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Meet Mr. Asbestos

By Dan Levine
New Haven Advocate
January 31, 2001

. . . . Top executives at Raybestos-Manhattan concealed a deadly secret: The company had used mass quantities of asbestos in its products since the 1920s, due to the material's unparalleled ability to resist high heat. Executives first learned of the link between asbestos and lung cancer in the 1930s, but consciously decided to keep the news quiet. Raybestos workers continuously breathed the fibers, and when they began to die from mesothelioma and the first lawsuits surfaced in the 1970s, plaintiffs' attorneys unearthed documents indicating management knew of the dangers.

The company already faced a growing mountain of asbestos-related claims when Smith joined the outfit in 1980. Five years later, he became president, and by April 1988, the company had been named as a defendant in approximately 68,057 asbestos-related personal-injury cases.

Smith immediately embarked on a series of maneuvers designed to accomplish a single goal: to make Raymark's profitable assets safe from the reach of people dying from asbestosis, and their lawyers.

His reasoning is simple and quite unabashed. The vast majority of asbestos claims against the company are without merit, cooked up by greedy, unscrupulous trial lawyers who just want to make a buck, Smith says. They should not be able to sap the company's strength. ....

Jonathan Bennett
Public Affairs Director, New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health
275 7th Ave., New York, N.Y. 10001
Tel: 212-627-3900 ext. 14, Fax: 212-627-9812

Please visit our website: www.nycosh.org. Subscribe to our free biweekly Update on Safety and Health by sending an e-mail message to nycosh@nycosh.org

NYCOSH is a non-profit provider of health-and-safety-related training, information and advocacy, serving workers throughout the New York metropolitan area, with a membership consisting of over 250 union organizations and 400 individuals -- union members, health and safety activists, injured workers, healthcare workers, attorneys, public health advocates, environmentalists and concerned citizens. NYCOSH is a union shop. Its staff is represented by the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy workers union (PACE) Local 2-149.


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)


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!



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


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


News from India:

The latest issue is January 4, 2007



December 17, 2000 is Asbestos Hazard Awareness Day


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



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.