Asbestos Health Threat - Mesothelioma
Exposure to asbestos fibers has been linked to asbestos cancer, asbestosis (scarring of the lungs that restricts breathing), asbestos mesothelioma (cancer of the lining of the chest cavity), and silicosis. The chances of getting an asbestos-related illness increase as the level and duration of exposure to asbestos increases.
Asbestos mesothelioma is a fatal asbestos cancer involving the mesothelium, a protective lining that encloses most of the body's internal organs. The only known cause of mesothelioma seems to be exposure to asbestos particles in the air. The time between exposure and the appearance of symptoms can be as long as 20 to 50 years.
Primary Asbestos Exposure at Work
Asbestos can pose a serious health threat when disturbed or when it begins to deteriorate and asbestos fibers are released into the air and inhaled. To date, companies which have exposed their employees to asbestos have faced thousands of lawsuits.
Asbestos is mainly used as an insulating material â€“ it is a very effective fire retardant material, hence its use to insulate boilers, pipes, and fire doors; it's used in roofing and many construction materials, and in electrical fittings.
The types of work environments where you are most likely to encounter asbestos include mines, shipyards, railroads, power plants, and construction sites.
Secondary or Passive Asbestos Exposure at Home
Asbestos mesothelioma doesn't just affect the people working with it directly. Recently the medical profession has started to recognize that people can be affected by asbestos-caused diseases through secondary or passive exposure.
For example, cases of second-hand asbestos exposure were recently been reported by wives and children of men who worked in the shipyards in World War II. The workers were exposed to large amounts of damaged or "friable" asbestos while on the job, and their wives became came ill following exposure to asbestos fibers that had become lodged in the workers' clothing. Over the years, the constant inhalation of these fibers resulted in the development of asbestos-related diseases.
In the Community
Secondary asbestos exposure is also possible by living in a community or area located near an asbestos mine or a company that manufactures asbestos or products containing asbestos. Many older buildings may also contain asbestos insulation, including schools.
Perhaps the most famous victims of community contamination in North America are the residents of Libby, Montana, an asbestos-mining town. Vermiculite, which naturally contains asbestos, was mined there between 1923 and 1991. Workers and families of workers who lived in the town sued W.R. Grace, the last company to own the mine. At one point the company reportedly faced 110,000 lawsuits for sickening hundreds of people and contributing to the deaths of 225â€”allegedly with full knowledge.
Other examples of community exposure include the World Trade Center site after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and areas prone to damage from natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina.
Asbestos Mesothelioma Warning Signs
Early symptoms of asbestos mesothelioma can include chest pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, hoarseness, cough, fluid retention and abdominal swelling.
Because mesothelioma affects the pleura, or the membranes that surround almost all of your internal organs, pain or swelling in the chest or the abdomen could be a symptom of mesothelioma.
You are warned to contact your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. If you have been exposed to asbestos fibers in the past you should make your doctor aware of that as well.
For decades, thousands and thousands of workers were unaware of asbestos-related diseases and were not given respirators.
Workers in the asbestos industry would have to be made aware of harmful asbestos exposure if they were given safety and protective gear, i.e., asbestos respirators. In many cases, the employer knew about asbestos exposure but failed to warn of the hazards, including asbestosis and mesothelioma.
For example, a forklift driver who worked with asbestos was never issued a respirator. In another case, a drilling rig worker was constantly exposed to asbestos drilling mud without any safety gear except for a handkerchief. â€œFailure to warnâ€? is a main contention of litigation against the asbestos industry.
Other lawsuits pertain to defective respiratory protection. Countless lives could have been saved if asbestos respirators actually protected workers from breathing asbestos fibers. Some asbestos lawsuits have shown that employers failed to warn for economic reasons, such as the cost of asbestos respirators.
Currently, defendants in asbestos litigation include manufacturers whose products contain no asbestos and did not affect a plaintiffâ€™s exposure to asbestos, such as 3M Company. For more than two decades the 3M Company has been the target of about 400,000 lawsuits over its dust mask, which was used as an asbestos respirator, alleging the product is defective. Other respirator manufacturers have also been accused of marketing defective masks, even though they were approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). American Optical has been named in more than140,000 lawsuits claiming their defective asbestos respirators contributed to, or were responsible for, asbestos-related diseases on workers who were unaware that they wore faulty protective masks.
Faulty (e.g., leaks because it doesn't fit the user's face properly) asbestos respirators are worse than not having one at all because workers falsely believe they are safe from asbestos exposure and can thereby further put themselves in harm's way.
Faulty equipment and/or not even given asbestos respirators are still an issue. In 2007, Maryland state officials ordered a halt to work when a contractor licensed in asbestos removal had exposed up to 20 workers to asbestos without any protective gear. A Worker's Compensation Report in May 2009 found that firefighters may not be completely protected from hazardous substances such as asbestos due to inadequate protective equipment.
In my case
In my case during almost 6 years of very substantial expansion / construction (the largest in Ontario), all old buildings were partially / or totally demolished / rebuild / "modernized "etc.
For very long time there was a rumor amongst employees, that Apotex in secrecy removes substantial amounts of asbestos while keeping employees unaware and unprotected!
At the same time period we manufactured more then ever of very dangerous products -new ( in confidentiality).
Many of them were of micro fibrous Cristal structures (micro fibers - sparkling in the spot light like a magic dust from children's stories).
Many of them were changing their state from solid / liquid in to gases/vapors under manufacturing conditions/during process (due to lethal properties many of those products had to be processed in special isolation areas with special electronic alarm systems - which did not pass Operational Qualifications / calibrations and regularly were disconnected / disabled during confidential processing of unapproved by Regulators products on not qualified /faulty equipment which did contaminate personnel and cross contaminated products!.
Employees were exposed to massive amounts of those chemical agents on daily bases getting visible very sick (like gas chambers in death camps WWII ).
For years Apotex was discharging waste volumes of waste waters in to City's sever systems / Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River / Atlantic . Many times Personnel / I was getting very serious lungs problems (documented) and multitude of other horrifying side effects.
Company use to send all of us to special Doctors (Company's )and always I was told by "Doctor" to be not worry because many employees do have the same problems and it will (eventually ) go away etc.
Many times Community was exposed to (contaminated by ) processed products due to incidents / accidents, luck of protective equipments / mechanisms / procedures / no mechanisms/capacities to dispose products after incidents/accidents / no will to destroy / recycle contaminated products etc. (blow ups of explosion panels on the roof during processing of unknown products etc.).
AND SO ON, AND SO ON.
DESPITE ALL OF IT APOTEX DOES GO UNPUNISHED AND ACTIVELY TORTURING ITS VICTIMS - LOOK AT MY PREVIOUS SUBMISSIONS.
I AM VERY SICK - DISABLED AND WHOLE OF MY FAMILY SUFFERS SECONDARY EXPOSURES HORRIFYING EFFECTS!
Employer subjected me to the most horrifying experiences imaginable and ravaged me (my system)!
As result of Company's negligence (exposure to advanced structural composite materials /chemicals used in the manufacturing processes which have been classified as to have a co- carcinogenic and/or synergistic effect I am disabled!
I was very seldom told what product was processed and more often I was lied to about name /nature of the products.
We were entering twilight zone /total obliviousness and sensation of flotation /levitation, physical /mental struggle/ fog, breathlessness etc.
During my employment I developed lungs problem (due to product side effects- reported to Superiors and documented). My autonomic function of lungs (a function of the respiratory cycles) has been compromised.
More and more frequently I am stopping to breathe with out a warning. These are relatively short in duration episodes but I am not in control of them. Despite my conscious mind I struggle in-vein to take air and I can not make my lungs to move. I suspect that my neurons / neurotransmitters are affected / damaged (altered function / communication) by active ingredients at work.
I do have fluid in my lungs , a sensation of a lump in my upper lungs etc.
The "rumor" of asbestos removal in the Plant was red hot amongst all temporary employees (95% of personnel).
On my inquire with Facility Support Services (F.S.S.), junior management (concerned employee to concerned employee), I was told, that in fact this is the case.
It was done on nights / weekends (as every thing else in confidentiality ).
We were not told about any thing / time of removal etc., despite fact, that all of us worked on daily bases/full time, conducting manufacturing processes in this very area (yes, parallel to construction /demolition).
"Contractors" / some strangers were IN and OUT 24/7 with out any I.D's, blending in with and working amongst us ( employees) with out any protection /uniforms, with out any awareness of dangers etc.
They were stealing all they could put their hands on, especially employees private eye protection ( evidence conformed by Manager -Page 32/65 of one of my submissions).
Apotex did every thing in confidentiality and against the Law, Regulations, Safety, Compliance with GMP /SOP, being not care about own employees, community and/or patients taking contaminated medications etc.
Apotex's / WSiB's victim