Asbestos World Watch for March 13th, 2009

In JAIPUR, INDIA, a private clinic began asbestos is testing in 13 people from Netaji Ka Bada in the Udaipur district. All of the patients shared a history of working in asbestos mines sometime in their pasts.
The Mine Labour People Campaign (MLPC) created the initiative to bring a greater awareness to the welfare and dangers faced by miners. The MLPC sought government action to better the plight of the miners.

A total of 89 former miners were given aid by the MLPC to have the initial health assessments done in their villages. Thirteen of those were then taken to the private clinic in Jaipur for asbestosis testing. Once they have been diagnosed by a physician with asbestosis, the miners can begin to receive government benefits.

Officially, asbestos mining is outlawed in India, but open-cast mines are still operating in Rajasthan. Asbestos is also illegally mined by some mine owners who have legal soapstone mining licenses. Soapstone and asbestos are often found in the same type of rock. This illegal mining does not help the miners who are struggling to get the health benefits needed to tend to their illnesses resulting from working in the asbestos mines. With the continued assistance of the MLPC, these miners were able to get care and the proper testing needed.

In GLASGOW, SCOTLAND, victims of asbestos-related diseases were honored with a plaque at the Clydeiside Action on Asbestos headquarters to spotlight national Action Mesothelioma Day.

Each year, approximately 2,000-3,000 people are diagnosed with Mesothelioma. The most common cause of mesothelioma is inhalation of asbestos fibers or particles, and most of those diagnosed with the cancer have been exposed to asbestos through the course of their job. From the time of exposure, it can take many years before cancer develops, but once it does, the victim often only has months to live. Mesothelioma remains one of the most difficult cancers to treat since many traditional therapies do not affect the tumors.

The Clydeiside Action on Asbestos group hoped to raise awareness of asbestos-related diseases and the victims’ difficulties in getting compensation. Support groups such as the Clydeiside Action on Asbestos group seek to help victims as they embark on the fight for their lives against any of dozens of life-stealing asbestos-related diseases they contracted from simply doing their jobs.