Belleville News – Democrat tells mesothelioma patient Julie Gundlach’s Story

Article part of international BBC investigative series on asbestos dangers

The Belleville News-Democrat published a story today called “Cancer-causing asbestos: Can you take it home from work?” about our client and mesothelioma survivor Julie Gundlach.

The story is going beyond Belleville because its part of a larger investigative series called “Dangers in the Dust,” being published by the BBC’s International News Services and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. “Dangers in the Dust” is being rolled out this week across the BBC’s international services, and through ICIJ’s more than 50 partner publications worldwide. The series examines the dangers of asbestos on an international level.

Julie’s story, which has already been picked up in USA Today’s Illinois section, is also available on the newswire of the BND’s parent company McClatchy, whose ownership of several large papers like the Sacramento Bee, the Miami Herald and the Kansas City Star makes it the third largest newspaper company in the nation.

On the newswire and in “Dangers in the Dust,” Julie’s story is called, “Asbestos still killing families, decades later.

Below is an excerpt from the story.

Asbestos still Killing Families, Decades Later

By Brian Brueggemann | Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat

EDWARDSVILLE — Growing up, the laundry room in Julie Gundlach’s home doubled as a playroom.

And that’s where the 39-year-old figures she got the disease that will almost surely kill her.

Gundlach has mesothelioma, a fast-acting cancer that is always fatal, generally taking a life within six to 18 months of diagnosis.

The disease is caused by exposure to asbestos. Gundlach, though, never worked with asbestos, like many mesothelioma patients, who typically were auto mechanics, welders, electricians, plumbers, pipefitters, plasterers, refinery workers, shipbuilders and other industrial employees.

Gundlach worked at restaurants and as an employee recruiter. But her dad was an electrician who worked at job sites across the region.

“He’d come home and put his dirty clothes in the laundry room, which was our playroom,” Gundlach said.

Her case represents what local lawyers and judges say is becoming a common accusation in asbestos lawsuits: take-home exposure.

They’re cases where, say, someone often shook the dust off a spouse’s dirty work clothes before laundering them. Or where a child often hugged dad and spent time sitting on his lap after he returned home from work.

Click to continue reading “Asbestos still killing families, decades later.