Asbestos is a hazardous material found in various settings across the U.S., from workplaces to residential homes and public spaces. Due to its widespread past use, Americans from all states are vulnerable to developing asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma and asbestos. It is essential to be aware of possible sources of asbestos exposure, including naturally occurring deposits, occupational sites, and buildings, in order to reduce the risk of harmful contact with the substance. Many communities contain remnants of products that previously contained asbestos, such as insulation, floor tiles, or siding materials. Even if these items are no longer being used, they may still be present in older structures and should be handled with caution by professionals trained in abating the material safely. Workers who regularly handle asbestos need to take extra precautions when it comes to their health and safety, such as wearing protective equipment when handling any material that could potentially contain the pollutant. Doing so can help prevent dangerous exposures that can lead to serious medical complications down the road.
If you were exposed to asbestos and subsequently developed a serious disease, do not wait to get legal advice, no matter where the exposure occurred. Contact us online or call (855) 744-1922 to discuss your situation with our legal professionals.
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Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, has been used in a variety of capacities for centuries due to its utility, particularly its resistance to heat. Initially viewed as a "miracle" substance, the toxin was incorporated into a range of products, particularly construction materials and insulation, in order to give them fireproofing properties. Though asbestos is now subject to strict regulations in the U.S., it is still found in some existing buildings and products. When inhaled or ingested, asbestos fibers can cause an array of serious health issues, including mesothelioma.
Asbestos can currently still be found in all fifty states. However, it tends to be more prevalent in some states than others.
Learn more about asbestos exposure risk by state:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Washington, D.C.
- West Virginia
Understanding Occupational Asbestos Exposure
Job-related exposure to asbestos is a major health hazard that affects millions of people around the globe. According to estimates, an estimated 1.3 million U.S. workers are exposed to asbestos each year and 125 million individuals worldwide are subjected to its presence at their workplaces. Asbestos has been extensively used in industries such as construction, automotive manufacturing, shipbuilding, industrial plants, and many other fields of employment where workers are exposed on a daily basis.
In particular, states like New Jersey and Michigan have reported higher incidence rates due to the large number of citizens employed in high-risk industrial occupations. People who work in these sectors often face greater risks due to their proximity and daily contact with this hazardous material. Furthermore, long-term exposure can lead to serious medical conditions such as mesothelioma, which has no cure.
Occupational asbestos exposure can not only endanger the lives of workers but also those that are closest to them. Through a process known as secondary exposure, microscopic asbestos fibers can become lodged in workers’ clothing and other possessions and become unknowingly transferred to their family members.
This is why it is so important for employers to take preventative measures when it comes to protecting their workforce from potential asbestos exposure risks by adhering to regulations set forth by local health authorities. Additionally, individuals should make sure they are aware of any potential working environment risks that could potentially put them in danger of developing serious medical conditions associated with prolonged exposure to this hazardous substance.
Understanding Environmental Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that can be found throughout the United States. California, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia are all known for their numerous asbestos deposits, for example. When this material is disturbed, it can become airborne and pose a risk to those living near its source. Exposure to airborne asbestos fibers can occur during activities such as construction or weathering.
Asbestos-containing products can also be found in some homes, public buildings, and schools. Research conducted by Senator Edward J. Markey from Massachusetts suggests that an alarming two-thirds of public schools have yet to remove these hazardous materials, putting children, teachers, and other personnel at risk of exposure.
Asbestos by Region
Asbestos is found in many places across the United States, with different regions typically experiencing exposure from different sources. In coastal states such as Louisiana, workers employed in shipyards may be at risk of asbestos exposure due to the mineral's presence in older ships and equipment. Meanwhile, those located inland or in landlocked states like Missouri and Ohio are more likely to be exposed due to its use in chemical plants and oil refineries.
Asbestos in the Eastern United States
The East Coast of the United States has a unique history that has made it vulnerable to asbestos exposure. As industries grew and prospered, so did the use of products containing asbestos, such as in shipyards, power plants, and construction sites. Even today, these areas are particularly prone to asbestos fibers due to the demolition and reconstruction of older buildings. City-dwellers in urban areas such as New York City and Boston may be at a higher risk due to the large volume of renovations occurring regularly. During these renovations, workers and residents may unknowingly be exposed to potentially dangerous levels of asbestos dust if they are not properly protected during demolition activities. In addition to these potential environmental exposures, individuals living near naturally occurring sources of asbestos in the region may be at risk as well.
Asbestos in the Central United States
Naturally occurring asbestos is less of a threat in the Central United States relative to the East Coast, but people living in this region can still be at risk of exposure in occupational settings. Oil refineries and power plants (such as Citgo Petroleum Illinois and Wolf Creek Nuclear Generating Station) have been known for extensive asbestos use. Similarly, shipyards and ports also put locals at risk of exposure because of the asbestos-containing materials that were commonly used on vessels.
Furthermore, former military personnel might have come into contact with asbestos during their service at bases like Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin or Naval Station Ingleside in Corpus Christi. This is due to the frequent use of asbestos in the construction work of Navy vessels and bases alike.
The Western United States is home to more than 450 naturally occurring asbestos sources. The extent of these deposits varies from state to state. Many Americans in this region are also at risk of occupational asbestos exposure due to its prevalence in local industries like shipbuilding and manufacturing.
If you are aware of past asbestos exposure and were recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, get in touch with our attorneys at SWMW Law. You may be entitled to compensation, so call (855) 744-1922 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation today.
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