CBC.ca | The Current | Asbestos in the Family

Quoted from http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/episode/2011/06/27/asbestos-in-the-family/

Asbestos in the Family – Von Palleske Family

6/27/11, CBC.com, The Current

Every day, for 25 years Wolfgang Von Palleske would come home from work, throw open his arms and greet his wife and children with a big hug. He worked at an asbestos manufacturing plant near Toronto.

But what he didn’t know was that every day, he came home with little bits of asbestos clinging to his clothes. They sparkled in the air when they floated and they called it “fairy dust”. And every time he hugged his family, he was exposing them to the same substance that ultimately led to his premature death.

Last week, as Canada blocked an effort at the UN to add chrysotile asbestos – a known carcinogen – to an international list of hazardous chemicals and as Stephen Harper celebrated St-Jean-Baptiste Day in the heartland of Canada’s asbestos industry, the CBC’s Carol McDowell spent some time with Wolfgang Von Palleske’s daughter. We heard from Heidi Von Palleske and members of the Von Palleske family in Carol McDowell’s documentary.

Wolfgang Von Palleske spent 25 years working with chrysotile asbestos at a plant near Toronto. He died four years ago of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer usually caused by exposure to asbestos. And as you heard, Heidi’s mother now has mesothelioma and has been given six months to live.

And Heidi’s sister, Aurora McCathey, is scheduled to get the results of her scan for the cancer later today. As for Heidi… she expects to know the condition of her lungs by the end of this week. Both sisters will have to be tested every year.

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