Thursday, 3 April 2014

An Unusual Post

I will be the first to admit this isn't my usual type of post. I was approached by a lady who has this cause very close to her heart. Her story moved me enough to want to share it with you in the hope that it will help others.



This lady is Heather Von St. James. You can read about her story in her own words Here. In 2005, just three short months after giving birth to her baby daughter, Heather was given the devastating news that she had Pleural Mesothelioma. This came with the crushing prediction that she may only have 10 months to live. Imagine...

I am very pleased to say that Heather beat those odds and is now making it her lifes work to inform as many people as possible about the dangers of Asbestos related illnesses.

As this is Asbestos Awareness Week, I wanted to help spread the word about this awful substance and it's continued use in America. This use continues to put a huge number of lives at risk every single day. Most people would be totally unaware of the huge risks they are taking.

Here is some information on Asbestos and ways we can help.

Asbestos is a combination of 6 naturally occurring silicate minerals. They were commercially for their sound absorption, tensile strength, resistance to fire, heat, electrical and chemical damage as well as being affordable.
Asbestos has also been used in all sorts of products such as electrical goods, floor tiles and flame proof clothing or materials.
As long as Asbestos remains in good condition it is safe. It is only when it becomes damaged that the fibers become loose and break off allowing them to be inhaled into the lungs.

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and the inhalation of particles. Unfortunately, symptoms may not appear for many years after exposure. If you know you have been exposed to asbestos at any time it is advisable to seek medical advice as soon as possible.
The association between Mesothelioma and Asbestos was first made in the 1940's. This led to restrictions of use leading to a full ban in many counties including the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. These countries are currently working towards removing and disposing of all known asbestos safely.

Unfortunately, Asbestos is not yet banned in America. The States still use around 30 million pounds (that's 13,600 tonnes) a year. A YEAR! It is no surprise then that it is the number one cause of occupational cancer.

In 1989 the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Asbestos ban which included a "phase out" rule. This ban was overturned meaning that many consumer products are still legally allowed to contain asbestos.
There are various restrictions on the use of Asbestos in different States but there is no outright ban. I find this hugely disturbing from such a large and prominent country, which is also a world leader, that it is not doing more to protect its people!

For more information and to support this cause visit Asbestos Disease Awareness or visit
Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation

Please share this post anywhere you think it will help others.

2 comments:

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