Posts Tagged ‘Montgomery’

Asbestos tiles discovered during Autauga County Courthouse renovation

3 Oct 2014 by under News

200px asbestos warning 150x150 Asbestos tiles discovered during Autauga County Courthouse renovationAutauga County, Ala., officials have confirmed that asbestos floor tiles were found during the of the Autauga County Courthouse.

“We didn’t know the tiles were there,” said , the county administrator. “Our contractor informed us, and another contractor who is licensed and specializes in asbestos removal was called in to properly remove and dispose of the tiles. All precautions are being taken to contain the asbestos.” (more…)

Mayor Todd Strange declares Asbestos Awareness Week in Montgomery, AL

6 Apr 2010 by under Events, News, Organizations, People

for web Mayor Todd Strange declares Asbestos Awareness Week in Montgomery, ALMontgomery Mayor Todd Strange presented a proclamation today declaring April 1-7 as in the city of Montgomery, Alabama. The proclamation supports National Asbestos Awareness Week, as established by Senate Resolution 427.

It is the purpose of Asbestos Awareness Week to raise public awareness about the prevalence of asbestos and the dangers of asbestos exposure in the United States and around the world. Microscopic asbestos fibers can be inhaled or ingested, and imbed themselves in the body where they can cause diseases such as asbestosis, a severe scarring of the lungs, and mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that can affect the chest and lungs, the abdomen or the heart.

The U.S. Congress has recognized a National Asbestos Awareness Day or Week for the past six years. The awareness effort is a project of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (), which is the largest organization in the United States serving as the voice of asbestos victims. The lobbies for the complete ban of asbestos and asbestos-containing products in the U.S. It is estimated that within the next decade 100,000 workers around the world will die of an asbestos-related disease. That equals 30 deaths each day.

For more information, visit ADAO online.

Victims of asbestos — Virgil and Cheryl’s story

24 Sep 2009 by under Events, News, People

Virgil Cotton Victims of asbestos    Virgil and Cheryls storyIt was Cheryl Cotton’s third time attending the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation’s annual International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma when I met her this past June. We were both seated in the hotel lobby, waiting for a bus to take us to Capitol Hill, where we would ask our legislators to support a complete ban of and for funding for mesothelioma research.

I think it was Cheryl who introduced herself first, and I was delighted to hear she was from my home state, Alabama, about two and a half hours north of Montgomery, in Anniston. When I told her I was from Montgomery, she was ecstatic to finally find someone with a meso connection in her home state.

Cheryl lost her husband, Virgil, to mesothelioma on May 31, 2005, just two days after their 40th wedding anniversary. She began attending the Meso Foundation conference almost immediately, urgently needing to connect with others who might understand what she was going through, and to make sense of a disease that took her best friend and love of her life before either of them fully realized what was happening.

Virgil first began to notice something was wrong in late March 2004, when he had a severe pain in his side. His hobby was restoring vintage automobiles, and he had been working on a friend’s car, so he thought he had possibly just bruised a muscle while working. But shortly after that he developed a terrible cough.

“It was a whole-body cough,” Cheryl recalls. “Like from head to toe.”

Virgil went to see his doctor, who thought the cough might be related to a drug he was taking following a heart catheterization, which he’d had earlier that year.

“The doctor said it would take 60 days or so to get the drug out of his system, so basically for two months we did nothing,” Cheryl says. “The pain in his side persisted, and the cough got worse. Right up until this time, after his heart problems, he had been dedicated to cardiovascular exercise and eating right. He was probably in the best shape he’d been in for years. He would actually get onto to me about exercising more and eating right,” she recalls with a laugh before turning sober again. “So this was just odd. He kept feeling sicker and sicker.”

He went back to the doctor, thinking maybe there was something wrong with his heart. Tests showed his heart was fine, and doctors sent him home and told him to just continue to exercise and eat right.

But Virgil began having trouble breathing. It was September by now. He visited the doctor again, and was referred to a pulmonary specialist for a thoracentesis. They found fluid in his lungs, but tests came back negative for cancer or any type of infection. But the fluid came back almost immediately.

Cheryl was getting really worried.

“He was used to being active, but now he could hardly get around. He had no energy,” she remembers. “We had requested referrals to see some doctors in Birmingham, because he was dying in front of me. I knew there was something more going on, and I couldn’t understand why nobody could tell us. We had two more thoracenteses and still no diagnosis. The local doctors said they didn’t know what was wrong with him.”

At this point, Cheryl decided to call Birmingham, and talked to a nurse at UAB Medical Center. She got a referral for a pulmonary specialist, and made an appointment for Virgil the following week. But when they got to see the doctor, he said Virgil actually should see a thoracic surgeon, and gave them another referral. They gathered all Virgil’s test results and visited the thoracic surgeon on December 14. An initial theory was that Virgil might have a collapsed lung and scar tissue.

“Virgil had really gone downhill,” Cheryl said. “He was aging. Things had fallen apart in nine months, since the first symptoms.”

Doctors decided to do a thoractomy, but because it was Christmastime, they decided to wait until January, telling Virgil and Cheryl to go home and enjoy the holidays with their family. He finally had the surgery Jan. 4, and they first heard the word mesothelioma. But the diagnosis still wasn’t definite until about 10 days later.

“At that point it was stage 2+ or 3-. It was already advanced. We were referred to a doctor for chemotherapy, but still nobody was really telling us much about what this diagnosis meant. We had no idea.”

Virgil underwent a series of chemotherapy treatments, and then on April 20 began receiving radiation at a cancer center in Birmingham.

“By then, his breathing had deteriorated and they’d put him on oxygen,” Cheryl said. “He’d really not been able to lie flat since September. He had to prop up in a recliner or on a pallet on the floor.”

On May 19, a Thursday morning, Virgil woke Cheryl and told her something was wrong and that he felt he needed to go to the hospital. They went to UAB. On May 21, the doctor came in and told them Virgil was not improving, and that he didn’t have long to live. She estimated two and half to three months, and advised them to get their affairs in order.

“This was the first time anyone really talked to us about dying. Everyone was telling us he had time, that there was all this time.”

They called in Hospice care, and their daughter, Pam, came to visit, bringing their grandson and making a video of Virgil and the boy. On May 30, Virgil began doing worse, and passed away the next day. This was just nine days after they’d first been told that Virgil’s condition was terminal, and about 15 months since his first symptoms.

Cheryl was in shock. “He was 60 years old and had been in prime health,” she says. “When he died, he looked like he was 90. I didn’t even realize how bad he looked because I guess I saw him every day. Months later, I watched the video Pam had made just before he died, and then I really saw it.”

Virgil’s illness had been such a whirlwind; Cheryl wasn’t quite sure what to do after his death. She still couldn’t quite believe it had even happened. She was angry, that Virgil went so long with no diagnosis and no treatment. She felt guilty, like she ought to have somehow known more, or done more. And she felt alone.

Some time after Virgil was diagnosed with mesothelioma, Cheryl found the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of mesothelioma through outreach, education and funding research efforts to find a cure. She also connected with Sue Vento, the widow of Sen. of Minnesota, after whom the pending “ Ban Asbestos and Prevent Mesothelioma” legislation before the U.S. Congress was named.

“She emailed me and I think called me, too,” Cheryl says. “She sent me a book on meso as well. She was the calm in the middle of my storm, and has kept in touch with me during this time via emails.”

Following Virgil’s death, Cheryl decided to attend the Meso Foundation’s annual International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma, and packed her bags for the trip to Washington, D.C. Many of her friends couldn’t understand it, but she says it was something she had to do.

“I somehow found MARF and the main reason I went to the conference that first year was to have someone to share this pain, and try to come to some conclusions,” she said. “You feel like you didn’t do something you should have. We had never heard of the word until they told us the diagnosis.

“I really felt like … when you lose your husband, who had been my friend, before he was my sweetheart – we’d known each other since we were 12. I felt if there was some way I could reach out to someone else it would help me as much as maybe I could help them. I felt there was that need in my heart, to find out as much as I could about the disease,” Cheryl says. “It was wonderful to know that people were surviving. But it makes me angry that Virgil didn’t have a chance.”

She had a chance to meet her “rock,” Sue Vento, at that first conference as well. Since that time, Cheryl has attended the Symposium for three years in a row, where she is active, joining others in visiting Capitol Hill to ask Congress to ban asbestos, and to fund mesothelioma research. She is also active in her community, talking to people about the dangers of asbestos exposure and about mesothelioma. She takes brochures about mesothelioma to doctors’ offices, hoping to increase knowledge among the medical community, hoping that someone else may be diagnosed early enough for treatment.

“Now I have contact with more people who are battling mesothelioma, and I learn that most people also have never heard of it. At the time, you just have to hang in there, and you can fall apart later. So I try to connect and just try to help someone, to let them know that someone is there who understands what they are going through. And it helps me too,” she says.

“I share my story every chance I get. I wear an awareness pin. People need to know asbestos is out there and it’s killing people.”

Outreach is hard. Every time she shares Virgil’s story, the pain is fresh again. But Cheryl is determined, and she’s willing.

“Mesothelioma patients and their families are victims,” Cheryl says. “They are victims of asbestos. And all of this COULD and SHOULD have been avoided!”

Mayor Todd Strange declares Mesothelioma Awareness Day in Montgomery

21 Sep 2009 by under Events, News

Meso Day for web 100x100 Mayor Todd Strange declares Mesothelioma Awareness Day in MontgomeryMontgomery Mayor Todd Strange has officially designated Saturday, Sept. 26, as Mesothelioma Day in Montgomery, . The recognition goes hand-in-hand with a nationwide Mesothelioma Awareness Day campaign under the direction of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation).

Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer that most often affects the lining of the chest and lungs, but which also may affect the lining of the abdomen or, more rarely, the heart. It is caused only by exposure to asbestos. The latency period for mesothelioma is generally long, spanning 10 to 50 years from the time of exposure to any symptoms developing, making it hard for mesothelioma sufferers to pinpoint when they were exposed. There is currently no know cure for mesothelioma.

In the past, mesothelioma was seen primarily in older men, who had worked in factories, as insulators, or in shipyards, where asbestos was commonly used. However, today, the disease is being diagnosed more frequently in younger people and more often in women. Most of these cases are the result of secondary exposure, such as family members exposed to asbestos dust on the clothes of someone who worked with the substance. It could also be the result of environmental exposure. Mesothelioma has become everybody’s problem.

Asbestos is still not completely banned in the United States.

Mark your calendar for mesothelioma, asbestos awareness events

17 Aug 2009 by under Events, News, Organizations

Proclamation2 Mark your calendar for mesothelioma, asbestos awareness eventsIt’s not too early to begin making preparations for Mesothelioma Awareness Day, September 26. The Meso Foundation has a helpful toolkit on its web site, that will assist you in planning mesothelioma awareness events in your area. There are two main activities encouraged – a radio public service announcement (PSA) campaign, and a proclamation from your local government to declare Meso Awareness Day in your community.

Here at myMeso, we have had great support for both Mesothelioma Awareness Day and Asbestos Awareness Day (April 1) from the City of Montgomery in the past. This year, we are hoping to expand our efforts, and share this important message with even more folks throughout our community and across the state. I’ll keep you posted as our plans develop. If you’d like any help in your area, please let me know, and I’ll be glad to lend a hand, or certainly contact the good folks at the Meso Foundation.

In addition to Meso Awareness Day, there are a few other upcoming mesothelioma and asbestos awareness events – go ahead and mark your calendar!

  • The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) has announced its Sixth Annual International Asbestos Awareness Day (AAD) Conference will be held in Chicago, Ill., April 9-11, 2010. Registration starts January 1, 2010. The theme is “Science and Technology Proves Asbestos is a Carcinogen.” This great conference features tons of expert speakers, as well as a heartfelt Remembrance Brunch to honor those who lost their lives to asbestos disease. Visit the ADAO web site for more information, and make plans now to attend.
  • The (Meso Foundation) announced the 2010 International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma will again be held in Washington, D.C., and the event will return to the Omni Shoreham Hotel, which was a wonderful host for the event this year. Dates are June 10-12, 2010.

I will provide more information about both of these events as details are announced, but it’s never too late to make your plans. These events provide a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the dangers of asbestos, and the progress being made in research and treatment of asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma. They also are a wonderful way to network and make connections with other people who are fighting the battle to prevent and cure mesothelioma.

New technology could aid in asbestos removal

20 Apr 2009 by under News, Organizations, Research/Treatment

A new process that treats asbestos with heat and chemicals, called , could help ensure greater safety for asbestos removal projects, particularly those on a large scale. The process is being discussed in several Pennsylvania communities that are looking at ways to clean a more than 60-acre site contaminated with asbestos.

The new technology has been developed by ARI Technologies, Inc., a company dedicated to solving environmental waste management problems. The new thermochemical conversion technique has been certified by the EPA as an alternative to asbestos disposal. According to the company web site, the process can destroy PCBs, dixoin and immobilize metals.

According to a report in the the Times Herald, at a recent town meeting in Montgomery County, Penn., ARI’s president of technologies Dale Timmons said the process “involves using heat and chemicals on a rotary hearth to convert asbestos into volcanic materials.” He said the new substance does not release harmful fibers, which is the main danger of asbestos, so that it can be used in construction aggregate.

Usually, when asbestos is crushed or otherwise disturbed, it releases microscopic fibers that can be inhaled and that lodge themselves in the body. These fibers can cause asbestosis, a severe scarring of the lungs, or mesothelioma, a deadly that affects the lining of the lungs, stomach or heart. Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma.

The Times Herald says that while the EPA has signed off on thermochemical conversion for asbestos destruction, it is unclear at this time if the agency has given full approval for the process for asbestos removal projects.

ARI officials said the Pennsylvania project would require that between 150 and 300 tons of asbestos would need to be processed every day, 24 hours per day, to clean up the affected site, and that it would take nearly 10 years to process the estimated 3 million TONS of asbestos in the affected area, which covers three municipalities.

Asbestos handling would be conducted in an air-locked structure that would have to be built over the affected area, and the company would do constant air monitoring, the Times Herald reports. Cost would be about $135 per ton, with funds for the project likely coming from the federal government, according to the report.

Raising awareness of mesothelioma, asbestos

6 Apr 2009 by under Events, News

crawfish boil1 100x100 Raising awareness of mesothelioma, asbestosThe folks who run this web site were excited to take part in a special event on Saturday, April 4, to raise awareness of mesothelioma, and share information about the dangers of asbestos exposure. The event was the “Bite the Tail Off Cancer” crawfish boil, and it was sponsored by the Junior Executive Board of the American Cancer Society here in Montgomery, Ala.

The timing of this event was perfect, as it coincided with Asbestos Awareness Week, which is April 1-7. The week has been recognized nationally by U.S. Senate Resolution, and also locally by Montgomery Mayor . Thank you, Mayor Strange, for supporting Asbestos Awareness in the Capital City! The Mayor signed a proclamation on April 1 in recognition of the special week.

At the crawfish boil event, which was held in Downtown Montgomery at Riverwalk Park, we were able to provide information about asbestos exposure and safety, as well as information about mesothelioma. I talked to two gentlemen who have been exposed to asbestos, both in their jobs. We also visited with a woman who recently lost her husband to lung cancer, as a result of smoking and also asbestos inhalation in his work.

Many people were surprised to learn that asbestos is still not completely banned in the United States. We provided a petition they can sign, which I will take to Washington, D.C., in June when I attend the ’s International Mesothelioma Symposium. During that event, I will have the opportunity to meet with my Congressional delegates to lobby for an asbestos ban.

We’re adding an online petition to this site, too, which should be up in the next couple of days. I’ll let you know when it’s active, and I would love to have everyone sign!

Visit myMeso at American Cancer Society event this weekend

2 Apr 2009 by under Events, News, Twitter

crawfish logo 100x100 Visit myMeso at American Cancer Society event this weekendThe folks from this web site,, are excited that we will have a table this weekend at the American Cancer Society “Bite the Tail Off Cancer” Crawfish Boil event. The event is presented by the ACS Junior Executive Board and Riverfront Facilities, City of Montgomery. If you are going to be in Central on Saturday, please come by and see us!

The event is planned to be held at Riverwalk Amphitheater in Downtown Montgomery, Ala., on Saturday, April 4, from 2 p.m.-8 p.m. and will feature all the crawfish and sides you can eat, live music, and activities for children. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door, with proceeds benefitting the American Cancer Society. (Advance tickets can be purchased through etix.xom)

myMeso’s sponsor, Beasley Allen Law Firm, is also a sponsor for this event, along with Alfa, Alfa Dental, Morgan Keegan, Jackson Thornton, Dr. Kynard Adams, Price Trailer Sales, Southeast IV, ServisFirst Bank, Harmon Dennis & Bradshaw, Cumulus Broadcastin, Seay Seay & Litchfield, AKD Printing, and AAF-Montgomery.

It is particularly fitting for myMeso to present information about mesothelioma and asbestos awareness during this event, as April 1-7 has been declared both in the City of Montgomery and nationally, by U.S. Senate Resolution.

In case of inclement weather, the event will be held at the historic Train Shed, which is located adjacent to the Riverfront and Riverwalk. Come see us, rain or shine!

Asbestos Awareness Week in Montgomery, AL

1 Apr 2009 by under News

proclamation presentation 040109 100x100 Asbestos Awareness Week in Montgomery, ALMayor Todd Strange today signed a proclamation declaring April 1-7 as in Montgomery, Alabama. This proclamation supports , as established by Senate Resolution.

It is the purpose of Asbestos Awareness Week to raise public awareness about the prevalence of asbestos and asbestos-related diseases and the dangers of asbestos exposure. Asbestos can still be found in many products in the United States, which consumes nearly 7,000 metric tons of asbestos each year. Asbestos also is present in insulation produced prior to the 1950s and building products used well into the late 1970s, all of which can still be found in homes and public buildings.

Microscopic asbestos fibers can be inhaled, where they imbed themselves in the body and cause diseases including asbestosis, a chronic scarring of the lungs, and mesothelioma, a deadly cancer.

Asbestos Awareness Day, and later Asbestos Awareness Week, was established nationally by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), which was founded by asbestos victims and their families in 2004. ADAO works to give asbestos victims and concerned citizens a voice as they fight for a total and complete ban on asbestos in the United States.

Bright declares Mesothelioma Awareness Day

23 Sep 2008 by under Events, News

wendiandmayor8 150x150 Bright declares Mesothelioma Awareness DayMayor Bobby Bright has officially declared Sept. 26, 2008, as Mesothelioma Day in Montgomery, Alabama!

We appreciate Mayor Bright for his continued support in promoting awareness of this deadly disease and the dangers of asbestos exposure.

Read the Mesothelioma Awareness Day Proclamation.