot be removed by surgery or has spread to …

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National Asbestos Exposure Review

The federal government’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry conducted a review of vermiculite from the now notorious Libby Montana mine. This review, which they called the National Asbestos Exposure Review, is available on the web here: Vermiculite is a mineral which was used for many things, and most vermiculite does not pose …

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Gene signatures?

Scientists recently found an 11-gene “signature” in cancer tumors that apparently predicts prognosis in at least 10 types of cancer. Mesothelioma is one of those types. The medical research community is excited because the findings may also change the process of development of new cancer therapies.