UMdL sincerely express emotional involvement to all families that suffered for asbestos and for all asbsetos victims.
On Wednesdey 19 November 2014, Supreme Court of Cassation revoked previous sentences for the crime of environmental disaster against Stephan Schmidheiny one of the owners of the Eternit‘s plants in Italy. Justification for this sentence seems to be based on statute of limitations in Italian Criminal law 1…Anyway an accurate reading of the whole sentence is needed.
Currently there are other 3 inquiries about the Eternit case in Turin . We hope for adequate compensations for all people that suffer and suffered for asbestos diseases.
On Friday 21 November 2014, Supreme Court of Cassation confirmed the sentences for the crime of culpable omicides against 3 former managers of the Fincantieri plant of Palermo 2.
Asbestos harmful effects were well known about 100 hundreds year ago. Some moments in asbestos hystory are reported in the TABLE 1.
In 1898 Lucy Deane, one of the first female Factory Inspector in United Kingdom, wrote the document: “Report on the health of workers in asbestos and other dusty trades”. Miss Deane deemed asbestos work really unhealthy and she requested a deeper evaluation of working conditions:
‘…on account of their easily demonstrated danger to the health of workers and because of ascertained cases of injury to bronchial tubes and lungs medically attributed to the employment of the sufferer’.
‘the evil effects of asbestos dust have also instigated a microscopic examination of the mineral dust by HM Medical Inspector. Clearly revealed was the sharp glass-like jagged nature of the particles, and where they are allowed to rise and to remain suspended in the air of the room in any quantity, the effects have been found to be injurious as might have been expected.’ 3
Currently there is sufficient evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of all forms of asbestos (chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite, tremolite, actinolite, and anthophyllite). Asbestos causes asbestosis, mesothelioma, and cancer of the lung, larynx, and ovary 4,5.
Although repeated calls for worldwide asbestos ban, there are a lot of Countries that still produce and use asbestos 6,7,8. Asbestos trade data in 2013 are reported in TABLE 2 9.
Asbestos is the main responsible for occupational and environmental mesothelioma globally. Fewer mesothelioma cases are due to environmental exposition to “asbestiform fibres“. Recently IARC classified fluoro-edenite fibrous amphibole mineral (at first identified around Etna volcano near Biancavilla in Sicily 10,11) “as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1) on the basis of sufficient evidence in humans that exposure causes mesothelioma“12. Erionite, another natural fibrous mineral (in the group fo zeolites), caused different cases of mesothelioma as reported at first in 3 paesi in Cappadocia (Turkey) 13,14,15. Main Italian deposits (many of them previous occupational sites) that cause environmental exposure to asbestos and “asbestiform fibres” are Balangero, Emarese, Casale Monferrato, Broni, Bari-Fibronit, Biancavilla and Lauria 16,17,18.
For all these reasons we hope for at least adequate social support and adequate compensations for all people that suffered and suffer for asbestos diseases and we wonder… why still asbestos?
3. Gee D. Greenberg M (2001) Asbestos from “magic” to malevolent mineral. In: Herremoès P, Gee D, MacGarvin M et al., eds Late Lessons from Early Warnings: The Precautionary Principle 1896-2000. Copenhagen: European Environmental Agency pp. 52-63 http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/environmental_issue_report_2001_22/issue-22-part-05.pdf.
4. IARC (2012) ASBESTOS (CHRYSOTILE, AMOSITE, CROCIDOLITE, TREMOLITE, ACTINOLITE, AND ANTHOPHYLLITE). In: IARC (2012) IARC Monographs – A Review of Human Carcinogens: Arsenic, Metals, Fibres, and Dusts. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans Vol.100 C 219-309. http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol100C/mono100C-11.pdf.
5. Glazer C. S., Newman L.S. Occupational Interstitial Lung Diseases. (2004) Clin Chest Med 25:467-478 http://ibct.info/2007-09-20-IBCMT-OccupationalInterstitialLungDisease.pdf.