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Occupational and Environmental Diseases Association (William Ashton Tait) Archives
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'A critique of fibre analysis techniques'

Correspondence and papers re Nancy Tait's critique of the fibre analysis approach, citing from Dr Allen R Gibbs' testimony to coroners, OEDA's EM findings contradicting those of Gibbs, and explaining that in view of the unreliability of standard fibre analysis techniques, OEDA no longer attempts to calculate the number of fibres present in lung tissue. Includes

  • various drafts of OEDA statement 'A critique of fibre analysis techniques' (March 2000) including illustrative materials, among it a nuclepore filter and gold grid; a sample of lung tissue digest has been disposed of in line with the Archives Service's appraisal policy
  • letter from occupational health expert Dr Morris Greenberg on 'the importance of fibre that doesn't get to the lung parenchyma ... in the causation of bronchial carcinoma'
  • correspondence with Dr M E Jacobsen, 1998, outlining OEDA’s fibre counting approach (based on 10 years experience using the EM) and asking about statistical arguments that could be used to discourage reliance on counts in lung tissue
  • post mortem and other medical information on individuals 1995-1999
  • copy of ISO 10312:1995 ‘Ambient air - Determination of asbestos fibres - Direct transfer transmission electron microscopy method’
  • copies of letters by Dr A R Gibbs

'Anti-asbestos balloon release', 1998

Correspondence and papers re the OEDA fundraising and remembrance event ‘Balloon race’, 31 October 1998, which netted £ 239.

Includes colour photographs and draft of the balloon launch order, which featured Nancy Tait, Alan Dalton, Bangladeshi-born British singer Gouri Choudhury, father Fred of St Barnabas Bethnal Green, London. The event took place in Mile End Park opposite St Barnabas, Bethnal Green, London.

'Asbestos - what next?', London, October 1982

Correspondence and papers re meeting ‘Asbestos – what next?’, Grand Committee Room, Westminster Hall, Houses of Parliament on 20 October 1982. The meeting was sponsored and arranged with SPAID by Nigel Spearing MP, Jack Ashley MP and Alan Clark MP. It focused on prevention (controls to protect workers and the general public) and help (for victims) regarding the threat posed by asbestos in home and environment. These and absence of control limits were issues not addressed by the recent Simpson Committee.

Structured as follows:

  • report on the meeting, SPAID discussion paper, list of those invited and signature sheet of those who attended, correspondence with MPs
  • correspondence arising from the meeting, October 1982 - January 1983
  • correspondence July to October 1982 (prior to the meeting)
  • papers c. 1971-1982

'Asbestos Information Association Third Annual Industry-Government Conference', 8-9 September 1976

Copy of the remarks of Alex A. Cross, Chairman of the Standing Committee, International Asbestos Information Conference, and Philip E. Enterline, Professor of Biostatics at the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, at the Asbestos Information Association Third Annual Industry-Government Conference, 8-9 September 1976.

'Asbestos still kills', Joint Hazards Campaign / TUC Asbestos Conference, London, 23 April 2001

The conference covered the continuing threat posed by asbestos around the globe. Nancy Tait spoke on compensation for asbestos victims. Includes:

  • invitation from Alan Dalton
  • annotated conference programme, flyers, subsequent correspondence
  • flyers from Sheffield and Rotherham Asbestos Group (SARAG) and West Yorkshire Asbestos Action Group (WYAAG), 2001

'At the centre' (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety)

Copies of 'At the centre', by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), vol v.1 (1982) to vol xii.4 (1989).

Incomplete set - only 15 issues out of 32 published in the date range.

CCOHS was founded by an Act of Parliament in 1978. Its purpose is "to promote the fundamental right of Canadians to a healthy and safe working environment..."

'British asbestos newsletter'

Copies of the 'British asbestos newsletter' (or 'BAN') 1990-2007, with intercalated material including correspondence.

Incomplete set; the following numbers are missing:

  • ?2, ?4, 6, 9, 27, 37, 43, 44, 50, 51, 54, 55, and 66

BAN was founded and edited by global anti-asbestos advocate Laurie Kazan-Allen.

Allen, Laurie, Kazan-, b. 1947, anti-asbestos campaigner

'Cleveland meeting on asbestos', Cleveland, c.1984

Nancy Tait's notes marked 'Cleveland meeting', on a conference chaired by Paul Harford, of the Cleveland Council, c.1984. Other speakers included Tom Abram, "Mr Poad", "Mr D Bury from County Architects", etc.

Cleveland County (1974-1996) was situated in the Tees Valley region of North Yorkshire in the North East of England.


Correspondence with Rodney Nelson-Jones of Field Fisher Waterhouse, Solicitors, re their asbestos companies/insurers database Coda, its transfer to OEDA, updates to the database, etc. Includes

  • copy of ‘Asbestos database specifications’
  • 188pp print-out of ‘List of companies linked by change of name’
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