Mesothelioma is one of the rarest types of cancers that aggressively attacks the lining of the vital organs, including the lungs, heart, intestines, stomach and testicles. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common variety, which involves the delicate lining of the lungs. Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure, most often in heavily industrial occupations, such as railroads, shipbuilding, construction, power stations, chemical plants, and other industrial occupations.
Mesothelioma is one of the worst types of cancer. The survivability after five years for the version affecting the lungs is less than 10%. There are about 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma diagnosed per year. The cancer spreads quickly and resists traditional surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy. It may not be diagnosed until stage 4; at that time, the only treatment options are usually to reduce pain.
Alaska and Mesothelioma Exposure
According to the CDC, 80 residents of Alaska died from mesothelioma from 1999 through 2015. Even though the numbers are low, this is because of the state’s sparse population. In fact, Alaska has a rather high mesothelioma death rate of 21 people per million every year. Anchorage Borough has a higher rate of mesothelioma mortality and ranks among the top counties in the US with a death rate of 20 per million. There are many sites of naturally occurring asbestos in the state. They are common in the Panhandle region, around the Yukon River, and near Kobuk National park.
If you were employed in heavy industry in Alaska and were diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is likely you were exposed to asbestos in your industrial occupation. It is advised to talk to a mesothelioma attorney for legal advice. You may be entitled to money for your pain and suffering, medical costs and loss of income.
What Causes Mesothelioma?
Asbestos exposure is almost always the cause of mesothelioma. When the deadly substance is used in mining, industry or is disturbed in any way, tiny shards of asbestos fibers invisible to the eye can become airborne and sucked into the lungs or swallowed. These tiny shards stick in delicate organ linings over time. While the body works to repel the foreign invaders, some of the material stays over time. Over the years, the asbestos fibers can create genetic changes in your body and cause mesothelioma. It is possible you will not develop the disease from your exposure to asbestos in Alaska for up to 50 years. (Cancer.org)
Alaska Sites of Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos is common in the natural environment of Alaska, so the mineral was often used in many industries across the state. If you were exposed to asbestos in one of the industries below in Alaska and have mesothelioma, talk to an Alaska asbestos attorney listed at the end of this article.
Many manufacturers, such as pulp mills converting wood chips to fiberboard to produce paper, often used asbestos in their manufacturing processes because of its high heat resistance. Some of these sites in Alaska, such as the Ketchikan Pulp Company, may have exposed workers to the toxin.
Due to the high amount of asbestos that occurs naturally in Alaska, gravel requests were complex. Much of the gravel could contain asbestos naturally. This put many industries in the state at risk for asbestos contamination. The higher demand led to the state to devise laws to regulate how asbestos was used in industry.
A lot of machinery and equipment in power plants was created with materials containing asbestos because of a high risk of fire and heat damage. Plants in the state, such as Beluga Power Station and the power plant at the University of Alaska, put workers at greater risk of developing mesothelioma.
Oil refineries including Arco Chemical Company and Tesoro Alaska Company used asbestos-containing products throughout many parts of their operations. Studies have shown higher rates of pleural mesothelioma for many oil refinery workers.
Alaska has the largest coastline in the US, so Alaska clearly was heavily involved in shipbuilding and ship repair. One well-known shipyard is Seward’s Marine Industrial Center, workers were probably exposed to asbestos a lot because it was used so much on ships.
Veterans, especially ones who worked in the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, will always be at greater risk of mesothelioma because of the higher level of asbestos use in all areas of the military in the past. In Alaska, military veterans were at especially higher risk of asbestos exposure at Fort Richardson and Kodiak Naval Station.
Alaska Asbestos Exposure Laws
In Alaska, the Division of Air Quality and Air Non-Paint and Mobile Sources (Alaska.gov) is responsible for the removal and disposal procedures for asbestos. If you are involved with asbestos abatement procedures in this state, you must work with this administration to ensure that it is done in full compliance with state and federal environmental laws.
Also, the Division of Environmental Health Solid Waste Program oversees the demolition and renovation of older structures in the state, so you must work with the division to ensure that asbestos-containing materials are identified and properly disposed of. (Alaska.gov).
Alaska Asbestos Attorneys
If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related condition in Alaska, be sure to discuss your diagnosis and work history with one of the Alaska mesothelioma attorneys listed below. They may be able to assist you in getting compensation from your former employer, companies that supplied your employer with asbestos-containing materials, and even asbestos trust funds that some corporations have been required to set up to compensate victims of asbestos exposure.
Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen
360 Lexington Ave. 20th Floor
New York NY 10017
This mesothelioma law firm works out of New York City, but it handles many asbestos exposure cases in Alaska. Its lawyers possess years of experience winning mesothelioma verdicts and settlements for workers who have been devastated by asbestos cancer. They offer free consultations, so please contact them to get more information today.
Simmons, Hanly and Conroy
One Court Street
Alton IL 62002
This mesothelioma and asbestos claim law firm is based in Illinois, but it works on many mesothelioma and asbestos exposure cases in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest each year. Simmons, Hanly and Conroy have won in excess of $5 billion in compensation for personal injury clients over three decades, and many millions of dollars in mesothelioma claim compensation in settlements, verdicts and asbestos trust funds. If you want a highly skilled mesothelioma attorney for your asbestos exposure case in Alaska, call Simmons, Hanly and Conroy for your free legal consultation.
- What Causes Mesothelioma? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/malignant-mesothelioma/causes-risks-prevention/what-causes.html
- Asbestos Abatement Disposal Laws. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://dec.alaska.gov/air/anpms/asbestos/abate-dispose/
- Solid Waste and Asbestos Disposal. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://dec.alaska.gov/eh/solid-waste/asbestos/
- Best Mesothelioma Lawyers. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.mesolawsuitafterdeath.com/legal/best-mesothelioma-law-firms-navy-veterans/