April 2012 Archives

April 25, 2012

Stockton, California: A Legacy of Asbestos Use and Mesothelioma Disease

Stockton, California, located on the California Delta, is the county seat of San Joaquin County. One of only two California inland sea ports, the city enjoyed a robust boat building and shipping industry from 1940s into the 1980's. The port served at the gateway to California's Central Valley. But to public health advocates, Stockon has gained notoriety for a less flattering reason: it is the location where scores of individuals were exposed to asbestos over the last century, and later developed the incurable cancer, mesothelioma.

The Stockton shipyards were home to numerous boat building companies who constructed mine sweepers for United States Navy, and tug boats and ferries that later were put to use in the San Francisco Bay. Asbestos containing products and insulation material were used extensively at the shipyard. Many workers who were employed in the Stockton shipyards were later diagnosed with asbestos related diseases.

Located at 1051 Sperry Road, in Stockton, California, the Johns-Manville asbestos product manufacturing plant is a landmark for many families who have lost loved ones to mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos both at the plant, and contained in asbestos containing products shipped from the plant. The plant opened in the 1950's and continued to produce asbestos cement pipe into the 1980's. Asbestos was often shipped into the plant via the railroad whose tracks ran through the manufacturing facility. Thousands of tons of asbestos were used in manufacturing at the facility. Numerous deaths have occurred as result of mesothelioma caused by asbestos processed at the Johns-Manville asbestos cement pipe manufacturing plant in Stockton, California.

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that was used extensively as a heat resistant and bonding agent in the manufacturing of construction and insulating products from the 1900's through the 1980's in the United States. Inhalation of asbestos fibers cause various asbestos related diseases, including asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
Asbestosis is a chronic scarring and thickening of the lungs. As the disease progresses, asbestosis makes it very difficult for an individual to breathe, and may eventually result in death. Mesothelioma is a cancer the can occur in the mesothelial lining surrounding the heart, lungs, or stomach. There is no cure for pleural malignant mesothelioma.

Many individuals who were exposed to asbestos in Stockton, California, and later developed and asbestos related disease, have brought lawsuits to gain compensation for their injuries and pain and suffering. Moreover, many families who have lost loved ones to mesothelioma have also sought justice in the Courts.

The Johns-Manville bankruptcy trust provides compensation to individuals who were exposed to asbestos at the Johns-Manville asbestos containing product manufacturing plant in Stockton, who later developed asbestos related diseases.
Moreover there are numerous bankruptcy trusts that will provide compensation to individuals and families who have suffered from asbestos related diseases as a result of exposure to asbestos at the Stockton Shipyards.

Additionally, there are many other construction and industrial sites in Stockton, California, were it is documented...

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April 4, 2012

San Diego Mesothelioma Warning: Beware Mexico Asbestos!

244234_asbestos.jpgEvery weekend in San Diego County, California, throngs of United States residents travel south across the border to Mexico, looking for bargains in Tijuana shopping malls. As the weekend ends, the line of cars coming back into the United States extends for miles. In 2005, 50 million people, and 17 million vehicles, traveled from Mexico, across the U.S. Border, into San Ysidro, California. There, U.S. Customs agents are tasked with trying to organize the mass exodus while at the same time protecting America from illicit drugs, human trafficking and terror threats. But recent reports from Mexico highlight a growing concern among public health and consumer safety advocates, that there is one menace that U.S. Customs agents are ill equipped to control. Consumers may be returning home to United States with products purchased in Mexico, that unbeknownst to them, contain a destructive poison indistinguishable to the naked eye, asbestos.

Asbestos is naturally occurring rock fiber that was widely used in the manufacturing of various construction products in the United States until the 1980's, due to it's heat repelling and fusing properties. Presently, over 1,800 Mexican businesses incorporate asbestos fibers as a component in their manufacturing processes. In the decade preceding 2010, over 200,000 metric tons of asbestos were consumed by Mexican Manufacturing Industry.

Some consumers mistakenly believe that asbestos is only used in insulation, or as part of heavy construction products. 1321761_cactus.jpg However, in the past non-profit organizations have found asbestos contaminating common consumer products such as children fingerprint dusting kits, in talcum powders, toy clays kits, hair rollers, hot plates, hair dryers and decorative floor tiles. Moreover, asbestos contaminated vermiculite, sometimes used as a packing material for products, is also a public health concern.

In Mexico, asbestos is used to the manufacture asbestos cement pipes, care brakes, cement, roofing and drywall materials.

"Asbestos use is a public health threat to United States consumers traveling abroad to Mexico, but equally important, it is a threat to the citizens of Mexico. It is a travesty that the industrial use of asbestos has not been curtailed in Mexico.", commented Asbestos Legal Center founder, Michael Mandelbrot, from his office in San Francisco.

When asbestos fibers are inhaled by humans, the microscopic fibers sometimes become lodged in the pleura of the lungs. Thereafter the body owns immune system is activated, trying to destroy the foreign asbestos body. Over time scarring develops at the site where the fiber is lodged. When that scarring becomes chronic, and grows in size, it can result in an obstructive pulmonary disease called asbestosis. Asbestosis patients labor to breathe as a result of the disease, and in sever advanced stages, cannot survive without the use of oxygen supplementation.

Other lung diseases that can develop from exposure to asbestos include lung cancer, and malignant pleural mesothelioma. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an incurable disease that in most cases has an average life span of nine to twelve months. Individuals in California diagnosed with any asbestos related disease have the right to seek compensation for their injuries in the Court system...

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