Research conducted recently on deaths caused by mesothelioma and asbestos in the United States ranks California as No. 1 in the country. Reports have it that frequent exposure to asbestos over a long period have caused between 2,276 to 3,795 deaths each year. Most of those frequently exposed to asbestos over a long period, had this exposure due to working in places where the cheap but dangerous mineral was mined and produced. You must get in touch with a california mesothelioma lawyer if you are a victim of asbestos exposure in California. Before its ban, asbestos was easily acquired and had insulation properties that endeared it to manufacturers. Post-ban saw the floodgates of lawsuits open against manufacturers. Victims thus sought out experienced California meso attorneys to represent and fight for them.
All these lawsuits resulted in the creating of a trust fund which as of now has more than $30 billion available for victims of asbestos related diseases. To be entitled to compensation from the trust fund, you must have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis. To get started on claiming compensation, just take a few moments to fill out our form and get a free Financial Compensation Packet. The packet contains information about the top mesothelioma lawyers in your area, what to do to get paid in 90 days, a step-by-step guide on how to file a claim for the asbestos trust funds, and lots more.
The industrial boom of 1900 to 1970 saw the frequent use of asbestos materials in construction, automobile manufacturing, shipbuilding, electronics, and national defence applications. However, by the time the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered the connection between exposure to asbestos and lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma in the 1970s, mining and use of asbestos drastically declined until it stopped altogether.
Sadly, the harm had already been done as the carcinogenic properties of asbestos continued to have a negative impact on the millions who had worked in the asbestos industry, used asbestos or served in the military. Mass production and use of asbestos by both civilian and military outfits in California meant no one in the state were free from the risk of asbestos exposure.
The good also comes with the bad, and this was one reason why California is ranked No. 1 with a high rate of deaths caused by mesothelioma. The good was that a large chunk of the key players in the industrial sector had their plant base in California where they used asbestos in a large-scale. The aircraft factories, radar and radio manufacturers, shipyards and automobile plants all had facilities in California. Their products were in great the demand, consequent of the World War II ongoing. The bad was exposure to the deadly asbestos.
These giant industrial outfits employed asbestos for myriad uses. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has reported that electricians, pipefitters, plumbers, shipbuilders, and steamfitters, some of whom were civilian and others military were the most exposed to asbestos before and during the WW II.
Also, workers in the military who were on active duty during and after the World War II were also frequently exposed to asbestos over a long period. This explains the diagnosis of mesothelioma in white males, from 65 years and above, who served during the war.
Women and children are not left out; they too are at risk of being exposed to asbestos fibers in the coming years. This is possible when renovations that alter the asbestos structure are carried out. California’s population boom occurred simultaneously with the post-Depression recovery that happened in the 1940s and 1950s. During is a period, a lot of homes were built using Asbestos Contained Materials (ACMs), and most of these homes still exist today. One wouldn’t have had to worry if renovations of these old homes were carried out by professionals. Unfortunately, the current society has a flair for Do-it-yourself projects.
Apart from all that has just been said, California is blessed (cursed?) with one of the largest repositories of naturally occurring asbestos (NOA), partly due to its propensity for earthquake activities. These natural geologic processes result in the forming of asbestos in soil and rock.
NOA repositories in California can be found in veins near fault lines on coastal plains and the lower elevations of the Sierra Nevada. In its natural form, NOAs are harmless to humans; the danger arises only if they are disturbed or altered. When disturbed or developed, trapped asbestos fibres are consequently released into the air.
After the world war II, as more people moved to California in the 1940s, either to get jobs or enjoy the temperate climate, it increased the state’s economic expansion and in turn, mesothelioma diagnosis and deaths. Of course, increase in population meant an increase in construction of homes and a corresponding increase in the use of asbestos.
As at then, the destructive health effects of the dangerous mineral were not well known. Rather, people in the construction industry were occupied with its insulation properties. This made it ideal for drywall, insulation, roofing materials, steam pipes, plumbing materials and electrical wiring. Not surprisingly, virtually every building constructed during that period, be it homes, schools, office, factories, and plants, were built with Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs). Workers involved in any of the above were at high risk of developing mesothelioma or cancer.
Virtually all manufacturers in California used asbestos in their production. Electric companies, such as Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric used asbestos in power generating plants and powerhouses. Asbestos was also used in other top industrial sectors like automobile, aviation, electronics equipment, computer science and chemical industries. Companies operating in this area include Chrysler, Rockwell, Honeywell International, Ford Motor Company, Boeing, North American Aviation, Union Carbide, U.S. Steel, and Chevron. Other notable industrial companies worth mentioning are Bell Asbestos Mines, Ltd. and Calaveras Asbestos, Ltd.
Even the government was not left out as several government agencies used Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs). They continued with the mineral until the EPA’s research made known the connection between asbestos and mesothelioma. Some uses of asbestos included use as insulation for high temperature and fire and strengthening of construction materials. So, industries susceptible to the high risk of fire and extreme heat due to their production processes favoured asbestos.
Knowledge of the connection between mesothelioma and asbestosis lead the California government to react by enacting laws that protected the public by first setting a limit to exposure rates. Title 8 of California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), sets specific guidelines for each industry on limit to asbestos exposure standards. Some examples of the instructions contained in Title 8 include mandating the use of HEPA vacuums when cleaning areas where asbestos dust is commonly found, enclosures must be sealed during the cleaning process, and where there are alternative methods scientifically proven to be safe and efficient, they must be employed. Speak with your California Meso Lawyer for best legal law advice. Furthermore, Title 8 mandates all employers in the state to provide sufficient levels of quality air to employees, while also documenting all cases of asbestos exposure. The DIR’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health is saddled with the responsibility of enforcing California’s asbestos standards in different areas such as construction, shipbuilding, aircraft making and several others.
Subchapter 7 of Title 8, Section 5208 of the California Code of Regulations, provides for several laws about the abatement, handling, removal, and disposal of asbestos within the state, they include the following:
For more information, contact the California Department of Industrial Regulations at 510-286-7000. Also contact your top-rated asbestos lawyers for free legal consultation.
California Statute of Limitations on Mesothelioma and Asbestos Cases
Cases related to mesothelioma and asbestos are required to be filed separately from personal injury cases and also bound by a different statute of limitations under the Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 335.1. Thus, asbestos and mesothelioma-related cases are expected to be filed by the plaintiff (victim or victim’s relation) within one year of diagnosis or discovery of the condition or development of symptoms of the condition. Where death occurs (wrongful death caused by mesothelioma and asbestos) the lawsuit must be filed within one year of the victim’s death.
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