October 15, 2014 – A new multi-million dollar study will be conducted in a local town well-known for large amounts of asbestos waste. University of Pennsylvania’s Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology was awarded a $10 million federal grant to determine exactly how people are exposed to asbestos. Specifically, the study will focus on concerns that residents of Ambler, Pennsylvania continue to harbor due to the town’s once booming asbestos industry.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is spearheading two major cleanup projects in Ambler at the previous sites of former asbestos factories. Specifically, two huge piles of waste material laden with asbestos remain in the town as remnants of the now closed factories. The sites are so large they are frequently referred to as Ambler’s “white mountains.” The EPA has contained and encased the asbestos piles in lieu of the more costly option of removing them.
Although current testing does not reveal any asbestos fibers in the air, residents of Ambler continue to express concern for their health and well-being. Many wonder if the EPA’s approach and clean-up of the remaining asbestos will be sufficient. For a town that once relied on the asbestos factories to support the economy and provide jobs for residents, many now face the real threat of being diagnosed with mesothelioma.
The Research Study Will Look at the Health of Ambler Residents
Researchers will analyze the health of current Ambler residents over a four year period in an attempt to identify specifically how people are exposed to the toxin. This includes researching if a genetic pre-disposition to the disease exists. Researchers are looking for clues as to why certain people will develop mesothelioma while others escape the deadly disease. The research is critical as Ambler residents and previous employees at the former asbestos site are now approaching the end of the dormant period for the disease and the time when mesothelioma symptoms would typically appear.
The goal of this study is to determine if there are any diagnostic ways to identify mesothelioma before symptoms arise. Early detection is critical in successfully treating and possibly eventually curing the disease. For this reason, researchers will work to develop a blood test that can recognize and diagnose mesothelioma initially.
Researchers also will use new tools to analyze the chemical make-up of people with known asbestos exposure to identify differences. Moreover, the study will use laboratory testing to determine if any type of chemical compound can help prevent mesothelioma from developing, even after exposure to asbestos. The research team is hopeful that their findings will also provide valuable information that can be applied to treat other types of cancers. Read more about Ambler and the study in a recent Philly.com article.
The Shein Law has previously reported on this latest study to be conducted at Ambler, as well as other researchers studying Ambler residents’ risk of developing mesothelioma from asbestos exposure.
Ambler’s Mesothelioma Data
Sadly, data shows that the rate of mesothelioma cases is higher in Ambler than in other similarly situated towns. Over a 16 year period, there were 28 diagnosed cases of mesothelioma in Ambler. This is three times greater than the rate for the disease in most other equivalently-sized towns. Moreover, researchers expect the number of asbestos-related diseases may be even higher if other illnesses such as COPD or asbestosis and lung cancer are considered.
One family who has resided in Ambler for many years knows too well the potential hazards that exist in the town due to the operation of former asbestos factories. Joe Amento, who never worked in the factories but lived close-by, succumbed to mesothelioma at the age of 53. Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at The Shein Law represent Amento’s family in a mesothelioma lawsuit for his asbestos related death from malignant mesothelioma.
The population of Ambler is hopeful that this new study will provide some answers, reassurance and insights for residents so that they can remain healthy, despite the still-present asbestos waste in the community.
Philadelphia Asbestos Lawyers at the Shein Law Aid Victims of Asbestos Exposure
Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Shein Law aid victims who have been exposed to asbestos. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer, asbestosis, or any other disease caused by asbestos exposure, contact our asbestos lawyers. We offer personalized service and have vast experience helping those exposed to asbestos throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. For more information, call the Shein Law today at 215-735-6677 or contact us online.