POB 1483, Baltimore, MD 21203-1483, 410-243-5864
WLA Home
Asbestos Watch
British Asbestos
Newsletter
News from India
Legal Information
Publications
News Reports
Paul Safchuck's Alerts
Jim Fite's Alerts
WLA Alerts & News
World Trade Center Health
Links
 

 


What's New at the White Lung Association?


Specter to Introduce U.S. Asbestos Bill This Week

Mon Apr 11, 2005 05:44 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The main author of a plan to create a U.S. fund to compensate asbestos victims said on Monday he expected to introduce legislation in the next few days.

"It's my expectation to introduce a bill in the next day or two or three," Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Arlen Specter told reporters after meeting with several Senate Democrats to discuss the proposal. Specter said the Democrats were "very much interested in getting a bill."

California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who spoke separately to reporters after the meeting with Specter, said she anticipated supporting the legislation, but wanted to see the written version which he would circulate on Tuesday. She thought other Democrats would support it as well.

 


WLA Response, an open letter from Jim Fite:

March 31, 2005

Ms. Gail Collins, Editorial Page Editor
New York Times
New York, New York

Dear Ms. Collins,

I was very surprised to read "Asbestos Justice" in yesterdayÕs edition [Asbestos Justice, New York Times, March 30, 2005]. You are using Mr. BushÕs tactic of "argument by crisis". Certainly the upcoming session of Congress is far to soon to discuss legislation. This is because the asbestos victims, those with disease, those whose constitutional rights are being eliminated, have not been consulted. A rush to judgment using the testimony of asbestos industry and its insurers as the sole indicator of fact is bound to fail for the man or woman who have asbestos disease.

You point out that the mess is tragic. Yes, but it has shown to have a criminal side and certainly much behavior on the part of industry in which a Ôconspiracy of silenceÕ did not inform us of the dangerous material we were working with. This "conspiracy of silenceÕ about the deadly effects is today recognized as a "harm" which can be addressed in civil court. However, many of those being sued are also bending Mr. SpecterÕs ear. The U.S. government worked together with the asbestos industry to continue the use of asbestos, which resulted in millions of deaths. The government should insure the success of any compensation plan. Many believe the government should also contribute financially to support of those who are sick. No bill should go forward without the full discussion of the US government role.

Your description of SpecterÕs bill left out many important things. An Administrative Director (AD) appointed by President Bush would run the fund. The Administrator would be active in making the rules on how compensation is paid, who is hired to review the claims and what medical criteria can be used. The administrator has absolute powers, he or she is able to judge any document presented as "fraudulent". The Administrator can then fine the presenter of the fraudulent document with the $10,000.00 fine. The person wanting compensation cannot use professional, such as doctors who have made over 15% of their earnings in past years from asbestos related work. This eliminates most of the greatest scientific and medical minds. There are many more sections of the bill, which make it compelling to stop, look and listen, not rush on. The copy of the bill I downloaded does not even list the amounts companies will pay. Over half of the bill discusses relations between "persons" other than those who are human.

Your call for "adequate overall funding" rings hollow. Where in the bill is the $140 billion accounted for? The Administrator has the right to let a company out of the FundÕs responsibility, pay less due to hardship and many other ways to reduce this "shadow amount". The 140 billions is smoke and mirrors. When it fails, please not crocodile tears from the editor. I hope to see some good NYT investigative reporting about this bill. Please show exactly how the compensation, comes about.

The medical criteria deserve and article on their own. Please review this bill and you will see that the use of 65% ratio in breathing tests will disallow any one whose lung capacity was reduces by asthma, pollen allergy, dust mites, mold, air pollution, organic vapor exposure and many other causes. The insistence that the sick person must have worked with asbestos for five years excludes hundreds of thousands of sick people. Medical standards of disability have been long established for evaluation without biopsy. Utilizing a mortality ratio of 2+ as a requirement for payment to cancer organ cases will exclude tens of thousands. Senator Specter makes no prevision for those workers exposed to the current government standard of 100,000 fibers an hour before training or personal protection is required.

The White Lung Association celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. We have polled victims through out the country as to what they want. Most want a simple means of support and not to be bankrupted by their medical bills. In 1991, our President, Paul Safchuck summarized these data we received from asbestos victims. It is entitled the Asbestos Victims Super Fund.

Basically it utilizes the standard AMA definitions of disability. It is administrated through the Labor Dept who will be the sole recipient of any assessed damage, insurance, reinsurance bankruptcy, trust or other payment mechanism for asbestos victims. Upon the diagnosis of any form of disability due to asbestos exposure the individual would be issued a check for $25,000 and enrolled in a life time stipend program of $2,000 a month. The program payments would not be taxable nor would they off set any other retirement, disability, insurance or other payments. The payments would continue for the spouse after death of the disease victims until they remarried. In addition to the cash benefits the labor department would provide a wrap around policy to fill in coverage for those health related problems that Medicare or Medicaid do not cover.

The problem is a difficult one. We want to help solve it. However, everyone in our society will be hurt if society allows those who defended and built this country to be harmed and abandoned. If they are separated from their constitutional rights without being protected and having their basic needs provided the problem would not be solved.

Sincerely,

James Fite, National Secretary

 

 


Paul Safchuck's Alerts:

Report from the Legislation Education Committee

Letter to the New York Times, January 31, 2003

A mesothelioma victim?

Asbestos Safety Information for the World Trade Center New York City

Jim Fite's Alerts:

Asbestos Victim's Superfund Compensation Program

Asbestos Watch March 14, 2005 (Maryland chapter of the White Lung Association meetings)

Directorate of Safety, Health, and Environment (open letter)

(more...)


WLA Alerts & News

S.1115: Bill to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to reduce the health risks posed by asbestos-containing products - This bill is supported by the WLA.

Meet Mr. Asbestos

Proceedings of the Asbestos Symposium for the Asian Countries - now available for purchase.

Australia Bans Asbestos!

(more...)

News:

Asbestos Justice: After decades of sporadic wrangling, Congress may finally be ready to address the asbestos disease crisis that is clogging the courts and bankrupting companies while leaving gravely ill Americans without compensation ...

Offensive publicitaire prochrysotile an article on an offensive by the ProChrysotile Movement to document "living and working with asbestos."

(more...)


World Trade Center Health:

In May 2003, the Global Environment & Technology Foundation developed the "Asbestos Strategies" report.

British Asbestos Newsletter:

The latest issue is Winter 2005

(more...)

News from India:

The latest issue is March 15, 2003

(more...)

Features:

December 17, 2000 is Asbestos Hazard Awareness Day

(more...)

Current Projects:

Asbestos Museum

 

Articles & Publications:

Asbestos Victims Deserve Compensation Not Betrayal: position release by the Board of Directors, White Lung Association

EPA Report: Report of Findings and Recommendations on the Use and Management of Asbestos

Consequences of Childhood Exposure to Asbestos

(more...)

Links:

Save the date: Monday, May 2 NYCOSH 26th Anniversary Awards Celebration

(more...)


In Memoria:

Paul Safchuck May 21, 2003

Dr. William Nicholson Dies at 70

Ray Sentes Brave Fighter For Asbestos Victims

 


Front Page, Week Of:

4/16/05: Spectre to Introduce U.S. Asbestos Bill This Week

5/22/05: Individuals Injured by Asbestos Exposure Oppose Specter's Trust Fund Legislation

10/16/05: Victim's Organizations Form Asbestos Victims Coalition in Opposition to Asbestos Trust Fund Legislation

11/17/05: White Lung Mourns Jose Jesus Pessora

12/18/05: Frist Introducing Asbestos Bill in January

12/04/06: Asbestos Watch Newsletter: Help Celebrate the 27th Anniversary of the WHITE LUNG ASSOCIATION

Jim Fite's Alerts:

Asbestos Victim's Superfund Compensation Program

Asbestos Watch March 14, 2005 (Maryland chapter of the White Lung Association meetings)

Directorate of Safety, Health, and Environment (open letter)

(more...)


Joe Oliver's Alerts:

Joe Oliver, National Board Member and former President of the White Lung Association, has issued a call to all persons to help gather evidence on the conspiracy by asbestos trade organizations to suppress the knowledge about the hazards of asbestos exposure.

If you know anything about this horrific history or have documents which can be used to further prove their heinous crimes, please contact Joe Oliver, WLA, POB 1483, Balt. MD 21203.

Leonard Makowski's Alerts:

The White Lung Association stands in opposition to The Specter Bill (S.852)


WLA Alerts & News

S.1115: Bill to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to reduce the health risks posed by asbestos-containing products - This bill is supported by the WLA.

Meet Mr. Asbestos

Proceedings of the Asbestos Symposium for the Asian Countries - now available for purchase.

Australia Bans Asbestos!

(more...)

News:

Senator Specter Breaks Promise to Mesothelioma Patient and Research Community

Senate Judiciary Committee returns to Mark-Up on May 11th: Proposed asbestos trust fund legislation will further penalize victims of asbestos-caused diseases

(more...)


World Trade Center Health:

In May 2003, the Global Environment & Technology Foundation developed the "Asbestos Strategies" report.

British Asbestos Newsletter:

The latest issue is Spring 2005

(more...)

News from India:

The latest issue is January 4, 2007

(more...)

Features:

December 17, 2000 is Asbestos Hazard Awareness Day

(more...)

Current Projects:

Asbestos Museum

 

Articles & Publications:

Occupational Respiratory Diseases: Asbestos Associated Disease -- Reprinted from: Maxcy-Rosenau Public Health and Preventative Medicine 11th ed. (John M. Last, Ed.) 1980, Appleton-Century-Crofts

Asbestos Victims Deserve Compensation Not Betrayal: position release by the Board of Directors, White Lung Association

(more...)

Links:


In Memoria:

Paul Safchuck May 21, 2003

Dr. William Nicholson Dies at 70

Ray Sentes Brave Fighter For Asbestos Victims


For more information please contact info whitelung org.