As our mesothelioma attorneys have continued to report, asbestos exposure causes Mesothelioma, one of deadliest forms of cancer. But experts say the cancer can incubate for 30 to 40 years, so patients often don't realize that the root cause of the cancer is that old.
As previously reported on the Mesothelioma Lawyer Blog, there are several sites across the country that have been accused of putting employees at high risk of asbestos exposure. Many handled contaminated vermiculite, a mined material which can contain asbestos. While asbestos was never officially banned in the United States, many businesses have stopped using the known carcinogen.
These blogs are part of a series based on reports by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And those who worked or lived in these areas are at high risk. Former employees who worked at similar sites or did similar work could be at increased risk of a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops in the lining of many of the body's internal organs. It is usually caused by exposure to asbestos and by people who have inhaled asbestos dust.
Mesothelioma in New Jersey: The Zonolite Company and W.R. Grace and Company operated a site in Trenton through 1994. According to the CDC, the Mercer County site may have received vermiculite from the Libby, Montana site at any time from 1920-1990.
Libby was the main site from which the company mined its vermiculite and the death rate there was 40 times higher than the rest of Montana and 60 times higher than the United States. If you have lived near or worked at the New Jersey plant, you should speak with a medical professional experienced in handling asbestos related health issues.
Mesothelioma in Pennsylvania: The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry did an exposure evaluation of the former W.R. Grace & Company Site in New Castle, Pa., which is on the western edge of the state. The site operated from 1969 and 1992.
According to U.S. Census data, the population of Lawrence County has steadily declined since 1960. In that year, about 113,000 people lived in the county containing New Castle. By 1990, the population dipped to 96,000. In 2006, that number dropped to 90,000.
Those most affected are people who currently live near the processing site, those who worked there between 1969 and 1992, lived with someone who worked there or lived there during that time period. Asbestos fibers are so small that you can breathe them in and not even know it. They can get trapped in your lungs and cause cancer decades after exposure.
Mesothelioma in Maryland: The W.R. Grace and Zonolite Company operated a vermiculite processing plant in Beltsville from 1966 to the early 1990s, the CDC reports.
The facility exfoliated vermiculite to manufacture insulation, building products, agricultural products and fireproofing material. More than 93,000 tons of vermiculite was processed and shipped out of this site for distribution across the country. Since 1998, Atlantic Transportation Equipment has leased the property to operate a truck maintenance and repair shop.
The closest residential area is about a half mile away from the site and according to 1990 U.S. Census data, 320 people lived within one mile of the site. Officials found that Libby asbestos was detected on the site. Former workers, family members and others living nearby should consult with a doctor to check for possible exposure.