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(c) 2016 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Asbestos: The Silent Epidemic Continues

The asbestos epidemic continues and there remains no safe use for the asbestos, as exposure remains the cause of asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. Yet the US has yet to ban asbestos. Today's post is shared from theglobeandmail.com/

For John Nolan, the first warning signs came mid-November of last year while he was leading a tour in the Peruvian Andes.

Mr. Nolan, 67, who lives in Fort Erie in southwestern Ontario, was guiding a group through the mountains near the storied Incan city of Cuzco.

He had criss-crossed the planet for years as a tour guide, and knew what higher altitudes typically felt like. But something terrifying happened while he was hauling his luggage up some steep stone steps to his cabin.

“I’ve never been out of breath in such a panicky, horrible way,” Mr. Nolan says in a raspy voice between laboured breaths. “Normally, when you run out of breath, you know you’re going to get it back. This was different. It was as if you were hitting a stone wall, with no hope of getting air. It was like suffocating.”

The diagnosis, back at home, was swift and cruel. It was mesothelioma — an incurable cancer caused almost exclusively by asbestos exposure. Mr. Nolan was initially given a few months to live.

Asbestos is the top on-the-job killer in Canada. But a Globe and Mail investigation has found that this stark fact has been obscured by the country’s longstanding economic interest in the onetime “miracle mineral.” Even though Canada’s own asbestos industry has dwindled from pre-eminence to insignificance — the country’s last two mines closed in 2011 — the federal government has dragged its feet as other nations have acknowledged asbestos’s deadly impact and moved to protect their populations from it.


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Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson-Reuters). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  jon@gelmans.com  have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

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