North Dakota residents have their share of asbestos cancer diseases such as mesothelioma cancer, lung cancer and asbestosis. Some North Dakotans contracted one of these lethal diseases during service in the Navy or another branch of the military; others were exposed to toxic levels of asbestos at home, school or work.
Several Asbestos Lawsuits Initiated in North Dakota
Although North Dakota is largely rural with agriculture as a primary industry, several other industries have provided dangerous asbestos exposure to employees and their families, including:
- The BP Amoco oil refinery — Mandan
- Power plants — Stanton’s Powerhouse, Beulah’s Coyote Station, and United Power
- Robinson Insulation Company — Minot
- Minot Air Force Base
Robinson Asbestos Insulation Company
For example, between 1948 and 1993 the Robinson Insulation Company processed hundreds of tons of asbestos-containing vermiculite from the mines in Libby, Montana. The Robinson employees were at significant risk of inhaling loose asbestos fibers in the processing plant as they manufactured insulation and other products with a high asbestos content.
While vermiculite is quite a harmless type of clay, it is usually infested with tremolite, which is an especially deadly form of amphibole asbestos.
More About Oil Refineries and Mesothelioma in North Dakota
Asbestos has long been used to build oil refineries around the country due to its outstanding heat resistant properties. After all, the process of turning oil into fuel requires high amounts of heat and chemicals. Many forms of asbestos also are highly resistant to chemical corrosion. According to a study in the UK, 45,000 oil refineries were followed over several years and the results were that they had higher levels of mesothelioma and other asbestos related conditions.
Mesothelioma Statistics in North Dakota
There have been approximately 100 asbestos disease victims here since 2000, and mesothelioma victims were the majority. The rest were due to asbestosis, which is at least treatable in many cases if caught in time. Mesothelioma is almost always terminal, with most patients dying within two years or less.
Asbestos Regulations in North Dakota
If you are working on demolishing or renovating buildings that contain asbestos in North Dakota, there are very important rules to follow to do so legally.
First, all parts of the building that are being renovated/demolished have to be carefully inspected for any materials that contain asbestos before the work is begun. Also, the inspector must be certified by the state through the ND Department of Health.
Second, all asbestos containing materials that might be disturbed for the renovation has to be removed safely before the project starts. Anyone who is handling the asbestos has to be certified. The contractors working on the project have to be licensed by the ND Department of Health, as well.
Third, all waste material containing asbestos has to be dumped in an approved landfill. The waste shipment record has to be started before the asbestos containing material is going to be transported. The WSR has to be delivered to the operator of the landfill when the material is going to be dumped. Note that a copy of the entire WSR has to be turned into the department within 10 days of dumping the material in the approved landfill.
Long Latency of Asbestos Diseases
Asbestos diseases have a very long latency — that is, they don’t make themselves known until years or even decades after the asbestos exposure. Robinson employees, Navy veterans, and thousands of other people who were subjected to high asbestos exposure years ago may have the seeds of asbestos disease within them.
Additionally, individuals who never worked directly with asbestos may have incurred “secondary asbestos exposure” from the asbestos fibers clinging to the clothing, shoes and hair of a loved one who came home each day from a job that exposed him or her to asbestos.
Asbestos Litigation in North Dakota
While there have not been any asbestos related cases in recent years, there are well known areas in the state that have high levels of asbestos exposure. One of these is the Coyote Station in Beulah ND. Anyone who lived or worked near there should be checked annually by a qualified doctor for any sign of asbestos sickness.
Asbestos Is Prevalent in Construction Materials
Asbestos in construction materials is a possibility all over the state of North Dakota. Bricks, drywall, stucco, spackling, paint, roof tiles, ceiling tiles, flooring, and insulation in many forms (e.g., around pipes, electrical wires, boilers, furnaces) are just a sample of the asbestos products that may be in your home, school, library, and/or workplace.
If you’re concerned about asbestos exposure and asbestos disease, contact mesothelioma centers to speak with an experienced North Dakota asbestos attorney who will help you recover the compensation you need and deserve.