Sunday, July 20, 2008

mesothelioma

july 20 2008

In the south of the country here, coalmining used to be the main industry.

Long after the mines were closed men died from lungcancer, caused by the fine dust of the mines.
The sad inheritance of the way we used to live.
In a way we all were part of the problem, as we all used coals when I was young.

We also used asbestos in our houses, not aware that it was dangerous and could affect our health.
When houses were torn down, none cared for the fine dust.

Even about 10 years ago, when part of the school of the kids was taken down, the teachers send my kids in to get the last tables outside.

I was furious!

Within minutes after hearing this I informed the authorities, went to school and told me that no child was allowed in that building that afternoon, and told all parents at the schoolgate to forbid their children to help the teachers to get the last furniture out of the building.

There had been a fire and the asbestos was broken and was hanging freely from the roof.

The schooldirector laughed in my face and told me he didn't care and would go himself.
I told him to wait for the authorities to give him the clear.

They were there within the hour.
Taped the area, and took tests.
Then sealed the area and men in white suits came in and removed the asbestos.

I got a very nice letter thanking me for being aware of the danger and taking action.
Exposure for a short time probably would be unharmful, but for a longer time could cause mesothelioma, a cancer that is caused by asbestos and which affects the membranes about the organs.

We don't know how many people have been exposed to bad asbestos over the years, but I'm sure many people who have worked professionally with the material over the years, without protection will suffer the consequences.

It's sad...so sad....
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