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Early Registration for Alton Miles for Meso Ends Aug. 31


MFM 2014 5KRunners

Early registration for the Alton Miles for Meso 5K Race & 2K Fun Run/Walk will end in a week. Anyone who wants to take advantage of the early bird rate of $25 should register by next Monday, Aug. 31. After that date, the price increases to $30 through Sept. 22. After Sept. 22, registration will be $35.

The race will take place at the law office of Simmons Hanly Conroy at One Court Street on Saturday, Sept. 26. Registration the day of the race will be available onsite starting at 7:30 a.m. The race will start at 9 a.m. All proceeds will benefit the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. MFM 2014 Check Photo

Participants will receive a long-sleeve, moisture-wicking T-shirt and a bag filled with goodies from sponsors.

You don’t have to be a runner to participate in the events. Miles for Meso includes activities for people of all ages. Children will enjoy the Kid’s Zone, which will have face and hair painting, pumpkin painting, an inflatable bounce house, snow cones, various games and more.

Local vendors will be in attendance at the Vendor Fair, which will open at 7:30 a.m. and continue throughout the day’s events. Vendors will include local businesses and organizations.

Free food and beverages will be available throughout the morning for adults and children in attendance.

Attendees will also be able to enjoy a mini-concert performed by Jordan Zevon, National Spokesperson for ADAO. Jordan is the son of Grammy Award winning rock singer/songwriter Warren Zevon, who passed away from mesothelioma in 2003. Jordan followed in his father’s footsteps and will perform a mix of original songs and favorites by his father

Don’t miss out on this year’s fun event and register now!

Click here to register >>>

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Filing a Claim Related to the Highland Oil Spill


Clean-up efforts of an oil spill that released over 4,000 gallons of crude oil at the Pocahontas Pump Station, near Highland, Illinois, on July 10 are still on-going. While cleanup of the spill started immediately, the surrounding properties may have significant damage with oil being absorbed in to the soil where farmer’s crops are planted.

Silver Lake, which supplies water to the city of Highland and provides much of the area’s recreational activities, had been closed as a precaution. The lake reopened on Wednesday, July 22.

Plains All American Pipeline has estimated that cleanup is 95 percent complete. According to Jason Blevins, director of eastern operations for the Texas based company, “…the other five percent, we can’t give you a definite time frame on.”

Response efforts are expected to transition from an emergency response phase to an operations and maintenance phase due to the progress made in the clean-up efforts.

The Pocahontas pipeline will remain offline until further details as to what caused the spill are revealed.

Click here to learn more about the oil spill at the Plains All American Pipeline Pocahontas pump station.

Simmons Hanly Conroy is currently investigating the legal rights of those who may have been affected by the oil spill. If you live within the vicinity of the Pocahontas pump station and believe that you have experienced damage to your property or have suffered a loss of income, you may be entitled to compensation. It is important to know your rights before filing a claim.

To learn more about what you should do next, contact Simmons Hanly Conroy by filling out this form or calling 1-866-468-8631.

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Asbestos-containing Crayons, Crime Scene Kits Pose Threat to Children’s Health


Earlier this week an environmental nonprofit group, the Environmental Working Group Action Fund, released a study which revealed the presence of asbestos in crayons and crime scene kits commonly used by children. Four of 28 boxes of crayons and two of 21 crime scene fingerprint kits tested positive for asbestos. All of the tainted products could be purchased in retail stores, as well as online.  The six products that contained asbestos were:

  • Amscan Crayons
  • Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Crayons
  • Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Crayons
  • Saban Power Rangers Super Megaforce Crayons
  • EduScience Deluxe Forensics Kit (black fingerprint powder)
  • Inside Intelligence Secret Spy Kit (white fingerprint powder)

Exposure to asbestos is the leading cause of mesothelioma, a fatal cancer than affects over 3,000 Americans each year. According to an analysis by the U.K. Committee on Carcinogenicity, children who come into contact with asbestos are 3.5 times more likely to develop mesothelioma than young adults who are exposed, due to the long lag time between exposure and disease development.

The World Health Organization (WHO) agrees that children’s longer life expectancies increase their chances of manifesting latent diseases, as they generally live longer with toxic damage. WHO also notes that children are more susceptible to harm from pollutants because of their immature and developing organs and systems, which create “critical windows of vulnerability,” to damage from toxic exposures that adults simply do not have.

Despite the thousands of lives lost to cancer as a result of asbestos exposure, the United States still has not completely banned the use of asbestos. If the U.S. took a stronger position against this deadly toxin, maybe other countries would stop trying to sell us contaminated products.

Manufactured in China and imported to the United States, the contaminated crayons and crime scene fingerprint kits are a perfect example of the lack of oversight when it comes to the production and import of consumer products.

And this isn’t the first time it’s happened.

Traces of asbestos were found in popular crayon brands in 2000. Although the Consumer Product Safety Commission concluded that the risk that children would inhale or ingest asbestos fibers from those crayons was extremely low, the manufacturers agreed to change their products’ formulae to omit talc, the mineral that they had used as a binding agent, which is mined from ore that is sometimes contaminated with tremolite asbestos.

And in 2007, asbestos was discovered in the powder of toy crime scene investigation kits. The powder in these kits also contained talc.

While the use of asbestos in American brands has decreased, especially in children’s products, there is no ban or regulation in place that requires consumer products, like children’s toys, to be free of asbestos. This is an alarming fact due to the way children naturally interact with some of the products tested—for example, the powder in the crime scene fingerprint kits could easily be inhaled.

Findings such as those discovered in the EWP Action Fund’s study underscore the importance of banning the use of asbestos in products. We have a duty to protect our children, who rely on us to advocate for them and keep them out of harm’s way.

Whether on a manufacturing or governmental level, changes need to be made to keep the safety of our children intact. You can help make sure that children are not subjected to the dangers of asbestos by signing the EWG Action Fund’s petition to stop sales of contaminated products.

Together, we can keep our children safe.

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Georgia Reporter’s Hidden Camera Finds FACT Act Supporter American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is Anything but “Transparent”


The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a secretive “charity” that is run and funded by large corporations that subsidize the involvement of state lawmakers. New insights from news reporter Brandon Keefe, who attempted to attend ALEC’s spring meeting, shows the organization’s complete lack of transparency – which is contrary to the reasoning behind many of its bills. Keefe was eventually kicked out of the meeting, and the police were called to ensure he stayed out.

Prior to being kicked out, however, Keefe’s conversations with lobbyists and legislators revealed that the lobbyists’ fees to attend ALEC events actually help subsidize legislators. Despite this admission to Keefe (recorded on his hidden camera) and ALEC’s claims of “transparency”, the organization later denied to Keefe that ALEC legislators are being subsidized by corporate lobbyists.

Those lawmakers push for the enactment of model bills written by the corporations that pay them – bills that would benefit those big corporations. Bills like the “Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act.” ALEC and the national Chamber of Commerce are leading the effort to pass the FACT Act in the United States.

In 2013, asbestos companies used their political influence to first introduce the FACT Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. Under the guise of transparency, the bill will delay, and in some cases, deny justice and badly needed compensation to people suffering from asbestos-related diseases.

Another example of this is Georgia’s Asbestos Claims Priorities Act, which was coincidently passed the same year that its sponsors received thousands of dollars to attend ALEC conferences. The bill maliciously limits who can file an asbestos claim against corporations in the state of Georgia.

In recent years, 104 major American corporations have cut ties with ALEC because of its controversial policies. One of those corporations was BP, which recently ended its affiliation with the organization. In addition to bills like the FACT Act, ALEC is responsible for other contentious bills and issues such as voter suppression laws, extreme gun laws and climate change denial.

Watch the investigative video below for more details.

You can learn more about the FACT Act by reading the below blogs:

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Asbestos and Mesothelioma News Wrap Up: March 2015


The asbestos attorneys at Simmons Hanly Conroy are committed to giving you the latest asbestos and mesothelioma news. Below is a group of some of the most recent news stories covering asbestos exposure, mesothelioma research and other headlines from throughout the globe.

  • Study finds 21 new cases of mesothelioma in group of MN miners
    mesothelioma newsA group of 69,000 mine workers were exposed to asbestos while employed in Minnesota’s iron mining industry between the 1930s and 1982. Among that group, 21 more men have been diagnosed with mesothelioma – in addition to the 80 cases previously identified, that brings the total of mesothelioma cases to 101.
  • VIDEO: ADAO – “Asbestos Kills”
    The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) recently released a video promoting Global Asbestos Awareness Week, which runs from April 1 – 7. Watch and share the video to help spread asbestos awareness.
  • The Asbestos Transparency Farce
    Corporate institutions aim to push legislation through Congress that is all about invading the privacy rights of its victims – primarily the individuals who have been physically harmed by asbestos exposure at the hands of such corporations.

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