NIOSH Recommendations for Limiting Potential Exposures of Workers to Asbestos Associated with Vermiculite from Libby, Montana

 Vermiculite is a mineral that expands when rapidly heated. Expanded vermiculite is used in construction and consumer materials (e.g., loose-fill insulation, acoustic finishes, spray-on insulation, and concrete mixes for swimming pools), agricultural and horticultural products (e.g., potting mixes and soil conditioners) and in industrial products (e.g., brake shoes and pads, drilling muds, furnaces, and insulation blocks). Expanded vermiculite granules are shaped like small accordions, and vary in color from silver/gold to gray/brown.

 While retaining jurisdiction, the NJ Appellate Division remanded a case that was lingering for 10 years back to the Compensation Judge for an explanation on the record or in writing within 16 days. The Appellate Court stated, “…we do not know why petitioner’s claim did not get a hearing for so many years.”

Workplace poison

A CLASS-ACTION lawsuit filed on behalf of thousands of workers in a now-closed factory in the city of Passaic recalls a tragic chapter in New Jersey's history. America's plastics industry was born in this state, but the dark side of that story is the exposure to toxic chemicals that has caused illness and death for an unknown number of workers.

The Hatch Asbestos Compensation Bill is Unfair to Workers

 Asbestos compensation legislation introduced by Senator Hatch is a regressive measure that relieves manufacturers, employers and insurers of liability and fails to provide fair compensation to victims of asbestos disease.

Labor Calls Senator Hatch’s Asbestos Bill Too Weak

The AFL-CIO is deeply disappointed by Senator Orrin Hatch’s decision to introduce a weak asbestos bill at this time, when negotiations between the interested parties were continuing. The business and insurance communities had promised to make a new offer to the AFL-CIO in negotiations today, but announced this morning that they have been instructed by Senator Hatch to cease their private negotiations with the labor movement. 

National Consumer Awareness Campaign Launched on Vermiculite Insulation Used in Some Home Attics

 The federal government today launched a national consumer awareness campaign to provide homeowners with important information on vermiculite attic insulation, which may contain asbestos. This new campaign, coordinated by EPA and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), instructs homeowners on how to identify vermiculite attic insulation and recommends that people make every effort to not disturb it. Since some vermiculite attic insulation can contain very low levels of microscopic asbestos fibers, it is important that consumers are aware of the precautions they can take to protect against disturbing and inhaling the asbestos fibers.

Paint makers’ O.K. to put warning stickers on cans is “an empty gesture that’s too little, too late”—Lynch

 Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch called the agreement announced today requiring paint manufacturers to affix warning labels on paint cans “an empty gesture” apparently designed to influence the verdict of Rhode Island’s upcoming retrial of the lead-paint case. “

Vinyl Chloride Conspiracy Documents: Part 10 (1986 - 1987)

3/25/86 Doll wrote Gaffey about vinyl chloride epidemiology in the U.S., and professed no independent knowledge of any of the vinyl chloride literature except the TCA 1974 study. However, “some representatives of the chemical industry” asked him to review the evidence relating to vinyl chloride and the development of cancers in organs OTHER THAN THE LIVER in man and wanted Doll was requesting Gaffey’s help on obtaining the 1978 version of the EEH study (Dr. Doll did not know about eh 1986 EHA/Wong study)

Vinyl Chloride Conspiracy Documents: Part 4 (Jun 1974 - Dec 1974)

6/6/74 At least by June 6, 1974, the MCA-coordinated vinyl manufacturers knew Dr. Maltoni had found cancer at the very level the MCA-coordinated vinyl manufacturers were recommending for U.S. workers (50 ppm on an eight hour TWA basis). 

Vinyl Chloride Conspiracy Documents: Part 5 (1975)

1/28/75 Dr. Monson published an article in Lancet. The study showed an -- 50% excess of deaths due to all cancers was found with the greatest excess in cancers of the liver, biliary tract, lung and brain. 
The SPI VCM / PVC Producers Group discussed the fact that the NIOSH study had found a 57% excess in cancer deaths above expected. 

Vinyl Chloride Conspiracy Documents: Part 6 (1976 - 1978)

A retrospective cohort study of vinyl chloride workers was published by Waxweiler, et al, in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (ANYAS). The Waxweiler study had found excessive number of deaths due to cancer in the liver, lung, central nervous system and the lymphatic system, cancers that were, basically, of the same pattern as those detected in the animal studies. The evidence, both epidemiological and histopathological, was interpreted as indicating that vinyl chloride was the causal agent involved. 

Vinyl Chloride Conspiracy Documents: Part 7 (1979)

In 1979, CMA lawyer, Don Evans, advised CMA coordinator, J. Young, that the MCA-coordinated companies’ failure to revise the Safety Data Sheet, (SD-56) because of its deliberate and considered (but undisclosed and contrary to MCA’s own stated policies) policy not to place cancer warnings on vinyl chloride, might, predictably, be interpreted as illegal or immoral, if it were ever disclosed. 

Vinyl Chloride Conspiracy Documents: Part 8 (1980)

1/15/80 On January 15, 1980, Environmental Health Associates, Inc. (EHA, the successor to EEH) wrote the Vinyl Panel through CMA (Joseph T. Seawell) proposing to conduct an epidemiologic study (case control) of the brain cancer cases as well as the 5-year follow-up the MCA-coordinated vinyl manufacturers had made the commitment to perform.

Vinyl Chloride Conspiracy Documents: Part 9 (1981 - 1985)

1981 - The CMA-coordinated vinyl manufacturers became aware of an article, entitled “Neurological effects of VC workers” that was published Journal of Hygiene, Epidemiology, Microbiology, and Immunology. 

Medical Expenses Continue to Soar in Workers' Compensation Claims

  The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) released its annual “State of the Line” preliminary workers compensation market analysis.

Mesothelioma Deaths Up 3 Fold in Great Britain

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published updated statistics on work related mesothelioma deaths in Great Britain. The statistics show how the risk of death from mesothelioma for different occupational groups compares to the average risk for all occupations together. 

Workers’ Compensation News - May 10, 2003 Volume 1 Issue 10

Medical Expenses Continue to Soar in Workers' Compensation Claims.

Misleading Statements Made By Vinyl Chloride Companies Held Valid Basis for Suit

The trial Court in a class action case, filed in co-ordination with this office, held that the chemical companies alleged omission and concealments were actionable as a common law fraud. It was alleged that the companies failed to communicate this information to the plaintiffs.

We hold the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (the Board) may not allow joinder of a new party after the expiration of the one-year statute of limitations for the filing of a serious and willful misconduct claim. (Lab. Code, § 5407.) Accordingly, we annul the WCAB order in this case that permitted joinder.

Fifty Attorneys General Reach Agreement with National Paint and Coatings Association

Attorneys General from 45 states, four jurisdictions and the District of Columbia Corporation Counsel reached an agreement with the National Paint and Coatings Association (NPCA), requiring manufacturers to place warning labels on paint cans and provide consumer education and training about the hazards of lead paint exposure and how to avoid it.  

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