The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it was investigating Honeywell International's accounting on Oct. 19. In particular, the SEC said that it was investigating the Louisville company's accounting for its liabilities related to asbestos. According to a regulatory filing, Honeywell filed a revised estimate for these liabilities as of the end of 2017. They amounted to $2.61 billion, a jump of $1.09 billion over previous estimates from the firm.
The dangers of asbestos exposure have been understood by people in Kentucky for years, but courts continue to sort out the legal consequences of its use in manufacturing and construction. A case now being heard before the Supreme Court of the United States has pitted two widows against a manufacturer. At issue is the company's potential liability for the toxic exposure that resulted when its equipment was used with asbestos insulation.
Louisville residents exposed to asbestos over a long period may develop malignant mesothelioma. There are four standard treatments for this cancer in addition to one that's currently undergoing a clinical trial. The type of treatment that is chosen will depend on the patient's situation.
Asbestos has not been entirely banned in the U.S., so it can be found in many buildings across Louisville. Exposure to the mineral over a long period of time can result in mesothelioma, a cancer developing in the mesothelial cells and their DNA. Researchers continue to learn more about which asbestos fibers cause the cancer, how and after what level of exposure. They are also studying the potential role that the SV40 virus has in mesothelioma.
Manufacturers commonly used asbestos products in building until the 1980s, which means that many homes still contain products with asbestos in them. The natural fiber is generally safe when left undisturbed, but many individuals expose themselves when remodeling their homes.
September 26 is the annual day for mesothelioma awareness. Mesothelioma is a cancerous condition that's caused by asbestos exposure. People in Louisville who develop mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure might not experience symptoms for 50 years. However, mesothelioma tends to be fast-moving once diagnosed, and a person may only live for about a year after diagnosis.