Heat and Frost Insulators News and Events
As reported in the latest edition of The Insulators Union Journal, "Badges: A Memorial Tribute to Asbestos Workers," a traveling photography exhibit that honors the memory of those who lost their lives due to asbestos exposure, made its public debut at the AFL-CIO headquarters on April 27.
By Mary Hesdorffer, Nurse Practitioner
Ambler, PA has over 3 million tons of asbestos waste left over from past manufacturing. The “Ambler Piles” (literally piles of asbestos) were the playground of many until the 1980s, and the area later became a superfund site.
In 2009, another Ambler asbestos waste site became the BoRit Superfund site. Despite this designation, this parcel of land has been proposed to become the home of a multi-story housing complex.
In 2015, the BoRit Citizen Advisory Group is still organizing efforts to properly clean up the town and keep the citizens of Ambler safe and informed. The Meso Foundation had the opportunity to organize an educational presentation on April 1, 2015. Diane Blackburn-Zambetti of the Meso Foundation was joined by Dr. Keith Cengel, and Richard Pepino to meet with community members to discuss prevention, research, treatment and more regarding asbestos and asbestos-related diseases. Diane helped residents learn about their resources and meet others whose lives have been impacted by asbestos. This meeting was well attended.
The EPA estimates that asbestos is still present in tens of millions of homes, government buildings, schools, and has also been found naturally-occurring in the soil in several locations in the United States, sometimes in very close proximity to inhabited areas. According to the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an estimated 1.3 million construction employees continue to be occupationally exposed to asbestos. When disturbed, asbestos particles become airborne and are easily inhaled. No amount of exposure is deemed safe.
Contrary to popular belief, asbestos has not yet been fully banned by the U.S. government, but even if it were, the problem of exposures occurring as a result of past use continues. All individuals who have already been exposed and those who will continue to be exposed to the asbestos already present in our environment will remain at risk of mesothelioma. It is important to learn about the dangers of asbestos and where it is present in order to prevent exposure.
OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- Canada's Building Trades unions (CBTU) have and will continue to make a significant contribution to the infrastructure that keeps Canadians safely working and living in their communities. Yet, the contribution by CBTU is often forgotten as the conversation steers towards money and worthiness by anti-union forces that seek to take away a valuable livelihood for 500,000 proud Canadians who belong to construction unions and in turn pay taxes and contribute to their local communities in a variety of forms. Today, in celebration of labour, the CBTU is launching www.buildingastrongercanada.com .
The Medina, OH based RPM International, makers of Rust-Oleum and other specialty paints, has agreed to spend nearly $800 million to fund a trust that would resolve asbestos-based personal injury claims against the company. The settlement is less than the $1.17 billion a judge had previously suggested they could owe and still needs to be approved by a U.S. bankruptcy court.
Details of the agreement are provided by MarketWatch:
Under the terms of the agreement in principle, a trust will be established under Section 524(g) of the United States Bankruptcy Code for the benefit of current and future asbestos personal injury claimants, funded as follows:
• Upon the plan becoming effective, the trust will be funded with $450 million in cash;
• On or before the second anniversary of the effective date of the plan, an additional $102.5 million in cash, RPM stock or a combination thereof (at the discretion of RPM in this and all subsequent cases) will be deposited into the trust;
• On or before the third anniversary of the effective date of the plan, an additional $120 million in cash, RPM stock or a combination thereof will be deposited into the trust; and
• On or before the fourth anniversary of the effective date of the plan, a final payment of $125 million in cash, RPM stock or a combination thereof will be deposited into the trust.
The settlement hinges on a reorganization plan for Bondex and Specialty Products, owned by RPM. As Bloomberg explains, bankrupt companies can win immunity from future lawsuits by setting up trusts such as the one agreed upon here.
Canada Passed an Asbestos Law Aimed at Raising Safety and Awareness, but Nobody is Complying With It
The early months of a new asbestos registry in Saskatchewan are proving problematic as many institutions required to provide reports have failed to do so and others have submitted reports over two decades old.
The following comes directly from a recent U.S. Department of Labor press release: