Asbestos Usage

Asbestos on Pipes

Prior to the 1970s, asbestos was popular in use for electric and power companies. It often was applied in pipes and other machinery for insulation purposes. Over time, asbestos became frail because of the constant use and its fibers would go off into the air. This put many at risk of mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer and asbestosis.

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Asbestos Revealed In Kingswood

Kingswood School

As a result to a recent discovery of asbestos in Kingswood high and middle schools, summer vacation has been extended by two weeks for students. North Branch Construction of Concord had been reconstructing the schools during the summer and anticipated that the job would be completed by early September. However, asbestos had been revealed within the ceilings and a concrete block in the school’s cafeteria during a demolition procedure. Because of the asbestos removal and ongoing construction, the students will resume school on September 19th, which is significantly later than when most schools start.

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University of Wisconsin Stevens Point Communications Art Center

University of Wisconsin Stevens Point

I just recently heard about this: it was just discovered that the communications art center in UWSP has asbestos material throughout the building.

You can read the article here and if you wish to seek legal help you can click here.

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Arthur Rafferty Is Using His Own Funds to Help Others With Asbestosis

He is a health campaigner who’s been using his own money to send possible asbestosis sufferers to Liverpool for a diagnosis.

Arthur Rafferty used his own savings to send a north Belfast man  and a 78 year old women from west Belfast to Liverpool for a consultation with an asbestosis specialist.

Rafferty is currently suing Belfast Health and Social Care Trust for what he claims was a “wrongful diagnosis” of a condition which has ruined the 71-year-old ex-boxers health.

Arther Rafferty

He is awaiting a High Court hearing, where he can be awarded enough damages to help his fellow suffers as well as opening the floodgates to thousands of other local people made ill through the exposure of asbestos.

People are coming in daily saying the doctors won’t give them the proper answers so i go around offices and shops asking for the money to help them

Arthur said that doctors in Liverpool are inclined to tell people they had Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, which is normally linked to smoking, rather than asbestosis. The two diseases cause similar symptoms and often only an MRI scan can differentiate between them.

If the doctor says they don’t have asbestosis, they don’t get the compensation

Mr. Rafferty said that money was no good for him now that he’s 71, so if he gets a big claim, he’ll be sending people to Liverpool by the busload.

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Asbestos In Your Home

Asbestos in the Home
Asbestos is often used in the construction process of houses due to the material’s strength and resistance to high temperatures. Most common areas in the home that asbestos can be found in are:

  • Floor tiles
  • Beams
  • Sprayed-on coating or textured coating
  • Window sills
  • Bath panels
  • Fuse boxes
  • Backing materials for carpets

Insulation materials may also contain asbestos:

  • Floorboards
  • Wall cavities
  • Boilers
  • Pipework
  • Partition walls
  • Shaft linings
  • Fireproofing panels in fire doors
  • Loft spaces
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Mortality Rate caused by Asbestos

From 1979 to 2001, Asbestos killed at least 43,073 people. This number only contains the confirmed deaths caused by mesothelioma and asbestosis. In the last 10 years, the mortality rate has increased by over 15,000. The government predicted that the mortality rate would double by 2013.

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Before It Gets Worse

I found a brief excerpt on the removal of asbestos that may be helpful to those who need it.

Most asbestos removal work must be undertaken by a licensed contractor but any decision on whether particular work is licensable is based on the risk. Work is only exempt from licensing if:

  • the exposure of employees to asbestos fibres is sporadic and of low intensity (but exposure cannot be considered to be sporadic and of low intensity if the concentration of asbestos in the air is liable to exceed 0.6 fibres per cmmeasured over 10 minutes); and
  • it is clear from the risk assessment that the exposure of any employee to asbestos will not exceed the control limit; and the work involves:
    • short, non-continuous maintenance activities. Work can only be considered as short, non-continuous maintenance activities if any one person carries out work with these materials for less than one hour in a seven-day period. The total time spent by all workers on the work should not exceed a total of two hours, [i]
    • removal of materials in which the asbestos fibres are firmly linked in a matrix. Such materials include: asbestos cement; textured decorative coatings and paints which contain asbestos; articles of bitumen, plastic, resin or rubber which contain asbestos where their thermal or acoustic properties are incidental to their main purpose (eg vinyl floor tiles, electric cables, roofing felt) and other insulation products which may be used at high temperatures but have no insulation purposes, for example gaskets, washers, ropes and seals,
    • encapsulation or sealing of asbestos-containing materials which are in good condition; or
    • air monitoring and control, and the collection and analysis of samples to find out if a specific material contains asbestos.

Under the Asbestos Regulations, anyone carrying out work on asbestos insulation, asbestos coating or asbestos insulating board (AIB) needs a licence issued by HSE unless they meet one of the exemptions above.


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A News of Asbestosis From Reuters.

            I just found a news from Reuters, it talks about new asbestos charges point to reserve woes. I would like to share with all of you. 

Analysis: New asbestos charges point to reserve woes

(Reuters) – Asbestos-related diseases have been falling for a decade, but warnings from a pair of U.S. insurance giants about new claims raise questions about the industry’s ability to put the scourge behind it.

While medical evidence suggests fewer new cases of asbestosis and the lung cancer mesothelioma, insurers say they are getting sued more frequently and aggressively by people with claims against “peripheral insureds,” such as contractors that worked on projects where asbestos was used.

As some of these lawsuits succeed in courts across the country, it fuels new suits by aggressive plaintiffs’ lawyers and compounds the problem for insurers trying to understand their exposure.

The disconnect between a waning disease and flourishing claims also exposes a flaw endemic to insurers. When they set aside reserves for indistinct risks, they are making guesses — even if educated ones — on how long a particular risk will endure and what it will cost them to be done with it.

No law says any particular company’s guess has to match anyone else’s, but investors raise alarms about companies where reserves are not in line with peers.

That’s why Hartford Financial’s announcement this month of a $290 million pretax earning hit from increasing reserves for asbestos cases fostered concerns beyond the insurer’s citation of rising claims for mesothelioma.

“Although these items are one-time events, the result raises questions about … reserve adequacy,” Barclays Capital analyst Jay Gelb said in a note to investors. He was referring to both the asbestos charge and Hartford’s sharp rise in second-quarter catastrophe losses.

American International Group Inc similarly riled investors in early February with a $4.1 billion addition to its reserves, including more than $1 billion related to its asbestos exposure.

Fitch Ratings responded by cutting the credit rating on AIG’s domestic property unit insurance units, calling the charges “a significant outlier” compared to competitors and the whole property insurance market.

According to insurance ratings agency AM Best, the Hartford had the fourth-highest level of asbestos and environmental reserves of all large property insurers at the end of 2009 while AIG ranked seventh. They also ranked in the top seven in terms of average annual asbestos losses in 2005-2009.

AIG and The Hartford are in particularly sensitive positions since they were two of the three insurers who took government bailouts during the financial crisis. Their reserve accounting has not been questioned by any of their regulators.


For decades asbestos was a favorite material in building products, naval applications and other industrial settings because of its fire-retardant properties. Over time, though, exposure to its microscopic fibers causes health problems.

More recently, many of the rescue workers at the Ground Zero site in New York after the 9/11 attacks were exposed to high concentrations of asbestos – in some cases, reports have said, nearly a million times the normal background level.

To be sure, some of the new claims stem from plaintiffs’ lawyers becoming more effective at suing people who are only peripherally connected to asbestos victims. Late-night cable television is flooded with ads from asbestos lawyers, and “mesothelioma” is among the most valuable of advertising keywords on Google. Since there is still plenty of asbestos in buildings across the country, it is also possible that new cases are adding to insurers’ burdens.

Best warned in February that the insurance industry is generally underfunded in its asbestos reserves. It cited a growing number of legal claims reflecting a weakening of tort reform in some states and the “ongoing filing of mesothelioma claims for years to come.”

Asbestos claims have been a bane of insurers for at least a decade. They nearly brought down the Lloyd’s of London market in the 1990s and have cost some of the industry’s largest players billions of dollars. Insurers like MetLife were accused for decades of helping to conceal the deadly side effects of the fire retardant.

In recent years, insurance investors have been celebrating the steady decline of asbestos-related claims and reserves. According to the Insurance Information Institute, reserves grew every year from 2001 to 2005, then shrank every year since through 2009.


The trend appeared to be tracking the medical evidence. New cases of malignant mesothelioma, a lung cancer caused only by asbestos exposure that one oncologist called a “tremendously lousy disease,” declined at an annual rate of 1.8 percent from 1999 to 2008, according to the American Cancer Society.

“I am surprised myself to hear insurers are (seeing) more claims, because we think with the reduction of asbestos years back we’re starting to see a reduction in incidence of the disease,” said Kevin Becker, an oncologist at Maimonides Medical Center in New York.

Annual reports from MetLife, the country’s largest life insurer, show new claims and total outstanding claims dropping at a steady pace from 2003 through 2010, declining around 40 percent over the period.

The sums paid annually by the industry as settlements also have generally been shrinking. A.M. Best’s forecast that the insurance industry may ultimately end up paying $75 billion in asbestos claims over time seems inflated to some regulators.

“I can’t speak for everyone out there but (claims) may be a little less than that,” said Joseph Torti, Rhode Island’s superintendent of insurance and the designated spokesman on asbestos issues for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.


But deciding to build or draw down reserves remains a crapshoot for insurers.

Mesothelioma has an incredibly long latency period, meaning 30 years or more can pass between exposure to asbestos and the onset of the cancer. That is why companies such as Travelers and Berkshire Hathaway continue to build reserves.

“Trends were kind of favorable, but you still see the companies with exposure kind of trickling up their reserves from time to time,” said Jim Auden, head of the property and casualty insurance unit at Fitch Ratings.

Another concern for insurers are new and expensive therapies being developed to treat mesothelioma.

The upshot? Asbestos claims and payments are not going away, and no one knows when the bend will turn.

“You wish that this would be completed,” Auden said. “These claims are tied to activities in the ’70s mostly (and) you still can’t get your arms around it.”

(Reporting by Ben Berkowitz, editing by Dave Zimmerman)


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Their jobs are risky.

Based on the statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, asbestosis is most commonly reported in males, especially the following works.

1.  Carpenters

Carpenters are the people who build or fix wooden structures. From 1940 to 1980, asbestos were used among the carpenters because asbestos is fireproof. However, the usage of asbestos increased their risks of asbestosis till the mid 1980’s when the dangers of  asbestos were proved. Carpenters didn’t use neither masks nor repirators to protect themselves from asbestos then.

2. Pipe fitters

Pipe fitters are the people who install and repair pipe system. Pipe fitters always work with a lots asbestos products, such as Aircell, Block Insulation, Amosite Sheeting, etc. In middle of 1900s, pipe fitter didn’t wear a face mask or breathing protection while they were exposed to asbestos.

3.Steam fitters

Steam fitters are who install and repair steam and its accessories. Since asbestos insulated in a high-temperature application and Steam fitters have to directly contact with high-temperature pipes and equipment, Steam fitters are especially danger to asbestosis.

4. Electricians

Electricians are people who install, operate, maintain, or repair electric devices or electrical wiring. Because electricians are trained to work with heating, cooling, or lighting, they are at a higher risk for asbestosis than the others.

5. Insulation workers

Insulation workers are the ones who work at insulating. Insulation workers have a direct relationship with asbestosis due to asbestos are always related to insulation.


Plumbers are the people who  installs  and  repairs  piping,  fixtures,  appliances, and  appurtenances in connection with the water supply, drainage systems,  etc.,  both  in  and  out of buildings. They take high risks at work because asbestos insulation was used around water pipes.

7. Boilermakers

Boilermaker who the ones who make and repair boilers or other heavymetal items. Since asbestos are usually insulated around the boilers, it’s easy to expose asbestosis for boilermakers.

In conclusion, it seems asbestosis is popular among the people who works  in high temperature working setting. We should absolutely hope that there will be more scientific methods and laws to protect them from dangers of asbestosis.

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What is Asbestosis?

             In recent years, people are getting more concerned about asbestos which is a silicate minerals by natural and is widespread throughout the world due to its profitable physical properties.  However, exposure to asbestos will cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.

            According to the, Asbestosis is a pneumoconiosis due to asbestos praticles that is marked by fibrosis and scarring of lung tissue. Asbestosis is one of the most dangerous diseases in the world since we might not notice that we have infected by it. Especially those people who work with asbestos; they have a high risks of getting asbestosis. Patients might experience shortness of breath and a high risk for lung cancer, or mesothelioma. 

             To know more about the Asbestosis, keep an eye on my blog and I would love to share my knowledge with you. 

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