ASBESTOS IN THE NEWS
Aide to Queen Mother dies from asbestos-related mesothelioma cancer, according to news reports
In world news, the former Private Secretary to Britain’s Queen Mother has died of the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma, and an inquest is to be held into his death to determine if he was exposed to the deadly toxin at Clarence House, the Queen Mother’s London home.
October 21, 2009 - Sir Alastair Aird, 78, worked for the Queen Mother for over 40 years, and was one of the last people to see her before her death in 2002. In 2003, in recognition of his long and distinguished service, he was appointed an Extra Equerry to the Queen.
Sir Alastair died from mesothelioma in September.
Officials plan to investigate whether he contracted the cancer during the abatement of asbestos material at the Queen Mother’s London home, though the asbestos abatement is believed to have been conducted in accordance with the strict safety guidelines that British law mandates.
Besides supervising the removal of asbestos insulation at Clarence House, Sir Alastair may have been exposed to it in his former apartment at St. James’s Palace.
It appears no one is immune to mesothelioma. The disease transgresses all occupations and social strata; from boilermakers to movie stars, and from the basements of old public buildings to the Queen Mum's household.
Asbestos is generally considered safe when it is not disturbed, but when it is damaged or disturbed in any way, it can release millions of microscopic particles into the air.
Airborne asbestos fibers can be inhaled and lodge themselves into the lungs and their protective sheath, a membrane called the mesothelium. This can then lead to the formation of a tumor and an eventual diagnosis of mesothelioma, for which there is no known cure.
The most common form of mesothelioma is malignant pleural mesothelioma, but the cancer can also affect the heart and stomach.
Latest news about asbestos
Despite the fatal diseases associated with asbestos exposure, asbestos is still imported and used in the United States for its insulation properties. The United States imported and used an estimated 1,820 tons of asbestos in 2007, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Government sources project that in the next decade more than 35,000 people nationwide will be diagnosed with the deadliest form of asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma, usually contracted through employers’ quest for quick profits over the expense of maintaining worker safety.
Time to seek justice
Weitz & Luxenberg has protected the legal rights of asbestos-injured workers since 1986. And in that time the firm's mesothelioma lawyers have won several billion dollars in verdicts and settlements for clients.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and seek a free case review, please notify us through the adjacent questionnaire. We will pursue your claim with vigilance to help you pay for medical bills, lost wages, and suffering.
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