From the excellent Asbestos & Mesothelioma Center Web site comes this information about asbestos exposure in Texas. Please visit the Asbestos & Mesothelioma Center for more information about asbestos and related health risks.
Texas (TX) Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure
Everything is bigger in Texas – including asbestos problems. Texas is the state most involved in the domestic oil industry, and companies like Shell, Gulf, and Mobil call this state home. Unfortunately, the oil industry is one of the hardest hit in terms of asbestos problems, with millions of employees being exposed over the last 100 years.
Although Texas has large stretches of rural areas, it also has a number of larger cities, where asbestos problems have been concentrated. In 1999, there were 125 reported deaths from mesothelioma along. This rare form of cancer only occurs after asbestos exposure. Furthermore, asbestosis and other respiratory problems have contributed to deaths in Texas. If you live or work in this state and believe you’ve been exposure to asbestos, talk to a doctor right away and find a lawyer to help you protect your rights.
At-Risk Occupations and Locations in Texas
The petroleum industry booming, companies during the industrial revolution needed a way to protect their plants from fires and to cut down on machinery corrosion. Using asbestos was a great idea because this substance can be used to create materials that are heat-resistant (and, essentially, fireproof), flexible, durable, lightweight, strong, and cheap. Asbestos was used to create products like gaskets, insulation, and every uniforms for employees. However, over time, general wear and tear causes the asbestos fibers to be released back into the air, where employees can breathe them in. Although the use of asbestos made these plants safer from fire, they increase other health risks and put millions in harm’s way. All of the major oil companies used asbestos in some capacity.
Texas also has a number of other popular industries that have been known to use asbestos. Along the Gulf Coast, shipyards are common, and for the factors listed above, asbestos was a great product to use for building vessels. Until the 1980s, asbestos (especially in insulation) was used in this industry for many building materials. In additional asbestos had its place in the electrical power and chemical industries, two other industries that were major powerhouses in Texas for many years (and still are today).
There are also deposits of asbestos naturally found in Texas. Although these are typically not a threat to someone on a hike, for example, mines to retrieve this asbestos for commercial use were very dangerous. If not regulated, people living in this area could see a high concentration of asbestos in their air and water. The naturally-occurring asbestos in Texas is located northwest of San Antonio, in the Canyon State Natural Area vicinity.
It is important to note that Texas, due to its location, is a hotspot for violent winds and tornados. When a structure built using asbestos is damaged in high winds, the asbestos fibers fill the air and become a danger to everyone living and working in the area. Therefore, here more than in other locations, asbestos should be closely monitored in homes, even if it is contained in the structure and currently not a threat.
Asbestos-related Deaths in Texas
As you can imagine, because Texas is so highly involved in a number of injuries that used asbestos, there have been thousands of deaths from asbestos-related illnesses in this state. According to one study, there were almost 2,800 asbestos-related deaths in Texas because 1979 and 1999. About half of these deaths were due to asbestosis, while the other half were due to mesothelioma. Harris County, Jefferson County, and Dallas County were the location hardest hit, which is not surprising as these are industrial hubs in Texas.
Texas is 7th in the United State in terms of mesothelioma cases, with a mortality rate of over 8 per million. With more and more people reporting asbestos-related illnesses in this state every day, that number could continue to rise, unfortunately. Asbestos exposure in Texas may be regulated now, but cases are still being discovered as these illnesses take many years to materialize. Someone exposure to asbestos in the 1960s could just find out today that he or she has mesothelioma, for example.
Legal Resources for Texas Residents
There have been many lawsuits in Texas regarding asbestos-related illnesses and personal injury. Some of these cases have set precedence in the state and in the entire United States. For example, in 2000, due to the case of Pustejovsky versus Rapid-American Corp., Texas’ Supreme Court rules that someone affected by asbestos could sue more than once. This is because more complicated medical conditions may arise later in life. This ruling has changed the course of many lives, as it is common to need help for asbestos one year but develop more medical bills with mesothelioma a decade later.
Many Texas cases have proven that victims are in the right in the case of asbestos-related illnesses. If you’ve been hurt due to asbestos exposure in Texas, it is important to talk to a lawyer right away. There is a two-year statute of limitations rule for filing suit, so make sure that you call an attorney soon to talk about your case.