Although Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the U.S., it still has its fair share of asbestos cancer problems. Home to an asbestos mine, Rhode Island is full of asbestos containing products which can be found in homes, schools and several other public and private buildings.
Known as the “Ocean State,” Rhode Island boasts over 400 miles of coastline and has flourished as a major hub for shipping and trade. In fact, Rhode Island was at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution and the establishment of power-driven textile mills in the 19th century.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos cancer such as mesothelioma, you should speak with a qualified mesothelioma lawyer in Rhode Island to learn more about your rights. You and your family may be entitled to a significant amount of compensation for damages, including medical bills, physical and emotional suffering and more. To learn more, contact us today.
Rhode Island Workers and Asbestos Exposure
The two main industries that put Rhode Island workers at a high risk of asbestos exposure are the power plant and shipping industries.
- Power plants: There are several power plants in Rhode Island that are responsible for exposing workers to asbestos. Asbestos was once widely used across the power industry for applications like thermal insulation for steam pipes and turbines; and studies are now showing that power plant workers have experienced a higher than expected death rate due to malignant mesothelioma.
- Cases of work-related malignant mesothelioma have been reported clerks, insulator workers and electrical power station workers. At this point, it is no secret that most insulation workers have been put at risk for exposure, but as we hear of more and more cases of mesothelioma among power station workers, we are discovering that others in the industry have been put at higher than expected risk as well.
- Shipping industry: Asbestos was also widely used in the shipping industry because it was the best and most cost effective insulating material in the 1900’s. It was used on the ships for gaskets, insulation, packing and tape. Rhode Island, known as the “Ocean State,” has long been a hub for shipping and trade. Thousands of people have benefited from the flourishing Rhode Island shipping industry, and have, in turn, been unknowingly exposed to asbestos.
Some of the cities where asbestos exposure has occurred include these:
- North Kingstown
Cranston in particular has seen many cases of asbestos-related disease, due to the fact that it has such a major industrial and manufacturing history. Over the last century, there have been many successful industrial enterprises in this town that used asbestos, such as fulling mills, grist mills, screw factories and aluminum producers. Also, Cranston Print Works employed many people and exposed them to asbestos.
Some of the companies that are known to have had asbestos-containing materials onsite are:
- Synthron Chemical
- Wickford Shipyard
- Puritan Aerosol
- Charleston Navy Base
- Wickford Shipyard
- Kaiser Aluminum
- Narrangansett Power
Shipyards in Rhode Island and Mesothelioma
Some of the shipyards that are located here include the Newport Naval Yard, which was first built to protect ships from Confederates during the Civil War. From 1941-46, the Naval Operation Base was located here and built many ships with asbestos.
Also, the Walsh Kaiser Shipyard was set up in 1942 as an emergency facility to build ships. Nearly 21,000 people were employed here during the height of the war in ship building.
Asbestos Contamination in Rhode Island Schools
Three schools in Providence were found to have been sources of asbestos exposure in the early 1990s. There were Brown Avenue, Winsor Hill and Sarah Dyer Barnes. At least 600 students and faculty may have been exposed for up to one year to asbestos.
Mesothelioma Statistics in Rhode Island
RI is ranked #38 in the state for the total asbestos-related deaths. From 1999 until 2013, there were 214 deaths reported that were associated with the substance. Approximately 172 deaths were attributed to mesothelioma.
Rhode Island Residents & Asbestos Exposure
Although research has proven that individuals who worked with asbestos on a daily basis are at the greatest risk of developing an asbestos related disease, many residents of Rhode Island have and will continue to be affected by the toxic mineral as well. This is because asbestos can be found in many building products such as:
- Insulation materials
- Flooring and tile
- Drywall and decorative paint
- Shingles and roofing materials
As we have stated throughout this site, just because asbestos is present in a building material, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is dangerous. The only time an asbestos material poses a health risk is when it becomes damaged and the small fibers are released. For example, the asbestos fibers found in roofing tiles are so tightly woven, they do not pose a risk. But, if the shingles are scraped, sanded, broken or otherwise damaged, the fibers may separate and become released into the air.
If you live or work in a building that contains asbestos, it is important to get it checked periodically to ensure it has not been disturbed. If the material is damaged or if you decide to make changes to it, you should contact a professional for help so it is removed safely.
Mesothelioma Lawsuits in Rhode Island
A mesothelioma case in 2007 involved a mechanic from Pawtucket who won $2 million in a verdict against GM and Ford. The crux of the suit was that both automakers exposed him to asbestos with the parts that they worked with that contained the deadly material.
Mesothelioma Lawyer Rhode Island
Our mesothelioma attorneys in Rhode Island are aware of the companies that have played a role in wrongfully exposing workers and residents to asbestos. We can review your work and “life” history to determine who is at fault for your illness and can help you and your family recover the maximum amount of compensation owed to you by law.
If you or a loved one is suffering because of the effects of asbestos exposure, we may be able to help you. Call or email us today for a free and confidential discussion about your case.