Monthly Archives: October 2012
If you had 60 million pounds of debris with asbestos, where might you look to offload it? How about a farm? Better yet, how about one with wetlands and a river that runs through it? That way, the asbestos could soak through the wetlands and flow through the land via the river.Well, that’s what Cross Nicastro and Dominick Mazza decided to do. Nicastro is the owner of a 28 acre farm in upstate New York. Mazza was an owner of a waste management company. Both got convicted earlier this month and face prison time and big fines. The debris was originally from a New Jersey industrial shredding machine. Asbestos was never removed from the debris.
Assistant U.S. Attorney General Ignacia Morena stated that the defendants had “flouted numerous federal laws designed to protect Americans from exposure to toxic materials when they dumped asbestos-contaminated waste into an area that included sensitive wetlands” in a statement.
Patients who believe that they may have mesothelioma may now have a new way of confirming their hunch via a blood test. US News & World Reports article earlier this month reported on the blood test, along with a lung fluid test. The lung fluid test looks for a protein in plasma called fibulin-3 that indicates whether a person has mesothelioma, often triggered by asbestos exposure.
The article quotes study author, Dr. Harvey Pass, a professor of thoracic oncology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City: “In the mesothelioma patients, fibulin-3 was four to five times higher than in asbestos-exposed individuals,”
Results of the study appear in the Oct. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
This cancer originates in the lining of the heart, abdomen, chest, and lungs. Mesothelioma is a disease prevalent among individuals who have worked with asbestos or in locations where exposure to asbestos was likely. Smoking increases the risk of mesothelioma.
The deadly material has been used in manufacturing heat resistant materials, often used for construction/plumbing projects. Asbestos has also been used in automotive/truck parts–most notably the brake components, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Dr. Pass recognized that mesothelioma could take years, if not decades, to developer after asbestos exposure. Often, once diagnosed, mesothelioma patients would face grave prognoses of 1 year or less for survival. Symptoms are coughing, chest pain, and shortness of breath.
An earlier detection by use of a “biomarker” may allow for more effective treatment of mesothelioma.