Asbestos World Watch – 05 Feb 2009

In HUYTON, UK, a 48-year-old woman sued the Knowsley council for exposing her to asbestos when she attended school. The unidentified woman said that as a girl going to Bowring Comprehensive, she was exposed to asbestos, which resulted in the mesothelioma from which she is dying. As of the lawsuit, she had already undergone chemotherapy, surgery, and an admittance to the intensive care unit.
Through her solicitors, John Pickering and Partners LLP, she will testify to the court that asbestos dust stirred up during renovations of her school when she was there led to her cancer. Asbestos was a common construction material when the woman attended her school from 1972 through 1978. The Knowsley council will not take the allegations lying down, saying, “The council plans to vigorously contest these allegations.” In MALDIVES, an artificial island is the world’s largest garbage dump for this tropical nation. Founded to offset the problem of waste disposal for the Maldivian capital, Malé, Thilafushi was created in 1992.

Today, over 124 acres of the artificial island are covered in waste from tourists and locals alike. The problem of the island is that after the waste is hand-sifted, many of the hazardous materials such as asbestos-containing products are dumped into the water. This could result in a potential environmental disaster. The amount of waste making its way to Thilafushi is unsustainable, and some of the trash is now being exported to India. A solution to the problem of hazardous and non-toxic waste has yet to be put forth for the Maldives. In MURIWAI BEACH, NZ, asbestos has been discovered in the dunes, which has led to a massive clean up effort. While there is no danger to the public from the asbestos waste found near a parking lot, the dunes might be damaged in removing the material. Heavy machinery was required to assess the depth at which the asbestos waste was inside the dunes. All workers in the clean-up project have taken the proper safety procedures to protect themselves from contamination, and a portion of the beach was closed to protect the public during the removal process. The asbestos waste was taken to a specialty landfill for such hazardous wastes.