Countries with the biggest interest in the mining of chrysotile asbestos succeeded last week in keeping the mineral off the Rotterdam Convention’s list of hazardous substances.
According to an article in the Irish Times and other newspapers, a total of seven countries voted against white asbestos’ inclusion on the list. Those countries included at least a few that still mine chrysotile including Russia and Zimbabwe. Others that joined them included Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, India, and Vietnam.
Signed in 1998 and put into force in 2004, the convention establishes the need for “prior informed consent procedure” for hazardous chemicals and pesticides in international trade. This includes proper labeling and directions on safe handling for the substances included on the list.
Of the six forms of asbestos known to man, five are already on the convention’s list, but chrysotile remains in the clear. For years, it was Canada that rallied to keep it off the list, seeking to protect that country’s controversial asbestos industry, which included huge mines in the province of Quebec. Those mines are no longer in operation, closed by a new government that recognized the dangers of the mineral.
“This is a disaster and a human tragedy,” said Kathleen Ruff of the Rotterdam Convention Alliance. “The convention has been used to protect industry profits rather than public health, and as a result risks becoming a farce.”
Others who were dismayed at their inability to place chrysotile on the list expressed the fact that it seemed the convention, held in Geneva, Switzerland, was “hijacked” by the asbestos industry, with members of the industry rallying to avoid the implementation of health and environmental safeguards, which could seriously affect their bottom line.
Chrysotile asbestos was used in hundreds of products for decades, including many household items like hair dryers and ironing board covers. While the material is banned in most developed countries, it’s exported to many Second- and Third-World countries and often used irresponsibly, resulting in increased cases of asbestos-related diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma.
Read more: http://www.mesothelioma.com/news/2013/05/chrysotile-kept-off-rotterdam-convention-list.htm#ixzz2TYXAjxYr
Like Oxford Linda, I was contacted by Susan Vento whose husband Bruce – a serving congressman for the state of Minnesota – died as a result of mesothelioma. Susan is a spokesperson for the Asbestos Cancer Victims Rights Campaign (ACVRC).
Recently in the states, asbestos companies have been using their political influence to introduce a new bill called “Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act” or FACT for short.
ACVRC is justifiably concerned that this act will delay and, in some cases, deny justice and badly needed compensation to people suffering from asbestos-related diseases. It has launched a campaign to fight and defeat this unfair legislation.
Many thanks to Linda for supplying the text and letting us know how you can help:
1. Sign the petition to stop legislation that threatens cancer victims. Go to http://cancervictimsrights.org/take-action/sign-the-petition/ and follow the instructions to sign the petition at the bottom of the page. Every signature matters!
2. Spread the word by sharing today’s post with others who are, or might be, affected by this issue.
New tenants have moved in next door, two young lads they seem very nice although my first contact has been to ask them to turn down their music down – putting me distinctly into boring old fart category. The worst thing is I don’t actually think they are playing the music that loud but it has a very heavy bass undertone – you can’t hear any actual music just a constant thump, thump, thump….
Turns out they are both DJ’s so admit they play a lot of club music at home, so have said they will turn down further, being fair has been no noise since. Now of course just waiting to be playing some bee gees or something and them coming round to veto it on grounds of taste.
Having not bought any music for ages, we have now downloaded the new James Bond theme by Adele , some Lana del Ray and some of the classical music from the paralympics opening ceremony, thought the Handel piece Eternal light by the soprano was wonderful.
Continuing our music theme we splashed out for tickets to Carmen at the ENO at the end of November and are planning another weekend away in Goodwood as soon as the weather improves, so Ray can take the flying experience I bought for his birthday.
This time of year is always reflective as Ray was diagnosed early October, so always a time when he wonders if he will see the Spring. We have a ritual of going to a particular pub in the countryside where we went shortly after his first pleurodesis when he didn’t think he would see Christmas- last year we went back again , when he was just going down with pneumonia which we thought was the return of the meso. So time for our good luck visit .
Good luck to all the meso warriers attending the mesothelioma day in London tomorrow.Look forward to hearing all their news.
Or at least that’s what it feels like. The olympics are a distant memory, the sunshine of early September has well and truly faded and it is even dark in the mornings when we get up. Back at work this week and we were all commenting that it felt just like the end of the summer holidays when you were about 10 years old.
Be good to know what a new term is going bring, hopefully a good Autumn all round meso warrier world. We have three clear months before the new scan , so have a few trips planned – the big one is inspired by Steve and Linda’s hot air balloon trip , I bought Ray a flying experience for his birthday, do as soon as a a good week weather wise if forecast, it will be booked and a trip down to Goodwood planned.
At the weekend we met up with my sister and niece for my sisters birthday, ww were due to meet at the the restaurant. Amazingly we actually got there 15 mins early, sorted out a large table overlooking the gardens at the back and waited…… and waited. Got to the appointed time and thought I should have a walk through and check the front of the restaurant, let the waitress know we were waiting for three more people and realised I had forgotten my phone!
back to the table, more drinks and a bit more waiting , up to check the front of teh restaurant again , still no sign, so assuming they must have cancelled and not been able to reach us we went ahead and ordered ( a bit billy no mates on a big table)
Great meal , although a bit rushed as I was a getting worried as to why they hadn’t made it, only to go to leave and see them sitting at table at the front—— apparently they were 20 mins late , sent me a text and didn’t bother to check the whole restaurant!!! What did we do before mobile phones- other than have common sense obviously!!!
So we sort of had lunch – just not at the same table.
This last week has flown past, luckily no problem with floods near us, although Autumn has well and truly arrived. Even had one day of going to work AND coming home in the dark. Ray is doing really well at the moment, with far less pain and no cough. He did have his regular trip to the GP this month , this time for sore ears- some drops and a week later all cleared up. He even managed to ward off my cold, so immunity must be doing pretty well. Absolutely determined to make the most of it, so working out what to do next .
Last weekend saw a family dinner at his brothers, with parents and son. Really good fun, talking about a weekend up in London, may even get to meet the son’s new girlfrined. Think he is just at the age , where he just about trusts us all not to embarass him.
This weekend it is my sister’s birthday so we are all going out for lunch in Wimbledon to celebrate. Next week we are off to the theatre, whilst on Friday I am off to Buckingham Palace with friends to see the Diamonds exhibition just before it closes.
Mesothelioma patients whose T-cell counts bounce back quickly after a round of chemotherapy have a better chance of survival. They are also most likely to benefit from the addition of immunotherapy.
That’s the conclusion of a British study looking for prognostic indicators in mesothelioma patients undergoing a combination of chemotherapy.
hemotherapy is the most common first-line treatment for mesothelioma. It involves flooding the body with a drug or combination of drugs designed to destroy cancer cells. Immunotherapy involves “programming” the immune system to recognize cancer cells as foreign invaders and attack them the way they might attack bacteria or viruses.
To devise a prognostic method for mesothelioma patients who might undergo both types of therapies, the scientists looked for longitudinal changes in peripheral T-cell subsets in 40 patients with malignant mesothelioma or advanced non-small cell lung cancer. All of the patients were receiving platinum-based chemotherapy.
The study found the T-cells of all patients were almost entirely knocked out by the 8th day following chemotherapy, but most bounced back quickly and even passed baseline levels. Regulatory T-cells (Treg) have immunosuppressive properties and are the cells responsible for maintaining order in the immune system. In the study, Treg cells were most profoundly depleted by chemotherapy. Mesothelioma patients whose CD8(+)T-cells bounced back the most after a cycle of chemotherapy had the greatest overall survival. A bigger ratio between CD8(+) T-cell to Treg proliferation was also predictive of better outcomes.
Because the effectiveness of immunotherapy depends on the depletion of Treg cells (because of their immunosuppressive properties) and the strength of the T-cell pool, the researchers theorize that those who showed the most dramatic changes in these two cell types areas are the ones most likely to benefit from a combined chemotherapy/immunotherapy approach.
Even more nerve wracking than exam day this one, given the stakes involved, puts waiting for your GCSE’s in the shade- no retakes allowed with this one unfortunately.
Have been majoring on distraction techniques the last couple of days, on Sunday we went to the Chelsea Autolegends show – lots of beautiful cars, from old Invictas and Lolas to new Ferraris – lots to look at , but definitely no touching. As well as cars, there were various vintage motorbikes, being Chelsea lots of very well dressed people and rather strangely a parade of bunny girls. Given there was a special exhibition of women in racing, headed up by Jodie Kidd- we got the full range.
Late lunch in Chelsea, where we sat next to an incredibly boring man, who didn’t stop talking for the entire time- his poor dining companion didn’t get a chance to say a word. Then back home to watch the Formula 1 grand prix on iplayer – seeing Lewis Hamilton win another world championship was one of Ray’s initial targets.
Yesterday was a trip to the paralympics equestrian event , who knew watching dancing horses in the dressage freestyle was so therapeutic , followed by athletics in a packed stadium- amazing atmosphere.
Today is MOT day for the car, an afternoon of volunteering at the paralympics for me, and lets see what tomorrow brings. lots of luck to everyone else waiting for their results.
Having successfully put Mr Meso behind us for a couple of months, today has brought it right back to the forefront of our minds. The day didn’t start well with delays on the tube, then at the scan itself the quiet room where you are supposed to rest wasn’t very quiet. There was a baby in having some scans and injections , who quite naturally wasn’t very happy.
Not exactly something you can complain about, but listening to a crying baby for the 40 mins it takes the tracer to go through your system before the scan , isn’t the most restful start. Because of how the PET scan works this resting period is really important. The scan is picking up where glucose is being used up most quickly, such as cancer cells, if your blood pressure is high or other parts of your body are also working harder than usual , they can also show up.
Once the scan finished, they asked him to wait for around 30mins while they checked the imaging was OK. That’s the first time he has ever been asked to wait, so of course your imagination works overtime and you automatically wonder if there was anything malign in the background causing the wait.
The other downside is obviously he doesn’t sleep well the night before plus he can’t eat before hand , so he is starving and lacking in energy by the time he gets back home. So tonight is a bit of a down atmosphere while we try and get our imaginataions under control.
Back into that hoping for the best, preparing for the worst dual mode we all have to manage.
Just back from Goodwood, where we had a great couple of days. Not hugely successful in terms of horse selection, we managed one winner but more frustratingly had a couple of seconds – the weather just about held out for us. It stayed dry but was a bit chilly in the breeze. We stayed overnight at a local hotel, had a great dinner and a good breakfast this morning. So overall top marks for the weekend.
Tomorrow is scan day with just over a week to the results, so we are enetering the twilight zone of trying to think about anything other than hospitals. It has been a bit longer this time between scans, as it is 6 months since the last PET scan, with only a CT scan in between, which is a much shorter prep time. So this one is a real test, the PETscan picks up cancer at cellular level before any tumour development is detected at Ct scan level. Six months is therefore a big gap.
Fingers crossed nothing untoward is going on.
Mesothelioma researchers at several medical centers across Austria say a cell protein, know as serum C-Reactive Protein (CRP), may hold the key to identifying which treatments work best. CRP is a type of protein produced in the liver when the body is experiencing acute inflammation or infection. CRP levels rise to help the body jump start its immune response.
To test the relationship between CRP levels and mesothelioma, researchers analyzed the medical records of 115 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of mesothelioma. Then they compared each patient’s pretreatment level of CRP with his or her response to a multimodality treatment approach, with or without surgery.
Patients who had an elevated CRP level before treatment had a significantly shorter overall survival than those with normal CRP levels. But what the researchers found even more interesting was the relationship between CRP level and treatment type: “Among patients with normal CRP levels, radical tumor resection within multimodality therapy was associated with distinctly prolonged overall survival when compared with treatment protocols without surgery.”
In contrast, patients who started out with elevated CRP levels gained no survival advantage from multimodality approaches that included radical surgery.
Because radical mesothelioma surgery is traumatic and risky, even mesothelioma experts disagree about when it should be used. The new study gives mesothelioma patients and doctors another tool to help make them make the best treatments decisions possible.