Asbestos Causes Controversy at Olympic Training Facility


Asbestos Causes Controversy at Olympic Training Facility

Tags: asbestos, basketball, olympics, construction, protesters, olympic, protest, facility, concerns, health

The training facility being constructed for the 2012 basketball Olympics is being built on top of an asbestos-filled parkland, causing environmental campaigners to protest, news sources reported.

London, the host-city of the Olympic games and the location of the basketball training site, is where concerns are brewing about the health threats associated with asbestos exposure.

This practice facility will host basketball stars like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant in addition to countless more from multiple countries as each team competes for the sports highest world accolades.

Despite the high profile names expected to arrive at the facility during the Olympic, local protesters are more concerned about the environmental and health implications of such construction.

Exposure to asbestos is known to cause respiratory diseases like lung cancer and mesothelioma, but can often take up to 50 years to manifest and become evident. It is estimated that nearly 3,000 Americans die each year from mesothelioma.

Asbestos has multiple industrial uses and is often found in construction materials. As a result, it is commonly present in landfills as well as construction sites, especially those of prior decades.

Armed with this information, protesters aimed to halt the construction by informing Mr Justice Arnold, a High Court judge, of their concerns of the hazard. Their progress was limited by legal actions by one of the Olympics’ organizations.

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), the public body that manages the construction of game venues for the Olympics, argued to the judge that the protesters were stopping construction workers from getting to the site.

On April 14, six protesters were arrested for inhibiting construction workers’ ability to enter the work site.

The judge then issued an injunction on April 4th that would help keep protesters away from the site entrances and from disrupting construction progress.

“The injunction doesn’t prevent lawful or peaceful protest,” said Mr Justice Arnold.

“The court’s function is to uphold the law.”

According to a protester, the building site was previously a landfill after World War II. During the early to mid-1900s, asbestos use was extremely common because the health hazards were not well understood by the scientific community.

On Wednesday, the protesters renewed their concerns by speaking with the judge again by way of a two-hour hearing.

Some critics of the judge have stated that he has a conflict of interest in issuing the injunction because of his intention to attend some of the basketball games.

“As it happens I do have tickets for one of the basketball matches,” the judge said.

  1. Farmer, B. Judge told of Olympics basketball site ‘asbestos’. The Independent. (2012 April 18). Retrieved from http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/olympics/judge-told-of-olympics-basketball-site-asbestos-7657862.html
  2. Press Association – Judge Acts on Olympic Venue Protest. (2012 April 4). Retrieved from http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5g4EyJxRy3XK9Zf2cv_o15QfWcDSg?docId=B2968441333551048A00
  3. Gold, D. Six arrested at Olympic basketball centre protest camp. Inside the Games. (2012 April 14). Retrieved from http://www.insidethegames.biz/olympics/summer-olympics/2012/16576-six-occupy-protesters-arrested-at-olympic-basketball-centre-
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Dushyant said... Rating: 0   Vote +   Vote -  

Jim: sad to say, we will continue to epxrot it and workers and the public will continue to die.And this is why- Asbestos Corporation of Canada is a Quebec based company, one of the, if not the largest employer in the Eastern Townships. The few thousand workers involved are in Quebec. The Government (so called) of this country has, over the years and in order to curry votes, given Quebec Nation status, with their own immigration policies, pensions, a lions share of transfer payments, the ability to ban English from signs and schools, predominance in the civil service and the military (one of the main reasons separation is feared) and seventy plus votes in the House. No government forms a majority without winning Quebec, who, pragmatic always, vote with the prevailing wind, in their own interests without regard to Canada. Hence, the Bloc. Who will, by the way, soon again form her Majesty's Loyal Opposition in the coming Harper Majority- much to my disgust.You know all this.So the Canadian government will not ban asbestous, or close up the mines, and certainly this government, as previous Liberal governments, will do nothing to hassle Corporations. People will have to continue to die, because profits have to (and will) be made, taxes will have to be paid, the shareholders must realize a return on their investments, and the Federal governments of any stripe will have to toady to the Quebecois till they or we decide we've had enough.On a personal note, I've seen asbestos in use recently, and over the years, in India. Its used there for roofing- large sheets of it two by eight and four by eight- most housing seems to use it. I've slept under it for months at a time. If its not cut or drilled into I'm willing to believe its less of a problem there than so many other hazards especially diesel pollution.The workers who cut it, and install it no doubt suffer from its effects, or would, if their poverty, malnutrition and other diseases didn't finish them off sooner.So lets see- a Quebec Corporation, thousands of jobs in Quebec, the workers here who do suffer any effects are dying off and the workers in developing ( a nice word for poor and exploited) countries are just poor sods who don't really count- at least not where politics and money are concerned. As for American workers dying of asbestos poisoning? My heart goes out to them and their families. But their politicians are worse (if possible) whores than ours, and Public Health care, paid by taxes, with the well off paying for the poor, is not and will not be an option there in the forseeable future. And as they spiral down to increased poverty, religious fundamentalism, fascism and war without end, asbestous will be the least of their, and our, problems.-Bill

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