A news release from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed that property owners in Pennsylvania willingly complied with EPA officials in their attempts to protect the surrounding public from asbestos dangers at the property site.
The owners, Legacy Landings, consented to appropriately clean up and get rid of asbestos containing material contaminating structures on the site in Gibsonia. Of the asbestos-containing buildings included a deserted greenhouses on the property previously occupied by a floral wholesaler. Our mesothelioma lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm esteem Legacy Landings for complying with the EPA. Too often we receive reports of contractors and builders trying to bypass asbestos issues.
EPA inspected the site after getting information that scrap-salvaging work was being done after demolition, and EPA suspected the buildings and scraps could contain asbestos. The inspection proved that friable asbestos, which causes lung cancer particularly when inhaled over a long duration of time, was indeed present both inside and outside the buildings. Trespassers were common on the property and it was possible that salvaging activities contributed to the release of asbestos fibers in the air. Other natural factors like rain and wind also contributed to the release.
According to the settlement, Legacy Landings must post signs and provide security in order to restrict access and prevent additional asbestos disturbance at the site. They are also required to abate the asbestos-containing materials properly in order to protect public health and prevent the release of any more asbestos fibers.
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For those with previous exposure to asbestos, the dangers of this mineral is life-threateningly real. Mesothelioma, for example, is one of the most widely researched and studied rare diseases to date. Because of its severity and increasing diagnoses rate, mesothelioma continues to be the subject of clinical trials around the world. While analyzing mesothelioma response assessment models, a graduate student noticed a serious issue: certain patients, whom doctors believed were getting better, actually passed away sooner than the patients whose disease seemed to be worsening.
This finding led the graduate student to conclude that current measures were not sufficient to accurately establish a mesothelioma patient’s response. With the current methods, doctors could mistakenly classify stable tumors as progressive, thereby needlessly restricting the patient’s treatment options.
The student then initiated a study aimed at improving classification criteria. He rearranged patients in groups until there was an enhanced correlation between patient survival and image-associated response. On the basis of the optimized criterion, only about 22% of the patients in his studies were misclassified to begin with.
The majority of doctors use CT scans to assess how a mesothelioma tumor responds to treatment. CT scans are also usually used to determine how thick the tumor is and categorize patients as having stable, responsive or progressive disease.
Standard procedure determines that if a tumor reduces by over 30%, the patient has a partial response. Should the tumor increase by 20% or greater, it is taken to be a progressive disease. CT scans, however, are notoriously unreliable for mesothelioma victims.
Standard criteria were made to be applicable to all solid tumors. The unreliability for asbestos-exposure victims, is the result of lack of specific markers for the distinctive mesothelioma growth pattern.
To identify mesothelioma-specific measures, the graduate student analyzed a cohort of 78 pleural mesothelioma patients who were receiving chemotherapy at a hospital in Australia.
Doctors took CT scans of each patient throughout the entirety of treatment and analyzed tumor response every 45 days. Researchers also gathered final survival data.
The student adjusted the response measures in 1% increments until all patients in the group had a survival pace that matched their classification. He discovered that the standard measures misclassified 17 patients.
Misclassified patients could lose out on possibly lifesaving treatments. Some patients may not meet the criteria for standard therapies while others could miss the cutoff for clinical trials.
In his dissertation, the graduate student hoped that these techniques would influence the tools clinicians utilized to examine patient response in both everyday patient care and phase II clinical trials.
If you or a loved one developed mesothelioma from asbestos exposure, contact a mesothelioma attorney for a free legal consultation.