Fortunately, residents of North Dakota have a comparatively low risk of asbestos exposure and disease. In fact, between 1980 and 2000, North Dakota had the lowest rate of fatalities from asbestos diseases in the entire country. This is due to a couple of factors. First, North Dakota has one of the smallest populations of any state. Secondly, North Dakota is a primarily agricultural state; and asbestos is not frequently used in agricultural operations.
Asbestos is primarily used in industrial operations, where this dangerous substance is added to products to make them more durable, heat and flame resistant, or insulating. Asbestos is commonly found in power plants, oil refineries, automotive production and repair facilities, construction, demolition and renovation sites, shipbuilding sites and shipyards, and other commercial and industrial workplaces. It can also be found in homes and other buildings.
Asbestos exposure risk in North Dakota
North Dakota’s numerous power plants, including the Coyote Station, United Power, and Stanton Powerhouse may all present the risk of asbestos exposure to workers and their family members (family members can be exposed to asbestos fibers accidentally brought on a loved one’s clothing or equipment). North Dakota’s BP Amoco oil refinery may also pose asbestos risks to those employed at this facility. Workers in facilities that have handled asbestos-contaminated vermiculite ore shipped from Libby, Montana are also at risk.
North Dakota and Asbestos Cancers
While North Dakota residents have a relatively lower risk of asbestos exposure, it is still possible for residents here to develop serious health problems associated with exposure to asbestos on the job, in the home, or in another environment. Asbestos diseases can take years or even decades to produce symptoms following exposure. Thus, a person may feel healthy long after exposure to asbestos only to suddenly develop symptoms of a serious disease.
Asbestos exposure can cause the following diseases:
- Asbestosis: a serious but non cancerous disease of the lungs
- Mesothelioma Cancer: a rare but extremely aggressive form of cancer that affects the tissues lining the lungs, heart, or abdominal cavity.
- Asbestos Cancer: other forms of cancer such as lung, larynx, and esophageal cancer have also beel linked to asbestos exposure.
With all of these possible asbestos diseases, early detection is key to the best outcome. Those who have been exposed to asbestos in the past are encouraged to seek routine health check-ups to rule out disease, particularly if new symptoms have developed. Those who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma should contact the Mesothelioma Treatment Centers to learn about their legal options and find out if they qualify for financial compensation.
North Dakota Mesothelioma Treatment Centers:
Altru Cancer Center
1000 South Columbia Road, P.O. Box 6003
Grand Forks, North Dakota 58206
MedCenter One Health Systems Cancer Care Center
300 North 7th Street
Bismarck, North Dakota 58501