May 2012 Archives

May 23, 2012

Please Help the Asbestos Legal Center Warn the Public About Asbestos Containing Drywall!

Please post this article to your social media website, "share" it, and "like" it, and help the Asbestos Legal Center save lives.

For the last two weeks the Asbestos Legal Center has had their thoughts and prayers with a client, who has been struggling to leave the hospital after undergoing surgery to remove malignant pleural mesothelioma tumors caused, in part, by exposure to asbestos containing drywall. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lungs that develops ten to thirty years after exposure to asbestos. There is no cure for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Asbestos exposure also causes lung cancer and asbestosis, a chronic scarring of the lungs.

In honor of this client's battle with malignant pleural mesothelioma, the Asbestos Legal Center has decide to create this blog article, warning the public about the hidden danger of asbestos contained in drywall sheetrock found in many of the homes and structures in the United States.

Drywall, also commonly referred to as sheetrock, is a wall panel made of two sheets of paper with a gypsum mineral compound pressed between them. Invented in 1916, it's use as a construction material for walls and ceiling became popular in the 1940's and continuing after World War II. Until the late 1970's, many companies manufactured drywall that contained asbestos. Unfortunately drywall containing asbestos is found in many of the homes that were built prior to 1980 in the United States. Today, workers and families are at risk for exposure to asbestos contained in this drywall when performing home remodel projects that require cutting into the wall, releasing asbestos dust into the air.

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The OSHA safety limit for exposure to asbestos is .1 fiber per cubic centimeter. To put the OSHA safety limit in perspective, one needs to know that asbestos fibers are microscopic in size. 20,000 asbestos fibers are smaller than a grain of rice. Put simply, what all of this means is, if you can see asbestos dust with the naked eye you are being exposed to a level of asbestos that is greater than the OSHA safety limit.

If your home contains drywall that contains asbestos, you can hire a contractor who has undergone training and is specially licensed in asbestos abatement, to remove it. Safely removing asbestos containing drywall requires air sampling, sealing off the area, and the use of specialized equipment such as vacuums or fans. The asbestos abatement contractor will also wear specialized breathing protection. But there is good reason for all of this: asbestos is dangerous!

Moreover, drywall is not the only building material that contained asbestos prior to 1980. Asbestos was also contained in other construction products, such as joint compounds, acoustic popcorn ceilings, floor tiles, stucco, cement, roofing materials, and sewer pipe. For that reason it is advisable, whenever performing a home remodel project on a home built before 1980, to have a licensed environmental materials testing company come to your home and take samples for asbestos prior to beginning work. The extra cost could well save your life, or the life of your family members, in the future.

Please help the Asbestos Legal Center spread the word and save lives, by posting this article to the your social media webpage, and hitting the "like" or "share" button. Thank you.

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May 20, 2012

Donna Summers: Asbestos Containing 9/11 Dust Presumed Cause Of Her Lung Cancer

On June 14, 2012, at the age of 63, entertainer Donna Summers lost her life to lung cancer. It is has been widely reported that prior to her death, Donna Summers believed that the cancer that eventually took her life was caused by her exposure to asbestos and other toxins contained in the dust generated from the World Trade Center terrorist attack of 9/11. Donna Summers was a resident of New York City in September of 2001, when the World Trade Towers fell, scattering debris and asbestos containing dust plumes throughout ground zero and the rest of the City. Analysis of the dust clouds revealed they contained the following materials: gypsum, cement, calcium carbonate, asbestos, lead, glass fibers and other metal particles.

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that due to it's cost, light weight, and heart resistant properties, was integrated into many construction materials and insulation products throughout the great majority of the 20th century. The use of the asbestos occurred despite the asbestos industry's knowledge that the substance was harmful to human health; causing asbestosis, lung cancer, and malignant pleural mesothelioma - an incurable cancer of the lining of the lungs that has only one known cause, asbestos exposure. There are thousands of asbestos caused lung cancers that are diagnosed in patients every year in the United States. Many of these patients seek compensation for their health bills and for the benefit of their families in the U.S. Court system, and from bankruptcy trusts were hundreds of millions of dollars have been set aside to compensate asbestos victims. Attorney Michael Mandelbrot, founder of the Asbestos Legal Center in San Francisco, doesn't see this trend ending soon. "The sad reality is that asbestos is contained in the structures all around us, because the asbestos industry chose to either suppress or ignore information that the use of asbestos posed a danger to the public. As these structures degrade, more and more of the population will be exposed to the fiber, leading to more deaths. It is my firm's commitment to fight for justice of behalf of those suffering from asbestos caused diseases."

Donna Summers rose to stardom in the 1970's, for her disco hits, "Love to Love You Baby" and "Last Dance", and for her 1984 hit, "She Works Hard For The Money." Her struggle with cancer lasted 10 months from the date of diagnosis, to her death. At the time of her death, her family members released statements that Donna Summers was not a cigarette smoker, and believed her lung cancer was attributable to breathing dust generated from the 9/11 terror attacks.

Experts have compared inhaling the dust from the attacks to inhaling Drano, due to the pH and the size of dust particles in the air. Researchers have linked the dust to a higher than normal per capita incidence rate of asthma attacks occurring in individuals who lived and worked in lower Manhattan. To experts, those same asthma attacks are proof that the toxic asbestos containing dust settled into the lungs of many who lived in proximity to the wreckage site.

In January of 2011, President Obama signed into law the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, a bill setting aside money for health monitoring and treatment of ground zero workers who were exposed to the asbestos containing dust caused by the 9/11 attacks.

May 15, 2012

Oakland Mesothelioma Attorney Calls For Improvement In Disability Claims Processing At Oakland Veterans Administration Office

Mesothelioma Attorney Michael J. Mandelbrot, an attorney representing veterans in the Oakland and Alameda County area suffering from mesothelioma and lung cancer as a result of asbestos exposure they experience while servine in the military, today called for reforms in claims processing at the Oakland Veterans Administration office.

Mr. Mandelbrot's action came in response to the Veterans Administration Inspector General's report of May 10, citing an average of 320 days for a Veteran's claim to be processed at the Oakland regional facility, compared to an average of 241 days at other facilities nationwide. Alarmingly, the report noted that close to 40% of the claims processed at the Oakland facility were done so incorrectly, and only five of eight major office functions were in compliance with Federal Standards. Though the report appeared to focused on disability claims stemming from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it heightens concerns as to the level of service all Veterans are receiving from the Veterans Administration in Oakland.
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"It is completely unacceptable, that those Veterans who have served our country with valor and honor are being left at the mercy of an inefficient, error prone bureaucracy. For many, receiving VA assistance is literally the difference between having money for medical assistance, food, and warm clothing, or not. Reforms must be put in place to streamline process, and get support to our Veterans and their families.", commented Mr. Mandelbrot.

Congresswoman Jackie Spear D-San Mateo has responded to the report of the Veteran Administration Inspector General, by organizing a public forum in San Francisco on May 21st. Attending the forum will be the Oakland Veteran's Administration Director and the Veteran's Administration Western Regional Director. It is anticipated that the Veteran's Administration will try to explain what has caused the slow down and errors, and also announce measures to fix the problem. The meeting will be run in a town hall style format, and members of the public are encouraged to attend.

Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma is a rare, incurable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Many mesothelioma patients contracted the disease as a result of exposure to asbestos that occurred while serving in the United States Navy. Asbestos fibers are natural occurring microscopic mineral bodies that were heavily mined and used in the manufacture of insulation and construction materials due to their heat resistant properties from 1940 until 1980. Some have estimated that as many 27 million people, equaling roughly 40% of the American labor force, were exposed to asbestos during this time period.
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Mesothelioma claims the lives of approximately 600 to1000 Armed Forces Veterans every year. The number grows even larger when deaths from other asbestos caused diseases, such as lung cancer and asbestosis, are factored into the equation.
"Unfortunately many do not realize it, but the human death toll from the Cold War today continues to increase. If it were a human enemy killing 600 to 1000 of our nation's heroes annually, there would be a far greater public outcry. It is my firm's privilege to fight for compensation on behalf of United States Armed Forces Veterans, and their families." Mr. Mandelbrot continued.

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May 12, 2012

Mesothelioma Stockton Lawyer: Various Pipe Supply and Construction Material Companies in Stockton and San Joaquin County Are Alleged Asbestos Exposure Sites

The Asbestos Legal Center, a law practice focused on representing mesothelioma patients and victims of asbestos related disease that represents patients in the Stockton and San Joaquin County area, today cited documentation alleging various pipe supply and construction material supply companies that operated in the Stockton and San Joaquin County area over the last century were asbestos exposure cites. The release of information is a part of the continuing effort led by Asbestos Legal Center founder, Mike Mandelbrot, to supply information to the public in the Stockton and San Joaquin County area regarding where residents may have been exposed to asbestos. Recently, Mr. Mandelbrot highlighted statistics indicating that the age adjusted incidence rate of mesothelioma per capita is higher in San Joaquin County compared to the incidence rate per capita in California as a whole.
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"Many individuals are under the misconception that asbestos containing construction materials were only sold to industrial and large construction projects. Unfortunately that is absolutely not the case. For decades the asbestos industry supplied asbestos containing products to the mass market packaged as personal home remodel and repair items." said Mr. Mandelbrot. "Today our office is proud to share information with the public, that documentation exists identifying suppliers of pipe and construction materials in the Stockton and San Joaquin area, as alleged asbestos exposure sites, so the public can access the information should any family member or loved one become ill."

Documentation exists alleging that the following supply companies in the Stockton and San Joaquin County area were asbestos exposure sites in the past: Moran Supply, Western Building Materials, Record Supply Company, Delta Pipe and Supply Company and Center State Pipe & Supply, Inc.. Asbestos was widely used in drywall, joint compounds, stucco and acoustic materials, roofing products, mastics, floor tiles, cement, and cement sewer pipe into the late 1970's. Asbestos cement pipe continued to be manufactured and distributed well in to the 1980's, specifically in the Stockton and San Joaquin County area, where Johns-Manville, one of the world's largest producers of the product, operated a manufacturing plant.
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Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a unique cancer because it grows in a diffuse manner throughout the entire chest cavity rather than as a typical solid growth or nodule. It is caused by exposure to asbestos. There is no cure for the disease. However, one's survival length typically can be extended if the cancer's treatment begins early enough.

That's why if a person knows they were exposed to asbestos, identifying the symptoms of the disease, often mistaken for pneumonia and other diseases, is so important.

The symptoms of mesothelioma include persistent dry cough, difficulty swallowing, fatigue, sweating, a fever, difficulty and painful breathing, shortness of breath, pain in the chest or rib cage sometimes accompanied by bumps, unexplained weight loss, and blood in fluid one spits up from their mouth. All the symptoms should be discussed with a physician immediately, whom also should be informed of the individual's exposure to asbestos. If one has a significant asbestos exposure, they need not wait for such symptoms to develop but rather should speak to their doctor about scheduling a spiral CT screening of the chest and lungs.

Earlier the Asbestos Legal Center released information identifying public buildings and schools in the Stockton and

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May 3, 2012

Stockton Mesothelioma Lawyer: Numerous San Joaquin County Public Buildings Were Asbestos Exposure Sites

In an ongoing expose regarding the San Joaquin County and Stockon asbestos public health threat, attorney Michael Mandelbrot of the Asbestos Legal Center of San Francisco, who represents mesothelioma patients in the Stockton and San Joaquin County area, today announced more locations where documentation exists that individuals were exposed to asbestos.
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"Our office has reviewed materials indicating that workers engaged in the construction and maintenance of numerous public buildings in San Joaquin County, may have been exposed to asbestos. Efforts should be made to inform these workers that the exposure may have occurred, and that asbestos exposure has been linked in the causation of mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis, so that they may take appropriate steps to protect their health."

Mr. Mandelbrot's lists includes but is not limited to Stockton City Hall, the Stockton Civic Center, San Joaquin County Jail located in Stockton, the San Joaquin County Courthouse, Edison High School, Lincoln High School, and the San Joaquin County Administration Center.
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"Asbestos located in schools is particularly troubling, as thousands of students who later attend the school may be exposed to asbestos containing materials that are degrading and releasing asbestos into the air", continued Mr. Mandelbrot. "Unfortunately, a person exposed to asbestos in high school, will not learn whether that exposure is going to cause lung cancer or mesothelioma until decades later."

Mesothelioma is a cancer that develops in the lining of lungs, chest, or abdomen.
There is no recognized cure for malignant pleural mesothelioma. It has been reported that individuals diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma typically have a six to nine month survival rate.

Recently, in response to disturbing statistics that residents of San Joaquin County and the Stockton area are being diagnosed with mesothelioma at a significantly higher age adjusted incidence rate as compared to Californians as whole, Mr. Mandelbrot and the Asbestos Legal Center have been working to raise awareness.

"Although there is no cure for malignant pleural mesothelioma, there are interventional therapies that can be curative for non-mesothelioma lung cancers. The early detection of lung cancer improves significantly the odds regarding whether many therapies are successful. Our hope is that our work to raise awareness of the asbestos public health threat in the Stockton and San Joaquin County area will save lives."

Individuals who believe that they have been exposed to asbestos are encouraged to report the exposure to their physician. If their physician believes the latency period from the date of exposure is sufficient, in combination with the presentation of physical symptoms indicative of early disease, the physician can order various diagnostic tests, ranging from chest x-rays, to spiral CT-scans. Individuals are also encouraged to report to their physicians any smoking history that they may have in addition to their asbestos exposure history. Smoking increases the risk that a person who has been exposed to asbestos may develop lung cancer.

For those who have developed mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis, compensation set aside in bankruptcy trusts from companies that mined, distributed, and manufactured asbestos containing material is available to pay for

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May 3, 2012

Avengers Movie Week: Remembering Asbestos Lady and Asbestos Man

This week the entertainment world is buzzing about the release of the new comic book movie, the Avengers, featuring a group of heroes from the Marvel Comic books universe working together to overcome long odds to save the world from an inter-dimensional evil genius and his extra-planetary army. Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye; it's a media reboot of the comic book characters that first began to appear in the 1940's and continued to be promulgated with great popularity into the 1960's and 1970's. But there are three characters from the annals of the Avengers universe who won't be making appearances in the film, but whose significance in the comic books go far beyond the fictional story line; do you remember Asbestos Lady, Asbestos Man, and the Human Torch?
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First appearing in Captain America comic in 1947, Asbestos Lady was the super villain alter ego of Virginia Murdoch. Ms. Murdoch wore an asbestos suit that could withstand the heat of fire, allowing her to create large explosions near banks that only she could venture near safely, allowing her of course to rob the bank with little resistance. The hero, Human Torch, eventually captured Asbestos Lady by melting an asphalt road that stuck to her feat, making it impossible for her to run away.

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Asbestos Man first appeared as a evil super villain in the Human Torch comic book series in 1963. He was the alter ego of analytical chemist Professor Orson Kasloff.
Kasloff created his asbestos suit specifically to battle the Human Torch, hoping to gain notoriety and respect from the criminal underworld. His arsenal of weapons included and net he would throw at the Human Torch, that would covert heat to explosive charges. His criminal master plot was very similar to Asbestos Lady: he robbed banks after creating infernos surrounding them. In their first encounter Asbestos Man actually defeated the Human Torch, but he was eventually captured when The Human Torch created a fire so large, that all of the oxygen in a bank disappeared, making it impossible for Asbestos Man to breathe.

Asbestos Lady and Asbestos Man capture an age when people were unaware of the significant dangers associated with asbestos exposure, and children would believe the a person of high intelligence would wear asbestos fibers. An age when asbestos was used as stuffing to fill baseball gloves and football helmets. The comics are a lasting reminder of the significant cover-up perpetrated by the asbestos industry, regarding the danger associated with asbestos exposure.

By the time Asbestos Lady first appeared in Marvel Comic books, in 1947, the relationship between asbestos exposure and disease was well documented. In 1932 the U.S. Bureau of Mines and Occupational Health Clinic was ready to release the results of a study revealing that 29% of asbestos industry giant Johns-Manville employees who had been exposed to asbestos had developed asbestosis that was detectable by x-ray. However, upon learning of the report, Johns-Manville used it considerable political power to stop it from being released to the public. This occurred despite the fact the epidemiological papers had been published for over 30 years documenting a relationship between asbestos exposure and disease.
One year before Asbestos Man made his appearance in the Marvel Universe, in 1966, the director of Bendix Corporation, an asbestos product manufacturing company, wrote a memo to Johns-Manville Company stating, "...if you have enjoyed a good life while working with asbestos products why not die from it."

Tragically, the asbestos industry cover-up and conspiracy to characterize asbestos as safe, that was so effective in popular culture that it claimed the lives of millions of people who died from asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma, who had unknowingly exposed themselves and their families to the dangerous mineral fiber, asbestos.

The revelation of the danger of asbestos in the Marvel Universe is reflected in the final appearance of Asbestos Lady in the Human Torch comic book series, wherein it was revealed she had developed cancer as a result from exposure to the asbestos contained in her suit. The story line occurred in 1990. Asbestos Man's fate

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May 2, 2012

Fight Mesothelioma, Go Green And Save A Life: Choose Organic Brake Pads

Every year in the United States, over three thousand people die from mesothelioma, an incurable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. A percentage of those afflicted by the disease include automotive mechanics and technicians exposed to asbestos occupationally that is contained in automotive parts, including gaskets, clutch parts, and brake linings.

Experts indicate that when these asbestos containing parts are installed, and then later as they break down and undergo maintenance, asbestos fibers are released in dust generated that is then inhaled by the auto mechanics and technicians. Once these asbestos fibers become lodged in the pleura, they contribute to the development of malignant pleural mesothelioma.

But now there are alternatives to asbestos containing brakes that consumers can request that their mechanics install on their vehicles, that are much safer for those who service the vehicle, and are better for the environment.

Organic brakes linings are made with composites constructed from naturally occurring ingredients. The linings actually use heat generated from the braking of the car to keep the brake material from breaking apart. Because the brake pads are organic and do not contain asbestos they are actually a safer waste product for sanitation departments to handle as well. One of the drawbacks of organic brake linings is that they typically should be used with lighter vehicles. But if you are deciding to change your habit and adopt a green lifestyle, you probably aren't driving a heavy gas guzzling vehicle.

Another type of asbestos free brake is the "semimetallic brake". This type of brake was developed in the 1960's. The semimetallic brake is used on many foreign manufactured vehicles, in countries were asbestos is banned. It is typically constructed with sponge iron, steel wool, graphite, and resin.

Unfortunately many United States automakers still install asbestos containing brakes on some of the new cars manufactured in North America. Consumer protection advocates cite examples of factories in Mexico where asbestos containing brakes are manufactured for use on vehicles sold in the United States.

If one is a non-professional performing maintenance on their own automobiles, they should always wear OSHA approved masks rated for asbestos exposure when performing automotive and brake repairs. The brake repair work should be performed outside in well-ventilated areas. It is never advisable to perform sanding and grinding of brakes that one suspects contain asbestos. Remember, if asbestos fibers deposit on a person's clothing, they can unknowingly bring them into their own home after completing the repair work.

According to Asbestos Legal Center founder, attorney Michael Mandelbrot, consumers have the ability to demand that automakers do the right thing, and cease using asbestos containing products. "At the end of the day U.S. automakers are selling a product. If the public is informed that the product the U.S. automakers are selling contains a toxin, asbestos, that is causing people to die horrible deaths from mesothelioma, and demands accountability and a change in materials, the automakers will be forced to respond. In the mean time our office will continue to fight for those who are injured in the Court system."

Every year in the United States numerous lawsuits are filed...

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May 1, 2012

Stockton Mesothelioma Lawyer: Incidence Rates of Mesothelioma 49% Higher In San Joaquin County

Attorney Michael Mandelbrot, founder of the Asbestos Legal Center of San Francisco, a law firm that represents patients suffering from mesothelioma in the San Joaquin County and Stockton area, today cited statistics indicating that from 2005 to 2009, individuals living in San Joaquin County suffered a 49% higher incidence age adjusted rate of mesothelioma compared to all residents living in the state of California. "What we see today in Stockton and San Joaquin County is a public health tragedy. While there is no known cure for malignant pleural mesothelioma, we can still fight in the Courts for compensation for those who have been injured, and their families, in an attempt to ensure that this tragedy will not repeat itself in the future."

There are many locations in San Joaquin County were residents who have developed mesothelioma, lung cancer or other asbestos related diseases, may have been exposed to the fibrous mineral, asbestos.

The Johns-Manville manufacturing plant, located on Stockton's outskirts, exposed thousands of workers to raw asbestos fiber stored at the plant, and incorporated into asbestos containing products and asbestos cement pipe manufactured at the plant. The facility started operating in the 1950's and produced asbestos containing products well into the 1980's. Bags of raw asbestos fiber were transported into the facility on railroad cars. Numerous lawsuits have been filed on behalf of those suffering from mesothelioma who were exposed to asbestos at the Johns-Manville manufacturing plant in Stockton, California.

Many workers were also exposed to asbestos at the Port of Stockton, and at various boat construction outfits located in the Stockton and San Joaquin County area. Stockton is home to one of only two inland ports in the state of California. It was in the Stockton shipyards that boat builders constructed U.S. Navy minesweepers and other vessels during multiple war efforts. Neighboring San Francisco Bay also created a demand for Stockton shipbuilders to construct vessels for use in it's vast bay.

The mesothelioma age adjusted incidence rate also may by high in Stockton and San Joaquin County due to the fact that many individuals who were exposed to asbestos at jobsites located in other parts of California, were attracted to the Stockton area for retirement as a result of affordable property values. Plumbers, steamfitters, carpenters, laborers, boilermakers, air conditioning mechanics, and many other skilled workers are at risk for developing mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos they suffered on construction sites. Additionally, veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces are also at risk for developing mesothelioma. Alarmingly, over the 2005 to 2009 time period, the San Joaquin County age adjusted mesothelioma incidence rate was 72% higher than Los Angeles County.

There have been many lawsuits filed by mesothelioma patients who were exposed to asbestos in Stockton, California. Mesothelioma patients who were exposed to asbestos at the Johns-Manville manufacturing plant in Stockton also have obtained compensation from the Johns-Manville bankruptcy trust.

Unfortunately there are many more locations, than mentioned in this article, in Stockton, California, where workers...

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