This has been a big week for asbestos victims. The Grace trial in Montana continued as the jury heard expert medical testimony. Additionally, victims were given the opportunity to attend the trial.

As the voices of the victims in Libby, Montana were heard, another voice for asbestos victims went silent. We are sad to report that advocate Nancy Tait died this week.

Finally, some disturbing news from overseas concerns the next waves of asbestos victims and the continued sale of asbestos-containing building materials.

National Asbestos News

The Libby Trial

Leading medical experts testified in the W.R. Grace trial in Libby, Montana. Doctors described the symptoms suffered by asbestos victims. Pulmonologist Dr. Alan Whitehouse described the horrors of asbestos disease.

A three-judge panel declared that victims in Libby may meet the criteria described in Montana’s Crime Victim Bill. These victims were given the right to attend the trial. Previously they were only allowed to testify, but not attend other proceedings.

Lioness of Asbestos Advocacy, Nancy Tait, Gone but Never Forgotten

Nancy Tait, author of Asbestos Kills and founder of the Society for the Prevention of Asbestosis and Industrial Diseases (Spaid), which lobbied for tighter asbestos controls in England, died this week. The Simmons Hanly Conroy mourns her passing and vows to continue her fight. Read a moving obituary from The Guardian.

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization celebrates creation of “National Asbestos Week.” The conference is scheduled for March 27th-29th.

Future Asbestos Victims Identified

Disturbing statistics from the United Kingdom reveal that carpenters are at severe risk of asbestos exposure and disease. “Baby boom” carpenters, those born in the 1940’s, stand a 1 in 17 chance of dying of mesothelioma. This is a staggering statistic when you consider how rare mesothelioma is among the general population.

Additionally, Australian experts report that young people renovating their first homes or entrepreneurs “flipping” old homes are at grave risk of asbestos-related diseases.

Asbestos-containing building materials are readily available for purchase on the black market in the United Arab Emirates.

Asbestos in Our Lives

Utica, New York: Asbestos scare shuts down Utica City Hall.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Asbestos concerns delay sale of office building.

Jamestown, New York: Sheet metal workers exposed to asbestos; employer fined $273,000.

Mesothelioma Medical Developments

Eight-year mesothelioma survivor uses freeze therapy, or “cryoablation” to fight her disease.

A new clinical study: Morphotek(r) announces the initiation of MORAb-009 Phase II study in first-line treatment of mesothelioma. Read the press release. Visit Morphotek’s home page.