Asbestos and Fire misses mark

The Madison County Record Jan. 27, 2006, 6:00pm

To the editor:

What a way to promote national healthcare. I'm amazed this book (Asbestos and Fire: Technological Trade-Offs and The Body At Risk) passed editorial review. Rachel Maines' editor should have taken advantage of the many engineering and fire-service experts before printing this book.

To claim that asbestos alone is responsible for saving thousands of lives since the early 1900's is completely asinine. There have been hundreds and thousands of building code changes, and preventive
measures put in place, since then that contribute to the reduction
in fire injuries and death.

Does the author discuss fire alarms, sprinklers, better exits, occupancy limits, or better design of buildings for rapid exit? How about the use of steel, drywall, etc. and other non-combustible materials in construction rather than wood?

Asbestos is a terrific product. It has some wonderful properties that we still can't reproduce with a safer product. Unfortunately, its bad properties outweigh the benefits.

This is not the legal issue. The legal asbestos damage claims have to do with the producers in some way hiding the danger of asbestos,
rather than recognizing the danger when it was discovered.

To give merit to Donald Trump simply because he was offering his
opinion to Congress is ridiculous as well. Its simply taking
advantage of another clueless person to lend credence to the author's own claim.

Donald Trump is not an engineer. I'm sure he doesn't have asbestos in Trump Tower. It wouldn't have made a difference at WTC. The asbestos would have been destroyed just like everything else on
the impact floors.

According to your article, the author does briefly address a real problem. She notes that victims only receive about 42 cents on the
dollar for the awarded compensation. Attorneys fees are exorbitant.

Now that would be worth writing a book about.

Dave Phelps
South Roxana

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