Mesothelioma Remains a Serious Risk for Shipbreaking Workers

Mesothelioma Incidence Among Shipbreakers

Taiwanese researchers who conducted one of the few long-term studies of cancer among shipbreaking workers are calling for more “preventive measures” to protect these workers from deadly malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is the most serious of a group of diseases caused by exposure to asbestos. Fire- and heat-resistant asbestos was commonly used to insulate ships starting in the 1920s, long before its health risks became public knowledge. People who now work to dismantle and demolish these old ships run the risk of encountering crumbling asbestos and raising their lifetime risk of mesothelioma. Noting that shipbreaking remains one of the world’s most dangerous jobs, public health and occupational medicine experts from several Taiwanese universities studied cancer incidence among more than 4,000 shipbreaking … Continue reading Mesothelioma Remains a Serious Risk for Shipbreaking Workers »

Unions Call for Asbestos-Free Australia

The head of an Australian Consortium of Trade Unions (ACTU) is calling on the government to protect its citizens against mesothelioma by ridding the country of asbestos by 2030. Ged Kearney is president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, which represents construction unions and made the call on the ACTU website. Because asbestos was mined in Australia and in Australian buildings and cement from the 1950’s to the 1970’s, people who work in mining, construction and ship building trades are at higher risk for asbestos-linked diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma. According to the ACTU, Australia had the highest per capita use of asbestos in the world from the 1950’s to the 1980’s. The Australian government banned the use of asbestos … Continue reading Unions Call for Asbestos-Free Australia »

Australian Court: Asbestos Company Directors Guilty

After a legal battle that lasted more than ten years and prompted a made-for-TV movie in Australia, seven former corporate directors were recently found guilty of lying to employees and the public about mesothelioma compensation. Building product company James Hardie Industries was Australia’s biggest producer of asbestos cement and had manufactured asbestos products of various kinds since the 1930’s. In 2001, it moved its operation overseas, leaving behind a trust fund for Australian workers whose asbestos exposure at work put them at risk of mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases. The company publicly stated that this mesothelioma compensation fund was ‘fully funded’ and would provide ‘certainty’ for current and future mesothelioma victims. In fact, the fund was on the verge of … Continue reading Australian Court: Asbestos Company Directors Guilty »

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