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Knee Deep in Asbestos


When I was 17 old I started working at an asbestos mine in the Yukon. I had the excitement of youth and looked on the thing as a big adventure.

The mine was located about 7 miles from the Alaska border on the banks of the Forty Mile River, which emptied into the Yukon River some 5 miles or so north.

I first arrived in August and started working on the Surface Crew. This was the group responsible for outside maintenance of all things on the surface. This was fine when we had those few relatively warm days in summer, but later it was a bit more difficult to be working outside in minus 55F.

One of my first duties was to keep clear the conveyor that took the unused asbestos out to the tailings piles. Tailings piles are basically the dregs of what's left over after milling the asbestos and is run out of the mill on conveyor belts to large piles behind the mill. At that time they were about 100 feet high.

I was given a shovel, and a small mask (kind of like the little paper ones that painters use) and told to go shovel off the conveyor belt on the tailings piles. Dutifully I climbed up with my little shovel to clear any blockages of asbestos from the conveyor. I remember clearly at one point standing literally knee deep in asbestos on top of this 100 foot high pile and looking inside my very poor quality mask and seeing the inside (where it's not supposed to be) all grey from the asbestos dust. I then took out my hankerchief (yes, I carried one) and blew my nose. Sorry for the rude, graphic description, but it was all grey. And that was my introduction to work at an asbestos mine.

Even back in the early 1970's it was becoming known that asbestos caused problems. Working in the mine we'd get brochures handed around periodically with propoganda about how it was never proven that asbestos was actually harmful. They were beautiful glossy brochures. I wish I'd kept one.

Though I had occasion to go into the mill for various reasons I was glad I didn't work there. There were employees that worked in the mill whose sole job was to sweep up the dust that fell on the floor. There was so much of it that this was a constant ongoing job. The asbestos dust in the mill actually fell almost like snow and covered the floor completely. Without sweepers there would probably have been several inches of asbestos dust on the floor within an hour or so. In fact, I remember seeing sweepers go by pushing their wide brooms and the new dust settling onto the floor behind them as they walked.

The Yukon itself was absolutely beautiful. Stunning in fact. I had many great experiences there and saw some natural wonders I couldn't have seen anywhere else. I had hitchiked up the Alaska Highway with a friend. In those days the highway was unpaved. Most of the trip was provided by a nice family who were travelling in an old converted school bus. Rattle and dust. Rattle and dust. But we made it finally to Whitehorse, and then on to Dawson City. I loved Dawson. It was like stepping into the past. Not just the architecture and homes but the people had that old fashion friendliness and charm, though tempered by a resolve that one must have to live in such a fierce environment.

The Yukon has a peacefullness to it. Almost a serenity that one can feel. I've found that only those who have been there and experienced it fully understand what I mean by this.

In all of this beauty I suppose the asbestos mine was a blight, or cancer on the environment. Fortunately closed down now for many years nature is recovering it's territory, but unfortunately asbestos mining has left a legacy of asbestosis and Mesothelioma with some of it's previous employees. There are many resources available with information, legal, and personal (www.mesothelioma-listings.com) but one shouldn't let something that consumes the body, also consume the soul. Being human is to be somewhat fragile to the vagarities of life as it is. There's plenty of 'drama' going on without us spending all of our energies on blame. Be calm. Remember your duty in life is to help others. Be happy and try to improve life around you.

As I type this I am looking out the window, watching my grandchildren learn to fish off the seawall out back. It just doesn't get any better than this.

Phil Jones is a freelance writer, who now lives in sunny Florida, about as far as you can get from the Yukon and still be in North America. He set up the website www.mesothelioma-listings.com to provide personal legal firm law mesothelioma asbestos info for those who may need it.


Todays News by officejax free advertising and ad exchange solutionsASBESTOS-LUNG-MESOTHELIOMA RESEARCH AND REPORTS updated Sat. October / 19 / 2019

A New Study Suggests Tainted Talcum Powder Can Cause a Rare Cancer. Here's How That Could Play Out in the Courtroom - TIME
A New Study Suggests Tainted Talcum Powder Can Cause a Rare Cancer. Here's How That Could Play Out in the Courtroom  TIME

Johnson & Johnson Recalls Baby Powder After Asbestos Concerns - WNEP Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Johnson & Johnson Recalls Baby Powder After Asbestos Concerns  WNEP Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

Effective Second-Line Treatment for Mesothelioma Gaining Ground - Asbestos.com
Effective Second-Line Treatment for Mesothelioma Gaining Ground  Asbestos.com

Keytruda for Mesothelioma Flops in Phase III Clinical Trial - Asbestos.com
Keytruda for Mesothelioma Flops in Phase III Clinical Trial  Asbestos.com

Mesothelioma trial suggests immunotherapy as an alternative to chemotherapy - Science Daily
Mesothelioma trial suggests immunotherapy as an alternative to chemotherapy  Science Daily

First Mesothelioma Patient Begins Newly Approved Treatment - Asbestos.com
First Mesothelioma Patient Begins Newly Approved Treatment  Asbestos.com

Halt further health damage from asbestos - The Japan Times
Halt further health damage from asbestos  The Japan Times

'She was a true warrior': Sydney mum and asbestos campaigner farewelled - 9News
'She was a true warrior': Sydney mum and asbestos campaigner farewelled  9News

Disappointment Over Immunotherapy in Mesothelioma - Medscape
Disappointment Over Immunotherapy in Mesothelioma  Medscape

Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder recall: Asbestos found in small FDA test - KIRO Seattle
Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder recall: Asbestos found in small FDA test  KIRO Seattle

Hey, government people, have you heard about mesothelioma? - Healio
Hey, government people, have you heard about mesothelioma?  Healio

Deadliest Cancers Receive the Least Attention - Asbestos.com
Deadliest Cancers Receive the Least Attention  Asbestos.com

Asbestos Is More Common In Your Daily Life Than You May Think - The Ring of Fire Network - The Ring of Fire Network
Asbestos Is More Common In Your Daily Life Than You May Think - The Ring of Fire Network  The Ring of Fire Network

Inspector General Report - Asbestos.com
Inspector General Report  Asbestos.com

Jersey asbestos cancer sufferers eligible for up to £92k - BBC News
Jersey asbestos cancer sufferers eligible for up to £92k  BBC News

What you should know about mesothelioma - Baylor College of Medicine News
What you should know about mesothelioma  Baylor College of Medicine News

Asbestos Kills Nearly 40,000 Americans a Year. Ban It. - The New York Times
Asbestos Kills Nearly 40,000 Americans a Year. Ban It.  The New York Times

Mesothelioma in National Spotlight After Asbestos Found in New York Bus Depot - Mesothelioma Guide
Mesothelioma in National Spotlight After Asbestos Found in New York Bus Depot  Mesothelioma Guide

Results from STELLAR Trial of Tumor Treating Fields with Chemotherapy in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Published in The Lancet Oncology - Business Wire
Results from STELLAR Trial of Tumor Treating Fields with Chemotherapy in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Published in The Lancet Oncology  Business Wire

Scots dad first showed signs of asbestos-related cancer on way to Rangers game with son - Daily Record
Scots dad first showed signs of asbestos-related cancer on way to Rangers game with son  Daily Record

J&J Wins Second Asbestos-In-Talc Trial In A Week - Law360
J&J Wins Second Asbestos-In-Talc Trial In A Week  Law360

Mesothelioma Victims Center Now Offers a Navy Veteran with Mesothelioma Direct Access to Attorney Erik Karst of Karst von Oiste to Answer Specific Questions About Compensation- Don't Settle for a "Free" Book About Mesothelioma - PRNewswire
Mesothelioma Victims Center Now Offers a Navy Veteran with Mesothelioma Direct Access to Attorney Erik Karst of Karst von Oiste to Answer Specific Questions About Compensation- Don't Settle for a "Free" Book About Mesothelioma  PRNewswire

Boilermakers at Risk for Asbestos Exposure and Fatal Cancer - Mesothelioma News
Boilermakers at Risk for Asbestos Exposure and Fatal Cancer  Mesothelioma News

Georgia Mesothelioma Victims Center Has Endorsed the Law Firm of Karst von Oiste and Erik Karst to Assist a - EIN News
Georgia Mesothelioma Victims Center Has Endorsed the Law Firm of Karst von Oiste and Erik Karst to Assist a  EIN News

Woman who says Johnson & Johnson baby powder gave her cancer awarded £30MILLION damages after landmark trial - The Sun
Woman who says Johnson & Johnson baby powder gave her cancer awarded £30MILLION damages after landmark trial  The Sun

Exeter University confirmed to have asbestos in its buildings - Devon Live
Exeter University confirmed to have asbestos in its buildings  Devon Live

Dad's battle with asbestos and cancer - told by his family a year after his death - Stuff.co.nz
Dad's battle with asbestos and cancer - told by his family a year after his death  Stuff.co.nz

FDA Approves First New Treatment for Mesothelioma in 15 Years - Asbestos.com
FDA Approves First New Treatment for Mesothelioma in 15 Years  Asbestos.com

Signs of Asbestos Exposure | Symptoms, Screenings & Risks - Asbestos.com
Signs of Asbestos Exposure | Symptoms, Screenings & Risks  Asbestos.com

Asbestos Statistics & Facts | Learn More About Exposure & Risks - Asbestos.com
Asbestos Statistics & Facts | Learn More About Exposure & Risks  Asbestos.com

Asbestos: A Public Health Crisis of 'Unprecedented Scale' - Medscape
Asbestos: A Public Health Crisis of 'Unprecedented Scale'  Medscape

Beagles Diagnosing Cancer 'Could Work with Mesothelioma' - Asbestos.com
Beagles Diagnosing Cancer 'Could Work with Mesothelioma'  Asbestos.com

Short-Term Asbestos Exposure | Risks & Common Questions - Asbestos.com
Short-Term Asbestos Exposure | Risks & Common Questions  Asbestos.com

Mesothelioma Compensation Center Now Appeals to an Energy Worker with Mesothelioma or Asbestos Exposure Lung Cancer to Call for Direct Access to Erik Karst, of Karst von Oiste -- Get Much Better Compensation Results - PRNewswire
Mesothelioma Compensation Center Now Appeals to an Energy Worker with Mesothelioma or Asbestos Exposure Lung Cancer to Call for Direct Access to Erik Karst, of Karst von Oiste -- Get Much Better Compensation Results  PRNewswire

Faces of Asbestos Exposure: Stories of a Preventable Cancer - Asbestos.com
Faces of Asbestos Exposure: Stories of a Preventable Cancer  Asbestos.com

Lung Cancer from Asbestos: Symptoms, Treatment and Recovering Damages - MesoWatch
Lung Cancer from Asbestos: Symptoms, Treatment and Recovering Damages  MesoWatch

Britain’s death toll from asbestos at crisis level, figures reveal - The Guardian
Britain’s death toll from asbestos at crisis level, figures reveal  The Guardian

Fly-tippers dump ‘disgusting’ mountain of asbestos waste near popular High Peak walking spot - Buxton Advertiser
Fly-tippers dump ‘disgusting’ mountain of asbestos waste near popular High Peak walking spot  Buxton Advertiser

What Causes Mesothelioma Cancer: How You Get It & Risk Factors - Asbestos.com
What Causes Mesothelioma Cancer: How You Get It & Risk Factors  Asbestos.com

Teachers’ union levels threat over Gauteng’s killer asbestos schools - Citizen
Teachers’ union levels threat over Gauteng’s killer asbestos schools  Citizen

Asbestos Found in Lungs of Half the Thailand Population - Asbestos.com
Asbestos Found in Lungs of Half the Thailand Population  Asbestos.com

Mesothelioma vs. Lung Cancer: Differences, Symptoms & Treatment - Asbestos.com
Mesothelioma vs. Lung Cancer: Differences, Symptoms & Treatment  Asbestos.com

How I've Survived Mesothelioma for Seven Years and Counting - Asbestos.com
How I've Survived Mesothelioma for Seven Years and Counting  Asbestos.com

Pacific Mesothelioma Center Moves Closer to Treatment Breakthrough - Asbestos.com
Pacific Mesothelioma Center Moves Closer to Treatment Breakthrough  Asbestos.com

Optimism High for Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Clinical Trial in Europe - Asbestos.com
Optimism High for Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Clinical Trial in Europe  Asbestos.com

Gene Therapy Trial for Mesothelioma Opens Internationally - Asbestos.com
Gene Therapy Trial for Mesothelioma Opens Internationally  Asbestos.com

Latest T-Cell Study Opens for Mesothelioma Patients - Asbestos.com
Latest T-Cell Study Opens for Mesothelioma Patients  Asbestos.com

New Early Lung Cancer Test May Help Diagnose Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma - Mesothelioma.net Blog
New Early Lung Cancer Test May Help Diagnose Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma  Mesothelioma.net Blog

Deadliest, most common cancers get the least attention - MultiBriefs Exclusive
Deadliest, most common cancers get the least attention  MultiBriefs Exclusive

Asbestosis toxicity study identifies potential of novel mineral treatment - EurekAlert
Asbestosis toxicity study identifies potential of novel mineral treatment  EurekAlert

Mesothelioma Life Expectancy: Factors Affecting Life Span - Asbestos.com
Mesothelioma Life Expectancy: Factors Affecting Life Span  Asbestos.com

Secondary Asbestos Exposure | Who Is At Risk? - Mesothelioma.com
Secondary Asbestos Exposure | Who Is At Risk?  Mesothelioma.com

Mesothelioma Treatment in Toronto Moves from SMART to SMARTER - Asbestos.com
Mesothelioma Treatment in Toronto Moves from SMART to SMARTER  Asbestos.com

Claire's Recalls JoJo Siwa Makeup Over Asbestos Contamination - Asbestos.com
Claire's Recalls JoJo Siwa Makeup Over Asbestos Contamination  Asbestos.com

Mesothelioma Symptoms - Asbestos.com
Mesothelioma Symptoms  Asbestos.com

Clinical Trial Offering Personalized Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma - Asbestos.com
Clinical Trial Offering Personalized Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma  Asbestos.com

Asbestos Cancer - Mesothelioma.com
Asbestos Cancer  Mesothelioma.com

New Radiotherapy Can Double Two-Year Survival for Mesothelioma - Asbestos.com
New Radiotherapy Can Double Two-Year Survival for Mesothelioma  Asbestos.com

Asbestos Lung Cancer | How it Differs from Mesothelioma - Mesothelioma.com
Asbestos Lung Cancer | How it Differs from Mesothelioma  Mesothelioma.com

Asbestos-Related Diseases - Asbestos.com
Asbestos-Related Diseases  Asbestos.com

Asbestos and Cancer - Mesothelioma Guide
Asbestos and Cancer  Mesothelioma Guide

Supreme Court Rules to Protect Navy Veterans in Asbestos Case - Asbestos.com
Supreme Court Rules to Protect Navy Veterans in Asbestos Case  Asbestos.com

Australian Study Shows Treatment Advances for Peritoneal Mesothelioma - Asbestos.com
Australian Study Shows Treatment Advances for Peritoneal Mesothelioma  Asbestos.com

Bradford University confirms asbestos present in its older buildings - Bradford Telegraph and Argus
Bradford University confirms asbestos present in its older buildings  Bradford Telegraph and Argus

Cancer Incidence Rising Rapidly Around the World - Asbestos.com
Cancer Incidence Rising Rapidly Around the World  Asbestos.com

Baylor Opens New Immunotherapy Clinical Trial for Mesothelioma - Asbestos.com
Baylor Opens New Immunotherapy Clinical Trial for Mesothelioma  Asbestos.com

Pleural Mesothelioma: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatments - Asbestos.com
Pleural Mesothelioma: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatments  Asbestos.com

Mesothelioma Pain | Treating, Coping with Chest & Abdominal Pain - Asbestos.com
Mesothelioma Pain | Treating, Coping with Chest & Abdominal Pain  Asbestos.com

CAR T-Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma Proving Effective in Clinical Trial - Asbestos.com
CAR T-Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma Proving Effective in Clinical Trial  Asbestos.com

New Compound Could Make Chemotherapy More Effective - Asbestos.com
New Compound Could Make Chemotherapy More Effective  Asbestos.com

Mesothelioma Survival Rates & Statistics by Age, Gender & Race - Asbestos.com
Mesothelioma Survival Rates & Statistics by Age, Gender & Race  Asbestos.com

EPA Ignored Advice from Staff Experts When Issuing New Asbestos Rule - Asbestos.com
EPA Ignored Advice from Staff Experts When Issuing New Asbestos Rule  Asbestos.com

Landmark case for asbestos lung cancer claimants - Newsroom
Landmark case for asbestos lung cancer claimants  Newsroom

Asbestos Lung Cancer: Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment - Asbestos.com
Asbestos Lung Cancer: Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment  Asbestos.com

Philly teachers union warns of asbestos issue in schools - KYW Newsradio 1060
Philly teachers union warns of asbestos issue in schools  KYW Newsradio 1060

Once-Promising Drug Ofev Fails in Mesothelioma Clinical Trial - Asbestos.com
Once-Promising Drug Ofev Fails in Mesothelioma Clinical Trial  Asbestos.com

Stage 1 Mesothelioma - Symptoms, Treatment & Survival Rate - Asbestos.com
Stage 1 Mesothelioma - Symptoms, Treatment & Survival Rate  Asbestos.com

Can You Identify Each Type of Mesothelioma? - Mesothelioma Guide
Can You Identify Each Type of Mesothelioma?  Mesothelioma Guide

Reuters Health News Summary - Yahoo News
Reuters Health News Summary  Yahoo News

Mesothelioma Isn’t Going Anywhere - Mesothelioma Guide
Mesothelioma Isn’t Going Anywhere  Mesothelioma Guide

Mesothelioma Study Explores New Treatment When Chemotherapy Fails - Asbestos.com
Mesothelioma Study Explores New Treatment When Chemotherapy Fails  Asbestos.com

Asbestos Cancer Facts & Statistics - Asbestos.com
Asbestos Cancer Facts & Statistics  Asbestos.com

Study: Less-Invasive Mesothelioma Surgery Yields Better Results - Asbestos.com
Study: Less-Invasive Mesothelioma Surgery Yields Better Results  Asbestos.com

History of Mesothelioma - Studies, Timelines & Conclusions - Asbestos.com
History of Mesothelioma - Studies, Timelines & Conclusions  Asbestos.com

Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma in Automotive Workers - Mesothelioma.net Blog
Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma in Automotive Workers  Mesothelioma.net Blog

Small Cell Mesothelioma: Information, Diagnosis & Treatment - Asbestos.com
Small Cell Mesothelioma: Information, Diagnosis & Treatment  Asbestos.com

Radiotherapy doubles survival for patients with mesothelioma - Science Daily
Radiotherapy doubles survival for patients with mesothelioma  Science Daily

Mesothelioma Death Rate Still Rising in Great Britain - Asbestos.com
Mesothelioma Death Rate Still Rising in Great Britain  Asbestos.com

States File Lawsuit Against EPA Over Asbestos Regulation - Asbestos.com
States File Lawsuit Against EPA Over Asbestos Regulation  Asbestos.com

Georgia Mesothelioma Victims Center Now Offers a Navy Veterans with Mesothelioma or Lung Cancer Because of Asbestos Exposure at the Navy Submarine Base at Kings Bay Georgia Direct Access to Attorney Erik Karst and His Remarkable Colleagues at the Law Firm Karst von Oiste - PRNewswire
Georgia Mesothelioma Victims Center Now Offers a Navy Veterans with Mesothelioma or Lung Cancer Because of Asbestos Exposure at the Navy Submarine Base at Kings Bay Georgia Direct Access to Attorney Erik Karst and His Remarkable Colleagues at the Law Firm Karst von Oiste  PRNewswire

Johnson & Johnson Hit with $325M Verdict in Talc-Mesothelioma Case - Asbestos.com
Johnson & Johnson Hit with $325M Verdict in Talc-Mesothelioma Case  Asbestos.com

10 Shocking GIFs of Workplace Asbestos Exposure - Asbestos.com
10 Shocking GIFs of Workplace Asbestos Exposure  Asbestos.com

Secondary Asbestos Exposure | Who's at risk, How It Occurs & Lawsuits - Asbestos.com
Secondary Asbestos Exposure | Who's at risk, How It Occurs & Lawsuits  Asbestos.com

Guide to Asbestos in the Home - Asbestos.com
Guide to Asbestos in the Home  Asbestos.com

White House Asbestos Risk Forces Top Staff Relocation - Asbestos.com
White House Asbestos Risk Forces Top Staff Relocation  Asbestos.com

Asbestos Cancer & More | What Can Asbestos Cause? - Mesothelioma Hub
Asbestos Cancer & More | What Can Asbestos Cause?  Mesothelioma Hub

Mesothelioma Compensation Center Has Endorsed the Law Firm of Karst von Oiste to Make Certain A Waterworks Worker or Plumber with Mesothelioma or Asbestos Exposure Lung Cancer Nationwide Receives Better Compensation Results - PRNewswire
Mesothelioma Compensation Center Has Endorsed the Law Firm of Karst von Oiste to Make Certain A Waterworks Worker or Plumber with Mesothelioma or Asbestos Exposure Lung Cancer Nationwide Receives Better Compensation Results  PRNewswire

Asbestos in schools: What you need to know - Medical Xpress
Asbestos in schools: What you need to know  Medical Xpress

Mesothelioma Treatment Guidelines Not Followed Often Enough - Asbestos.com
Mesothelioma Treatment Guidelines Not Followed Often Enough  Asbestos.com

Study Begins to Develop Breath Test for Mesothelioma Early Detection - Asbestos.com
Study Begins to Develop Breath Test for Mesothelioma Early Detection  Asbestos.com

 

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