Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco’

International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma will travel to three U.S. cities

26 Apr 2016 by under Events

marf logo 300x70 International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma will travel to three U.S. citiesIt should come as no surprise that the diagnosis of a disease like can feel isolating. Whether you’re a sufferer, a family member, or a caregiver, mesothelioma takes its toll on your life and livelihood. That’s why the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation ( Foundation) will be hosting its International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma in three major cities – Houston (May 20), San Francisco (Sept. 16) and Chicago (Oct. 7) – in hopes of making an event more easily accessible and affordable to those who most need help, support and educational resources. (more…)


Study indicates firefighters diagnosed with mesothelioma at twice the rate of general population

23 Jan 2014 by under News, Research/Treatment

fire 100x100 Study indicates firefighters diagnosed with mesothelioma at twice the rate of general populationA recent study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) revealed firefighters had a rate of mesothelioma two times greater than the rate in the U.S. as a whole. The research included a combined population of nearly 30,000 firefighters from Chicago, and San Francisco fire departments who were employed since 1950. (more…)


Groundbreaking science probes bond between asbestos, mesothelioma

19 Dec 2008 by under News, People, Research/Treatment

Researchers from Ohio State University believe they may be the first in the world to study the “molecular underpinnings” of cancer through study of the individual bonds between asbestos fibers and human cells, according to a news release from NewsWise. The scientists will present their findings at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco this afternoon.

The report, titled “The Strength of Disease: Molecular Bonds between Asbestos and Human Cells,” is authored by Eric Taylor, a doctoral candidate in earth sciences at Ohio State, and Steven Lower, associate professor of earth sciences at the university. According to the news release, “the researchers used atomic force microscopy to observe how a singe asbestos fiber binds with a specific receptor protein on cell surfaces.” They believe this attachment of a lethal type of asbestos sets in motion a series of events within a cell that will eventually lead to illness years, even decades, later.

Asbestos exposure is almost exclusively identified as the cause of , which affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen and other organs. There is currently no known cure for . Asbestos also causes chronic respiratory diseases including asbestosis, a scarring of the lungs; and lung cancer.

The Ohio State study focused on crocidolite (blue) asbestos, which has been identified as one of the most deadly forms of asbestos. The substance is banned in most industrialized nations, but for years was used in products such as insualtion.

Taylor, who is presenting the study’s findings at the meeting today, said the purpose of the study is to find ways to prevent illness even after exposure to asbestos. Because of the long latency period of mesothelioma, with symptoms often not appearing for up to 50 years after exposure, diagnosis often comes too late for effective treatment.

The Ohio State University is supported by the National Science Foundation.


Nanotechnology linked to mesothelioma concern

21 May 2008 by under News, Research/Treatment

nanotube graphic 150x150 Nanotechnology linked to mesothelioma concernThe scientific journal Nature Nanotechnology published a report May 20 detailing the results of an early study that likens the effect of carbon nanotubes to asbestos when introduced into the body. Researchers injected mice with nanotube fibers and observed the same type of imbedding, irritation, inflamation and the creation of lesions called granulomas, which can lead to mesothelioma.

Nanotubes are tiny, cylindrical carbon molecules that, according to Wikipedia, exhibit extraordinary strength and unique electrical properties, and are efficient conductors of heat. They are already being used in sporting equipment like bicycle frames and tennis rackets due to their strength, and are thought to be the future of technology. They are used in some electronic components now, and are being researched to build tiny electronics and optics.

Researchers do not believe that materials containing carbon nanotubes are dangerous in and of themselves, in materials and products where they are safely encased, but are concerned about tiny nanotube fibers being released when those products are broken or incinerated. Also, they are concerned about workplace safety for nano factory workers.

The Washington Post reported that “preliminary evidence of cancer risk is strong enough to justify urgent follow-up tests and government guidance for nano factory workers.”

The is conducting nanotoxicology research, and, according to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle, already recommends people working with carbon nanotubes follow guidelines for working with engineered nanomaterials. This includes using respirators and special filters to clean the air.

It is estimated that nanotubes will be a $2 billion industry within the next few years, and nanoparticle technology and production even more than that.

The Washington Post points out that there is already significant federal spending in place to support this industry, with the National Nanotechnology Initiative providing about $1.5 billion a year for research. Only 5 percent of that fund is focused on health and safety.

While the carbon nanotube research is preliminary, its findings are significant enough to warrant real concern.

John M. Balbus, health program chief at the Environmental Defense Fund, made a prophetic statement to the Washington Post about the future of nanotechnology as it relates to public health. The paper quotes him as saying, “I think we are really coming to a critical juncture relating to transparency and stewardship. We will see whether various companies are going to be proactive and up front with people, and communicate openly in a way that inspires confidence and not repeat mistakes that other industries made in the past.”


Asbestos hazard forces 31,000-acre land closing

8 May 2008 by under Events

ba clear creek graphic 150x150 Asbestos hazard forces 31,000 acre land closingApproximately 31,000 acres of public land in California’s Clear Creek Management Area (CCMA) have been closed to all forms of entry and public use by the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management, based on the results of an Environmental Protection Agency CCMA Asbestos Exposure and Human Health Risk Assessment. The closure order was issued by the Bureau on May 1.

The closure order states, “This closure is necessary to protect public land users from human health risks associated with exposure to airborne asbestos in the CCMA based upon a final report issued by the Environmental Protection Agency that concludes that public use activities could expose an individual to excess lifetime cancer risks. The order will remain in effect while the BLM completes a Resource Management Plan for the CCMA to determine if and how visitor use can occur without associated health risks.”

The risk in this area comes from natural deposits of asbestos. Asbestos is linked to mesothelioma, a deadly lung cancer.

The San Francisco Chronicle, on the SFGate.com web site, quotes Jere Johnson, a project manager with the EPA, as saying, “Frankly, we were surprised at how high the levels of asbestos are at Clear Creek. What we found is that there is a lot of asbestos in the soil, and when you disturb the soil it poses a health risk.”

Chronicle reporter Carolyn Jones says outdoor enthusiasts are not happy about the area’s closing, and are skeptical of the danger. She quotes Don Amador, Western representative for the Blue Ribbon Coalition, an outdoor advocacy group, as saying, “It’s unprecedented, as far as public land issues go. We’re going to want to fight it, either administratively or in court.”

The article says the area will most likely be off-limits for at least a few years, while the completes its own study.

There will be a public meeting tonight at the Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Parkway, from 6-9 p.m. There also will be an open house from 3-5 p.m. Additional meetings will be held from 6-8 p.m. May 19 at Veterans’ Memorial Hall, 649 San Benito Street in Hollister; and 6-8 p.m. May 21 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library, Room 225, 150 E. San Fernando Street, San Jose.

If you live in the area, please let me know if you attend any of these meetings. We will follow this issue and let you know if there are new developments.


$20 million verdict for Meso victim

12 Mar 2008 by under Legal, News

Victim Wins $20 Million Verdict in Asbestos Lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO –(BusinessWire)—A Dallas, Texas-based law firm today announced a $20 million civil verdict in an asbestos lawsuit on behalf of Joan Mahoney, 69-year-old victim of mesothelioma, a painful and debilitating form of cancer affecting the lining of the lungs, and Daniel Mahoney, her husband of 42 years. The jury attributed 30 percent of the $20 million liability to defendant Georgia Pacific Corp.

Attorneys represented Joan and Daniel Mahoney before Judge Thomas Mellon in San Francisco County Superior Court.

Mrs. Mahoney, a San Francisco native, spent much of her career in real estate and show business. Her singing career spanned 30 years and took her around the world seven times on USO tours. But it was her work in the part-time family construction business that exposed Mrs. Mahoney to Georgia Pacific’s asbestos-containing joint compound, the suit established. Together, Mrs. Mahoney and her husband, who was also a math teacher, built and remodeled over 200 houses in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

The evidence at trial showed that Georgia Pacific knew from the moment it entered the asbestos business that asbestos exposure causes disease. Years before the Mahoneys first used Georgia Pacific’s asbestos-containing joint compound, Georgia Pacific knew that its product posed a substantial risk to workers.

Not until the government banned certain uses of asbestos in 1977, after the Consumer Product Safety Commission said that exposure to asbestos-containing joint compound for as little as six hours a day, four times per year could result in thousands of people developing cancer, did Georgia Pacific stop selling asbestos containing joint compound.

The damage caused by asbestos exposure can take decades to surface. Mrs. Mahoney was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2006—35 years after her first exposure to Georgia Pacific’s product. She continues to fight the painful disease that experts say will cause great suffering and eventually kill her.

Published March 12, 2008 in BusinessWire.