In our Christmas edition we’ve featured a touching tale of beautiful dragonflies being used as a symbol of hope for our worldwide community.
If you have a story to share, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
Each month we are featuring a Questions and Answers session from an industry professional.
I work in a factory, I’ve heard there’s asbestos in the ceiling, what should I do?
Your employer should have an Asbestos Register detailing where asbestos can be found, check this register first. The ceiling panels themselves should also be marked with suitable stickers to warn you. Do not touch or disturb them.
What precautions can I take to ensure I’m not breathing in dangerous asbestos fibres?
As long as the asbestos products are left undisturbed they’re safe. Your employer has a legal duty to check this annually and if you do see any damage please report it immediately to your employer. Your employer must provide suitable asbestos awareness training, if in the line of your normal working conditions you could be exposed to asbestos.
Can I remove asbestos tiles or work with them if asked to by my employer?
No. Only trained people can work with asbestos products of this type. Removal will be carried out by a trained, competent contractor licensed by the HSE under strict conditions.
“Thank you for my damages cheque which arrived today. May I express again how greatly impressed I have been with the expeditious and sympathetic way you have dealt with my claim. My wife and I could not be more grateful. We were particularly
impressed with your personal interest and caring approach throughout. I do not see how it could be possible for you to improve your level of service which was of the highest order and I would be more than happy to recommend Asbestos Justice to anyone else who has the misfortune of being diagnosed with asbestosis.”
Mr. R, Bristol.
Australia’s 1st International Conference on Asbestos Awareness and Management
As the Global Ban Asbestos Network Director for Australia and a Mesothelioma Warrior, the 1st International Asbestos Conference in Australia is monumentally important to me. Since my father, Norman Heritage, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 1985 at the age of 54, I have believed in raising awareness and helping in unity to help ban asbestos on a global scale.
Through my blog, Asbestos – Living with Mesothelioma in Australia, I have been passionate and dedicated in raising asbestos awareness, advocacy and support both in Australia and globally. When I get asked my secret for surviving with mesothelioma. I always say “follow your dreams.”
This International Asbestos Conference in Australia is the realisation of a dream for me. I have been fi ghting to raise awareness of asbestos disease for many, many years now. I am very grateful to the Australian government for taking the lead on such an important issue. Australia has one of the highest incidence rates of mesothelioma in the world. (Leigh & Driscoll 2002)
So, to all my Meso Warrior friends: Keep following your dreams! And keep living in the moment, whether faced with treatment, scanxiety (waiting for results), pottering with every day life – enjoying family and friends, holidays…No use worrying about what the long-term future will be. No one knows that, so let the big picture take care of itself. Let the universe take care of that for you!
Lou Williams, GBAN Australian National Director
Contact Lou on email@example.com
Meso warriors around the world have taken the Dragonfly to heart as a symbol of hope and solidarity. Across there pages you’ll find pictures taken by Meso warriors themselves in celebration of their unity and commitment to each other.
Most were received as gifts from other warriors and family members.
This beautiful poem, written by Doris Stickney, has also been adopted by Meso warriors worldwide. Please click on the image below to view the full poem.
The Children Who Played with Asbestos
More danger descended when the doors and windows of the factory swung open in the heat of summer. For many of the Armley’s children it was as if Christmas had come early.
“The street always had a layer of fine dust with footmarks on it from the early morning workers. The dust was always there while I was at school, lying on walls or window ledges if it had been damp. It was like snowfall” – Mrs. Shires, Armley resident, 1988.
Children from the nearby Armley Clock primary school began to play near the factory’s loading bay on Aviary Road. A witness recalls playing in the vicinity of the loading bay in 1940s:
“We frequently drew the hopscotch grid out in the dust…We also roller skated there… sometimes sacks were left out overnight. They were hessian sacks and they were full of a sort of fluffy dust. We could jump on the sacks when they were left out… I remember seeing grey blue coloured dust come out of them. If we jumped hard enough the sacks burst open. After sitting or bouncing on the sacks I remember being covered in dust.”- Witness. 
During the winter times, the factory’s ventilation systems was a hot spot for children looking to warm up after endless real snowball fights. As mentioned earlier, the summer proved lethal for those trying to enjoy the small amount of sun they could get in the UK.
The sun’s rays would build up heat in the factory so windows and doors were opened for ‘fresh air’. Little did the workers know, they were introducing the residents of Armley to its biggest killer of all.
Families enjoyed the sunshine outside with all the windows and doors open. Children playing hopscotch in the street using the dust to mark out the boxes and numbers, mothers hanging up the weekly washing… whilst fathers worked their way through the deathly dust at the factory.
Dr. Thomas J. Vogl is head of the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at J.W. Goethe University Hospital at Frankfurt University. He has developed the clinical trial to use chemoembolization to treat mesothelioma.
The basic principle of chemoembolization/locoregional therapy is to achieve a transarterial approach to the tumorous lesion. In the treatment of mesothelioma we have to fi nd the direct supply to the cancer. Then the chemoembolization material can be selectively inserted directly to the lesion. A concentration of cytotoxic drugs of up to 20 times higher can be achieved compared to systemic chemotherapy with reduced adverse events.
By cutting off the vascular supply, chemotherapy can be retained in the affected region for several weeks. Over several years Professor Thomas Vogl and his team in Frankfurt have been treating patients with pleural mesothelioma with a technique called ‘Nonselective Transarterial Chemoperfusion’. This is a new way of delivering cytotoxic chemotherapy to patients with pleural mesothelioma. It is an extension of similar techniques used in the treatment of cancers in other parts of the body, notably the liver. Techniques similar to that described here are in use in the NHS in the UK, but not for patients with mesothelioma.
Professor Vogl’s technique has been the subject of interest in the UK, especially from patients with mesothelioma who, understandably, want to hear about all possible treatments. Doctors and nurses caring for people with mesothelioma have also been interested to hear more about this treatment
If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos disease, finding the right help can be difficult. Our advice is to speak to your own treating medical team to consider the best available treatment options available to you, including Trials as there are many other specialist hospitals providing the same specialist service.
To help your search, we have compiled a list of treatment and trial centres below based in the UK for asbestos disease.