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Mesothelioma Law Blog

FDA approves the first drug regimen for mesothelioma in 16 years

At the beginning of October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a drug combination to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma that cannot be otherwise removed by surgery. This approval is the first the FDA has made for a mesothelioma drug treatment regimen in 16 years. It is also the second-ever systemic therapy for mesothelioma approved by the FDA.

The newly approved drug combination includes nivolumab and ipilimumab. These drugs are both immunotherapy drugs developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb. Studies have shown that when used together, they can enhance T-cell function, which can lead to a decrease in tumor growth.

Asbestos can be recycled, but is this safe?

Asbestos is known for causing various health conditions, such as mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. However, its other properties historically made it a common addition to numerous products, especially building materials.

Although many applications for asbestos are now banned in the U.S., old asbestos-containing products remain in use throughout the country. When these products are removed, they must go somewhere.

Improper asbestos disposal carries both legal and safety risks

A man from West Virginia was recently convicted and sentenced for dumping asbestos-containing materials in a national forest. His penalties reportedly include over $14,000 restitution for cleanup costs, $100 fine and court costs. He also received a six-month jail sentence, which was suspended.

According to media reports, the West Virginia Natural Resources Police discovered a dumpsite in the Monongahela National Forest in early April. The items dumped at the site contained siding and shingles that were made with asbestos.

Scientific advisory committee critical of EPA's asbestos report

For many years, Americans have accepted and valued the role that science can play in advancing human life. The nation’s scientists were the first to send a man to the moon, develop personal computers, and break countless technological barriers. Good science can also protect the environment and improve human health.

So, why would anyone want to make use of second-rate science? Why would anyone fail to use all the data available to them to find real solutions to real problems? These are just two of the questions that lurk behind one science advisory committee’s recent rebuke of the EPA's draft asbestos risk report.

Where does asbestos mining still occur?

Asbestos used to be mined in countries around the world, including in the United States. However, many asbestos mines have closed because of the health risks associated with this toxic mineral.

Miners have one of the highest risk occupations when it comes to asbestos-related diseases. Other professionals who often encounter asbestos on the job, like railroad workers, shipbuilders, factory workers and construction workers, share this elevated risk. As a result of this knowledge, many countries have limited this mineral's use, while others have banned its use entirely.

Americans aren't the only ones struggling with asbestos

Asbestos used to be considered a miracle mineral. Now we know it’s a killer. Because asbestos fibers are strong and naturally resist heat and fire, manufacturers used to build them into all kinds of materials. At least, until we learned those materials were killing us.

Now, most nations have stopped mining asbestos. Many have banned it. And people everywhere find themselves struggling with the asbestos already built into buildings, cars, furnaces, ceiling tiles and other materials. Some must even grapple with their historical ties to the mineral.

12 surprising ways you could suffer asbestos exposure

By now, you've probably heard that asbestos is a carcinogen. Exposure can lead to cancers like lung cancer, colon cancer and mesothelioma. It's natural you'd want to avoid exposing yourself to the mineral, but how easy is that?

The truth is that asbestos was everywhere through the 1970s, but the warnings of the dangers were not. Due to its toughness and heat resistance, asbestos found its way into all kinds of building materials, auto parts, paints, sprays and household items. Newer items mostly avoid asbestos, but you can still find it in a surprising number of older items.

Six ways to improve your mental health while fighting cancer

Your mental health colors everything else that happens in your life. However, life events can also cause shifts in your mental health.

When you feel sick, you may not be able to do the activities you enjoy. When you are ill for a long time or receive a serious diagnosis, like mesothelioma, your mental well-being can suffer. In some cases, the treatments you receive can even affect your mental health.

Do asbestos abatement workers have enough protection on the job?

Asbestos removal is generally not a DIY project. Typically, property owners who are concerned about asbestos are advised to call in the professionals. This is because asbestos abatement professionals should be formally trained and certified in the best techniques for minimizing health risks while removing asbestos-containing products.

Asbestos abatement workers wear three layers of porous polypropylene suits and a respiratory mask. However, this may not be enough to completely protect them from exposure to asbestos.

What is it like to live with mesothelioma?

The truth is that a mesothelioma diagnosis is a tough thing. It’s hard on anyone diagnosed with cancer, and it’s hard on friends and family members.

Because there’s no reliable cure, the diagnosis often leads to a lot of uncertainty. What are the treatment options? What are the odds? How long do I have? How will I feel? How will I pay for everything? The questions pile up fast, so it can be important to step back, take a breath and seek greater clarity.

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