Regarded as the silent killer, asbestos was highly touted as one of the most versatile forms of building applications throughout the 20th century. Due to its heat and fire resistant qualities, asbestos was used as a form of insulation, piping, flooring and brake lining. Texas is no stranger to asbestos problems, due to a heavy domestic oil industry that has thrived in the state. Oil giants such as Mobil, Shell and Gulf have all called Texas their homes. Millions of employees and workers were exposed to the mineral over the last 100 years. Exposure to airborne asbestos fibers has caused the unfortunate suffering and deaths of millions through asbestos-related ailments.
Although Texas has large rural areas, asbestos problems have been concentrated throughout the state. The number of workers who were wrongfully exposed to asbestos has produced an extensive legislation and litigation platform to advocate these employees’ rights. Mesothelioma is a highly aggressive form of asbestos cancer that accounts for 3 percent of all cancer diagnoses in the United States alone. In 1999, there were over 125 reported deaths from mesothelioma in Texas. With a latency period that lasts anywhere from 20 to 50 years, it is one of the most difficult diseases for medical doctors to diagnose. With a limited amount of mesothelioma treatment currently available, any individuals who have worked in ship-building, oil industries, electrical and power plants, should seek medical attention immediately.
Asbestos was used in all types of vessels which belonged to the Navy. The substance was consistently utilized from the 1930’s through the 1970’s and many military veterans have suffered from asbestos illnesses. Firefighters also fall under the category of possible exposure due to working around older homes. Other occupations that are at risk include auto-mechanics and railroad workers. Furthermore, contacting a mesothelioma lawyer is of the utmost importance so your rights can be protected and advocated. It is reported that nearly 40 percent of all of the asbestos lawsuits are filed in Texas. In 2005, the state passed legislation to regulate and limit asbestos lawsuits in Texas courts. The changes include the way district cases are handled, how venue issues are decided and how damages will be apportioned among multiple defendants.
The Texas Department of Health Services helps protect and promote the physical and environmental well-being of citizens in Texas from asbestos. With a new outreach program, they are currently educating the public in finding the right asbestos abatement contractors to inspect and remove the hazardous material from homes, public facilities and workplaces.
This guest post is courtesy of the Mesothelioma Cancer Center.