Extra Info

National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 6.36, Mesothelioma: Questions and Answers
Lung Cancer Home Page
Malignant Mesothelioma Home Page
What You Need To Know About™ Lung Cancer
How can we help?
We offer comprehensive research-based information for patients and their families, health professionals, cancer researchers, advocates, and the public.
Call NCI’s Cancer Information Service at 1–800–4–CANCER (1–800–422–6237)
Visit us at http://www.cancer.gov or http://www.cancer.gov/espanol
Chat using LiveHelp, NCI’s instant messaging service, at http://www.cancer.gov/livehelp
E-mail us at cancergovstaff@mail.nih.gov
Order publications at http://www.cancer.gov/publications or by calling 1–800–4–CANCER
Get help with quitting smoking at 1–877–44U–QUIT (1–877–448–7848)

How can workers protect themselves from asbestos exposure?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a component of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and is the Federal agency responsible for health and safety regulations in maritime, construction, manufacturing, and service workplaces. OSHA established regulations dealing with asbestos exposure on the job, specifically in construction work, shipyards, and general industry that employers are required to follow. In addition, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), another component of the DOL, enforces regulations related to mine safety. Workers should use all protective equipment provided by their employers and follow recommended workplace practices and safety procedures. For example, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved respirators that fit properly should be worn by workers when required.

Workers who are concerned about asbestos exposure in the workplace should discuss the situation with other employees, their employee health and safety representative, and their employers. If necessary, OSHA can provide more information or make an inspection. Regional offices of OSHA are listed in the “United States Government” section of a telephone directory’s blue pages (under “Department of Labor”).

More information about asbestos is available on the OSHA Asbestos Web page, which has links to information about asbestos in the workplace, including what OSHA standards apply, the hazards of asbestos, evaluating asbestos exposure, and controls used to protect workers. This page is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/asbestos/index.html on the Internet. OSHA’s national office can be contacted at:

Organization: Office of Public Affairs
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
U.S. Department of Labor
Address: Room N–3649
200 Constitution Avenue, NW.
Washington, DC 20210
Telephone: 202–693–1999
1–800–321–6742 (1–800–321–OSHA)
TTY (for deaf or hard of hearing callers): 1–877–889–5627
Internet Web site: http://www.osha.gov/as/opa/worker/index.html (workers’ page)

Mine workers can contact MSHA at:

Organization: Office of Public Affairs
Mine Safety and Health Administration
U.S. Department of Labor
Address: 21st Floor
1100 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22209
Telephone: 202–693–9400
Internet Web site: http://www.msha.gov http://www.msha.gov/codeaphone/codeaphonenew.htm
(National Hazard Reporting Page)

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is another Federal agency that is concerned with asbestos exposure in the workplace. NIOSH conducts asbestos-related research, evaluates work sites for possible health hazards, and makes exposure control recommendations. In addition, NIOSH distributes publications on the health effects of asbestos exposure and can suggest additional sources of information. NIOSH can be contacted at:

Organization: Education and Information Division
Information Resources Branch
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Address: 4676 Columbia Parkway
Cincinnati, OH 45226
Telephone: 1–800–CDC–INFO (1–800–232–7636)
E-mail: cdcinfo@cdc.gov
Internet Web site: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh
What programs are available to help individuals with asbestos-related diseases?
Some people with asbestos-related illness may be eligible for Medicare coverage. Information about benefits is available from Medicare’s Regional Offices, located in 10 major cities across the United States and serving specific geographic areas. The Regional Offices serve as the agency’s initial point of contact for beneficiaries, health care providers, state and local governments, and the general public. Contact information for each Regional Office can be found at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/RegionalOffices on the Internet. General information about Medicare is available by calling toll-free 1–800–633–4227 (1–800–MEDICARE) or visiting http://www.medicare.gov on the Internet.

People with occupational asbestos-related diseases also may qualify for financial help, including medical payments, under state workers’ compensation laws. Because eligibility requirements vary from state to state, workers employed by private companies or by state and local government agencies should contact their state workers’ compensation board. Contact information for state workers’ compensation officials may be found in the blue pages of a local telephone directory or at http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/compliance/owcp/wc.htm on the Internet.

If exposure occurred during employment with a Federal agency, medical expenses and other compensation may be covered by the Federal Employees’ Compensation Program, which is administered by the DOL, Employment Standards Administration’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. This program provides workers’ compensation benefits to Federal (civilian) employees for employment-related injuries and diseases. Benefits include wage replacement, payment for medical care, and, where necessary, medical and vocational rehabilitation assistance in returning to work. Benefits may also be provided to dependents if the injury or disease causes the employee’s death. The program has 12 district offices nationwide.

In addition, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Program provides benefits to longshoremen, harbor workers, other maritime workers, and other classes of private industry workers who are injured during the course of employment or suffer from diseases caused or worsened by conditions of employment. Information about eligibility and how to file a claim for benefits under either of these programs is available from:

Organization: Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs
Employment Standards Administration
U.S. Department of Labor
Address: Frances Perkins Building
200 Constitution Avenue, NW.
Washington, DC 20210
Telephone: 1–866–692–7487 (1–866–OWCPIVR)
(Federal Employees’ Compensation Program)
(Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Program)
E-mail: OWCP-Public@dol.gov
Internet Web site: http://www.dol.gov/esa/owcp/index.htm

Eligible veterans may receive health care at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center for an asbestos-related disease. Veterans can receive treatment for service-connected and nonservice-connected medical conditions. Information about eligibility and benefits is available from the VA Health Benefits Service Center at 1–877–222–8387 (1–877–222–VETS) or on the VA Web site at http://www1.va.gov/health/index.asp on the Internet.

Is there Federal legislation to help victims of asbestos-related diseases?
No Federal legislation has been enacted to compensate victims of asbestos-related diseases or to protect people from asbestos exposure. However, a bill called the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act, or FAIR Act, has been introduced in Congress several times. This bill would create a national trust fund to compensate victims suffering from asbestos-related diseases. The proposed trust fund would be administered by the DOL, outside of the courts, through a claims process in which all individuals with certain medical symptoms and evidence of asbestos-related disease would be compensated. Funding for the trust would come from insurance companies and companies that mined, manufactured, and sold asbestos or asbestos products. Under the bill, individuals affected by asbestos exposure would no longer be able to pursue awards for damages in any Federal or state court.

What other organizations offer information related to asbestos exposure?

The organizations listed below can provide more information about asbestos exposure.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is the principal Federal agency responsible for evaluating the human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances. This agency works in close collaboration with local, state, and other Federal agencies, with tribal governments, and with communities and local health care providers to help prevent or reduce harmful human health effects from exposure to hazardous substances. The ATSDR provides information about asbestos and where to find occupational and environmental health clinics. The ATSDR can be contacted at:

Organization: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Address: 4770 Buford Highway, NE.
Atlanta, GA 30341
Telephone: 1–800–232–4636 (1–800–CDC–INFO)
TTY: 1–888–232–6348
E-mail: cdcinfo@cdc.gov
Internet Web site: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the general public’s exposure to asbestos in buildings, drinking water, and the environment. The EPA offers a Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Hotline and an Asbestos Ombudsman. The TSCA Hotline provides technical assistance and information about asbestos programs implemented under the TSCA, which include the Asbestos School Hazard Abatement Act and the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act. The Asbestos Ombudsman focuses on asbestos in schools and handles questions and complaints. Both the TSCA Hotline and the Asbestos Ombudsman can provide publications on a number of topics, particularly on controlling asbestos exposure in schools and other buildings. The Ombudsman operates a toll-free hotline for small businesses, trade associations, and others seeking free, confidential help.

The EPA Web site includes a list of EPA regional and state asbestos contacts at http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/regioncontact.html on the Internet. In addition, EPA’s Asbestos and Vermiculite home page provides information about asbestos and its health effects and links to asbestos resources, including suggestions for homeowners who suspect asbestos in their homes, and laws and regulations applicable to asbestos. This page can be found at http://www.epa.gov/asbestos on the Internet. Questions may be directed to:

Organization: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
EPA West Building
National Program Chemicals Division
Address: Mail Code 7404T
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.
Washington, DC 20460
TSCA Hotline: 202–554–1404
TTY: 202–554–0551
Asbestos Ombudsman: 1–800–368–5888
E-mail: tsca-hotline@epa.gov
Internet Web site: http://www.epa.gov/asbestos

Another EPA resource that may be of interest is the brochure titled Current Best Practices for Preventing Asbestos Exposure Among Brake and Clutch Repair Workers. Released in April 2007, this brochure includes work practices for both automotive professionals and home mechanics that may be used to avoid asbestos exposure. It also summarizes existing OSHA regulatory requirements for professional auto mechanics. The brochure can be found at http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/brakesbrochure.html on the Internet.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is responsible for protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products, including asbestos, under the agency’s jurisdiction. The CPSC maintains a toll-free 24-hour hotline where callers can obtain product safety and other agency information and report unsafe products. In addition, CPSC publications provide guidelines for repairing and removing asbestos, and general information about asbestos in the home. CPSC can be contacted at:

Organization: Office of Information and Public Affairs
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Address: 4330 East West Highway
Bethesda, MD 20814
Telephone: 1–800–638–2772
TTY: 1–800–638–8270
E-mail: info@cpsc.gov
Internet Web site: http://www.cpsc.gov

Individuals can also contact their local or state health department with questions or concerns about asbestos.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. What Is Asbestos? Retrieved April 10, 2009, from: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/asbestos/more_about_asbestos/what_is_asbestos.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Asbestos. September 2001. Retrieved April 10, 2009, from: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp61.pdf.

National Toxicology Program. Asbestos. In: Report on Carcinogens. Eleventh Edition. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Toxicology Program, 2005. Retrieved April 10, 2009, from: http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/eleventh/profiles/s016asbe.pdf.

Ullrich RL. Etiology of cancer: Physical factors. In: DeVita VT Jr., Hellman S, Rosenberg SA, editors. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. Vol. 1 and 2. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2004.

U.S. Geological Survey. Mineral Commodity Summaries 2006: Asbestos. Retrieved April 10, 2009, from: http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/mcs/2006/mcs2006.pdf.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Asbestos: Health Effects. Retrieved April 10, 2009, from: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/asbestos/asbestos/health_effects/index.html.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Health Effects Assessment for Asbestos. September 1984. EPA/540/1-86/049 (NTIS PB86134608). Retrieved April 10, 2009, from: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/cfm/recordisplay.cfm?deid=40602.

International Agency for Research on Cancer. Asbestos. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, vol. 14. Lyon, France. Retrieved April 10, 2009, from: http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol14/volume14.pdf.

O’Reilly KMA, McLaughlin AM, Beckett WS, et al. Asbestos-related lung disease. American Family Physician 2007; 75(5):683–688.

Landrigan PJ, Lioy PJ, Thurston G, et al. Health and environmental consequences of the World Trade Center disaster. Environmental Health Perspectives 2004; 112(6):731–739.

Herbert R, Moline J, Skloot G, et al. The World Trade Center disaster and the health of workers: Five-year assessment of a unique medical screening program. Environmental Health Perspectives 2006; 114(12):1853–1858.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Asbestos: Working with Patients: Diagnosis. Retrieved April 10, 2009, from:

No comments:

Post a Comment