January 3, 2014 – Asbestos is a dangerous fiber material that can be used in all types of building construction. Repeated exposure to asbestos can lead to mesothelioma, lung cancer or other asbestos-related diseases. Although the use of asbestos products in construction and manufacturing has ceased almost entirely in the United States and other developed nations, this is not the case worldwide.
Asbestos use has actually increased in many developing countries, potentially exposing millions of individuals to fatal asbestos-related diseases including mesothelioma and lung cancer. The manufacturing and distribution of asbestos-containing products remain big business, especially in Asian countries. Over two million tons of asbestos are used annually in the construction of new homes and schools in these countries.
McGill University Research Continues to Promote Deadly Asbestos Use
The asbestos industry has reached out to the academic world in an effort to legitimize the continued use of this dangerous material. One such strong supporter of continued asbestos use is McGill University in Quebec, Canada. Despite numerous scientific studies proving the deadly nature of asbestos, McGill University continues to provide research to assist in the promotion of asbestos use.
Led by Professor J.C. McDonald, McGill University’s Department of Epidemiology has worked extensively with the Institute of Occupational & Environmental Health (IOEH) in studying mesothelioma deaths in Canada. Although over 70% of occupational disease deaths in Quebec can be traced to asbestos exposure, the McGill University researchers have released findings that suggest that exposure to asbestos fibers may actually protect against cancer and that asbestos use today is entirely safe.
This research has been called into question by those who believe that the McGill University research facilities are, in essence, a public relations arm of the Canadian asbestos industry. Specific objections to the McGill University research include the use of outdated equipment (such as the midget dust impinge), the inability of any independent scientist to replicate the University’s findings, and Professor McDonald’s arbitrary deletion of data from his research results. The McGill University raw data has never been available to the public.
There has been additional evidence that Professor McDonald has failed to disclose his connection with the asbestos industry. Professor McDonald has a long history with the IOEH as well as the Quebec Asbestos Mining Association (QAMA). He and his facilities have received significant funding for research on Quebec asbestos miners. Professor McDonald has also been a frequent witness for the IOEH at national and international hearings regarding the banning of asbestos.
McGill University continues to support Professor McDonald and his results despite the apparent ethical issues resulting from the asbestos industry’s continued funding of the research. All ethical complaints filed against Professor McDonald have been dismissed by the University. Unfortunately, as long as universities like McGill continue to work with big business in conducting their asbestos research, a window will remain open for the continued manufacture and use of deadly asbestos.
Shein Law’s Asbestos Attorneys Take on Big Business
For over 30 years, the Philadelphia asbestos attorneys at Shein Law have fought for the rights of all those affected by exposure to asbestos. If you or your loved one has been affected by a diagnosis of lung cancer, mesothelioma or other asbestos-related disease, call Shein Law today at 1-877-SHEINLAW (743-4652) to schedule a free consultation or contact us online. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Pennsauken, New Jersey, but we will meet you at a location that is convenient for you.