Paul has just told me some dreadful news. He's been diagnosed with the engineers' worst nightmare, mesothelioma. Paul writes "I had an ambulance ride to A&E with a collapsed lung and they found it was caused by fluid, x-rays showed the fluid but no shadows so they drained 5 litres of fluid and inserted a camera with a biopsy device attached, they observed lesions on my pleura and took biopsies from 8 lesions, they were confirmed as mesothelioma so I am now considering options to extend my life but I am unable to get any definitive life expectancy. I have a dedicated mesothelioma nurse from a charity organisation for asbestos related illness and I will be talking to her today to see if I can get more information."
The next paragraph is pretty scary for us all "I've had annual x-rays for many years right up to July this year specifically looking for asbestos related problems and even during my recent spell in hospital the x-rays and a CT scan did not pick it up, it was only directly looking with a camera that it was diagnosed."
I'm posting this with Paul's permission as I'm a great believer in the power of positive thought, religious people call it prayer but I just believe it's the power of the mind and the more minds thinking the same thing at the same time expands that power.
We're thinking of you mate!
That's a worry.
I worked in clouds of asbestos powder when fitting out the engine room on HMAS Torrens, a steam turbine destroyer escort at Cockatoo Island in 1968/69. The laggers made a huge mess lagging the turbines, pipes, etc for months.
I've had a specialist look at my lungs some years ago. He said that there were minor scars but possibly no worry. I'll be 70 soon. So far so good.
Where are you from: Bilgola - Sydney Northern Beaches
I think we will all have been breathing in asbestos dust at one time or another . That is worrying that it was only picked up with specialist tests . I also worked in the coal mines apprenticeship etc more worries . I have had various x Ray's nothing showing . . Now it is diagnosed you will get looked after as much as poss . I am 78 yrs old next birthday. Take care hope all goes well for you and your family. Colin
Where are you from: Silloth Cumbria UK
Further to my post above, we were never told that asbestos was dangerous during my apprenticeship from 1965 to 1970.
Where are you from: Bilgola - Sydney Northern Beaches
U.S. Government Recognizes Asbestos Risk
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics releases a report that reveals abnormally high risk of early death among asbestos workers.
Discovery of Asbestosis
Dr. E.R.A. Merewether, a famous researcher, publishes first clinical examination of hundreds of workers in the asbestos industry. He found that one out of four workers was suffering from asbestosis.
Dr. Merewether further concluded:
* That asbestosis was a disease of latency, i.e. that workers exposed to asbestos wouldn’t show signs of injury for many years;
* That asbestos dust had to be controlled through ventilation and the use of respirators.
* That workers exposed to asbestos should be informed and warned in order to assure a “sane appreciation of the risk.”
* That the finished products created dust that should be controlled and minimized.
Dr. Merewether’s medical description of asbestos disease mirrors exactly the description of the disease today. His recommendations, if fully implemented by the asbestos industry, would have saved tens of thousands of lives and injuries to American workers.
Industry Regulations on UK Asbestos Factories
Dr. Merewether and his research partner, Dr. C.W. Price, published a report demonstrating that asbestosis was occurring in workers with as little as nine months of exposure. Thanks to their discoveries, industry regulations were placed on British asbestos factories to protect workers who were exposed to the material. However, the regulations did not apply to workers in other industries who installed or handled asbestos as part of their job.
Asbestosis First Reported in America
The first report of asbestosis in an American insulation worker came in 1933, though it is speculated that the disease had simply been misdiagnosed as tuberculosis or other pulmonary diseases before then. The Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. found asbestosis in 29 percent of workers in a Johns-Manville asbestos factory, leading to settlements in lawsuits filed by 11 sick employees.
Link Between Workplace Asbestos Exposure and Cancer Discovered
Researchers report cases of asbestosis and lung cancer in an asbestos factory. Many of the workers had less than six months of exposure to asbestos. Reports were also published of asbestosis from workplace exposure to products, including boiler workers, custodians and insulators.
Warnings of Cancer Risk From Asbestos Exposure
Researchers report that lung cancer in building trades workers is likely caused by asbestos. Dr. W.C. Heuper, a noted occupational physician and the first chief of the environmental cancer section of the National Cancer Institute, suggests that asbestos causes Asbestosis as well as cancer in the manufacturing process as well as through finished building products such as insulation and packing materials. In 1949, Dr. Heuper warns that asbestos was a cancer risk to the general population. By this time there were over 200 references in the widely available literature regarding asbestos and disease.
First Mesothelioma-Like Tumor Reported
The first case of a mesothelioma-like tumor is reported by Dr. Welder in a German study.
More Links Between Asbestosis and Lung Cancer Established
Dr. Merewether finds that 13% of asbestosis cases also had cancer of the lungs or pleura.
Mainstream Acceptance of Harm Caused by Asbestos
Encyclopedia Britannica lists asbestos as a recognized cause of occupational and environmental cancer. The Journal of the American Medical Association concludes that asbestos is probably linked to occupational cancer.
Mesothelioma Found in Asbestos Workers
Mesothelioma is reported in an asbestos insulator worker.
Major Study on Link Between Asbestos and Cancer
A major epidemiological study demonstrates that asbestos workers have a tenfold risk above the general population of contracting lung cancer.
Link Between Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma Strengthened
Another epidemiological study confirms reports that exposure to asbestos causes mesothelioma. This study also included the children and wives of workers who contracted the disease.
Asbestos Industry Ignores Warnings of Health Risks
The medical literature continued to identify asbestos as a major carcinogen and environmental hazard, with over 200 publications describing the hazards of asbestos by the end of the 1960s. Notwithstanding this knowledge, and the death that resulted from breathing in the dust from these products, the manufacturers and installers of these materials continued to sell and install asbestos products without warning workers, reducing the dust or substituting equally effective materials in place of the asbestos. Tragically, many companies had secured additional knowledge regarding the connection between asbestos and cancer as early as the 1930s. However, these companies altered research reports to hide these findings from the public.
Widespread Disease Found Among Asbestos Workers
Dr. Selikoff, a major researcher at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, confirms widespread disease among asbestos workers and from family members living with asbestos workers. A large number of job titles were implicated in the report, including construction workers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, etc. Dr. Selikoff pointed out that asbestos did not “respect” job titles and could harm any person who breathed in asbestos.
First Successful Personal Injury Claim in UK
A British victim of asbestos exposure in the UK filed a successful personal injury claim in 1967, which was upheld by an appeals court in 1971. The case paved the way for more claims of negligent asbestos exposure by victims suffering from mesothelioma, asbestosis and other related diseases.
Asbestos Regulations Revamped
The Asbestos Regulations of 1969 updated the UK’s outdated 1931 Industry Regulations, and regulated asbestos beyond just the manufacturing process to include every industry which used or contained asbestos. The regulations required the use of exhaust ventilation, protective equipment and improved handling procedures to limit exposure to asbestos dust. However, these regulations still did not fully eliminate the causes of of asbestos-related diseases.
Clear Air Act Approved by Congress
Congress passes the Clean Air Act, allowing the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate asbestos as a hazardous air pollutant.
First Successful Personal Asbestos Injury Claim in US
A federal court issues a verdict of $68,000 against asbestos makers to a worker suffering from asbestosis, the first such decision in the United States to be upheld on appeal in Borel v. Fibreboard Paper Prod. Corp., 493 F.2d 1076 (5th Cir. 1973)
Increased Federal Regulation of Asbestos
In the U.S., the Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets some limited workplace exposure limits for asbestos, and improves these regulations two years later. Meanwhile, the EPA bans spray-on asbestos insulation as a hazardous material. In the UK, the Health & Safety at Work Act requires employers to limit their employees’ exposure to health risks, and provide workplace information to the public about anything which affects health and safety.
And we were not made aware of the issues. At the age of 16 to 21 we didn't think of health problems.
Where are you from: Bilgola - Sydney Northern Beaches
My industry shipbuilding is rife with it.
I know people who have been diagnosed for ten years and look better than i do.
Stay positive and just get on with your life.
Where are you from: Barrow
Well said Don.
Sorry to hear Blee. We have all been in the Asbestos environment at some. The Big"O" had blue asbestos, the Steelworks was rife with it and Brown Asbestos was in the Hospitals, all of which I have been in employment.
Yes life is precious, get on with it - I can see more Cruises being booked.
Keep in touch mate.
Where are you from: Parkham Devon (originally Barnsley)
I was exposed to asbestos before I went to sea, and more whilst at sea. Some years ago a doctor told me I had calcification of the lungs as a result. He also said that it would most likely turn to cancer at some time in the future. I'm 72 now and still OK. Kweep smiling - it works for me!
Where are you from: Ipswich originally, now Chandlers Ford, Hampshire.
I am so sorry to hear this, Paul and wish you all the very best. I hope that your condition responds to treatment and am thinking of you.
Where are you from: Ringwood, England
Paul, I echo Alans comments and hope you get good news from the nurse. Thinking about you mate.
Where are you from: Glasgow, originally Barrow
Where are you from: sandwich kent
Thanks guys for your support but unfortunately after a couple of meetings with Nurses and Doctors it appears the only treatment they can offer is chemotherapy which is virtually ineffective, so not much point in going through it.
So Gill and I have made the decision to get over to Australia as soon as possible and try our luck there, if nothing is availability we will at least miss the worst of the UK winter.
All the best Paul (Bleeeee).
Where are you from: Emsworth Hants UK
All the best Paul, I hope you get the best possible treatment. Stay in touch please.