This week’s collection of news stories provides contrasting ways government and industry can handle asbestos problems. They can hide asbestos problems, or ignore the problem and hope nobody ever finds out. Then, if they are discovered, they can try to deny any wrongdoing. We call that “doing it wrong.”
Government and industry can also choose to acknowledge asbestos problems. They can warn people. They can protect people. They can support them if they are made sick. We call that “doing it right.”
Let’s dive into our first category:
DOING IT WRONG—W.R. Grace
The Libby Trial
Robert Locke, former Grace official, came clean about his involvement in the Libby tragedy. He revealed that he warned the company of asbestos dangers at the vermiculite mine as early as 1976:
“It was time to stand up and do the right thing…”
Mr. Locke, when under cross examination by Grace’s lawyers, explained why he was now testifying against his former employer.
Ash Grove Cement Corp. protects its workers WITH PAY. Our hats go off to Ash Grove, who not only warned its employees of potential hazards, but chose to keep them home with pay, rather then potentially expose them to asbestos.
The EPA steps in and supervises cleanup in Ambler, Pennsylvania. Ambler was home to several insulation, pipe and brake manufacturers.
West Virginia judges protect railroaders’ rights. Supreme Court holds that a railroad can not hold former employees to a “total and absolute” release, given that asbestos symptoms can take 40 years to manifest.
Dancers in Southern California perform to honor a friend’s sick father. Friends of Isabella Bendix, daughter of Ken Bendix, a mesothelioma victim, raised over $3,000 to donate toward curing mesothelioma.