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Workers in the insulation industry have rallied together and organized their efforts to fight back against mesothelioma. The rare and aggressive cancer has plagued the industry workers as a result of high levels of asbestos exposure associated with their occupation. Insulator workers have long been required to work around material that contained asbestos and, as a result, have a much higher incidence of malignant mesothelioma than the average person.
Recently, at the 30th Quinquennial Convention in Las Vegas, various members from the Insulators Union gathered to discuss issues central to their organization. Representatives from the union held a vote and successfully passed a motion to establish and fund a mesothelioma tissue bank to support mesothelioma research. The tissue bank will be located at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York in the company of top mesothelioma medical researchers.
The tissue bank has been approved by the National Institute of Health and will be funded by union members’ contributions of 4 cents per hour worked with union leaders donating $100 per month.
The new tissue bank will create a greater wealth of tissue samples for medical researchers to use and increase progress in the search for mesothelioma treatments and, hopefully, a cure. Representatives from the union also passed a motion to incorporate a comprehensive asbestos-diseases plan, including a health fund.
The insulation industry has been devastated by mesothelioma, and this is the first significant and organized step to care for the members of the union and their respective families. Exposure to asbestos is the primary cause of mesothelioma, and trade workers such as insulators, welders, plumbers, roofers, construction workers and plant workers have been disproportionately affected by the rare disease.
Up until the late 1970s trade workers were subjected to high levels of asbestos exposure. The cheap and heat resistant material was used in a multitude of products. Although asbestos companies where aware of the dangers associated with exposure, workers were not properly warned and protected from the material’s deadly affects. As a result, countless trade workers have passed away from a preventable disease.
Baron and Budd has represented many workers in the insulator industry, as well as many other industries, in the fight against mesothelioma. The firm applauds the efforts of the insulator union and looks forward to the valuable research that will come from the work made possible by the mesothelioma tissue bank. Baron and Budd is fervently committed to improving treatment and finding a cure for mesothelioma. The firm is also committed to holding the asbestos companies accountable for the asbestos exposure they knowingly caused.