According to a ranking of the 50 states by the number of mesothelioma deaths, New Jersey ranks number eight. In fact, in the 20 years from 1980 to 2000, more than 2,800 individuals in New Jersey reportedly died of causes related to asbestos exposure, including:
- mesothelioma cancer (cancer of a tissue lining in the chest cavity)
- asbestosis (a severe and often fatal respiratory disorder)
- lung cancer (several types)
- other organ cancers (such as stomach or esophageal cancer)
Sixty-Plus Jobsites Involved Asbestos
More than 60 jobsites in New Jersey have exposed workers to dangerous levels of asbestos, including:
- DuPont Chemical
- The Raybestos-Manhattan asbestos plant in Passaic
- The Naval Weapons Station in Colts Neck
- The New York Shipbuilding Corporation in Camden
Other types of jobs that may have put workers at risk for asbestos exposure include:
- Chemical plants
- Power plants
- Oil refineries
- Insulation and construction jobs
- Floor installation
- Auto shops
- Work involving brakes and gaskets with asbestos
Asbestos was discovered in the early 1900s and quickly made its way into the production of thousands of products such as insulation, floor tiles, roof shingles, cement, exterior siding and automotive brakes. It was regarded a “miracle mineral” and appealed to manufacturers and builders due to characteristics such as:
- Heat and chemical resistance
- Doesn’t corrode
- High quality performance in industrial applications
- Flexibility to be woven
The problem; however, is that once the mineral is broken down or disturbed (as a result of the production process), the fibers that bind together separate and form a tiny dust that can be easily inhaled through the mouth or nose. Workers who handled asbestos were likely to inhale large quantities of the dangerous dust on a daily basis, putting them at risk for developing fatal respiratory problems and cancers.
Secondary Exposure to Asbestos in New Jersey
Although workers who handle asbestos daily are the highest risk for developing an asbestos-related illness, family members and friends may also be at risk of inhaling the toxic dust that is brought home in the fibers of the clothing and shoes. It wasn’t until the late 1900s that safety regulations regarding working with asbestos were put in place, so thousands of workers and families may have been unknowingly exposed.
Employers Conspired to Keep Asbestos Dangers Secret
The Passaic asbestos plant was the basis of a shocking discovery — documents at the corporate offices of Raybestos proved that Johns-Manville and Raybestos had conspired to hide information about asbestos toxicity from the public. Before then, these employers and others like them had maintained that they weren’t aware that asbestos was dangerous to their employees.
Evidence of such decisions to conceal the dangers of asbestos from the public has been the basis of thousands of asbestos lawsuits. It’s one thing to unknowingly put workers or consumers at risk, but it’s another to knowingly expose them to something that could potentially kill them.
Mesothelioma Attorney New Jersey
Our mesothelioma lawyers have taken a special interest in protecting the rights of workers and consumers who have wrongfully suffered as a result of asbestos exposure. We represent the families of workers who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis and other asbestos-related cancers and serve as advocates for those who have and continue to suffer as a result of greedy corporate actions.
To learn more about your right to financial compensation, contact a mesothelioma lawyer New Jersey today. We will assess your individual circumstances in a free and confidential evaluation and will help you get the compensation you and your family need and deserve.