August 30th of this year is National Grief Awareness Day. It is an opportunity and a reminder to raise awareness of the impact that death and loss can have on us. Millions of people across the nation have lost someone they love, and now is the time to support them. One of the goals of National Grief Awareness Day is to help remove the stigma surrounding grief and death. It is important for those grieving to feel that they are not alone, and they do not need to feel ashamed of the feelings they have surrounding the events of loss.
If you have been exposed to asbestos during your lifetime, you are at risk for developing a deadly, incurable cancer known as mesothelioma. Unfortunately, mesothelioma has a latency period, meaning it takes a long time to develop. Clinical mesothelioma symptoms usually do not begin to manifest until 15 to 70 years after asbestos exposure. For this reason, mesothelioma is exceptionally rare in individuals younger than the age of 45.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive, incurable form of cancer caused by ongoing exposure to asbestos. Although it can be decades before a patient exhibits any symptoms, once they surface, the average survival rate is 18 months following an initial diagnosis. The most common form is Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM), which occurs when a tumor develops in the pleura (a thin, translucent organ that surrounds and protects the lungs). The tumor destroys the pleura, crushing the lungs and causing fluid to build up. This process typically burdens the patient with great pain, shortness of breath, and a cough.
The small town of Vienna, WV is one step closer to completing the cleanup of an abandoned Johns Manville plant. The former fiberglass production facility sits on 33 acres of land and has been an eyesore for the local residents since it was shut down in 2008. This has been an ongoing project that started in 2014 when the Vienna City Council approved an ordinance allowing the City to purchase the property from the previous owner, a development firm. Vienna's mayor and a city council member had the opportunity to walk through the property with a remediation specialist. It was clear that the previous owners had improperly demolished structures, leaving piles of asbestos-contaminated debris behind. The debris has been successfully removed, but there are still structures on the site that will eventually be removed, including a smokestack, an office building, and a small warehouse. Residents would eventually like to repurpose a large portion of the area for residential use.