Mesothelioma is a fatal, painful, preventable cancer of the lung lining that is nearly always a terminal disease. If you have worked or lived in this state for years, there is a possibility you were exposed to deadly asbestos at home or on the job. Long term exposure to asbestos can cause serious health problems, such as mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. This has been a major health crisis in Arizona for decades.
According to the CDC, Arizona features a mesothelioma mortality rate of 9 per million annually. There are at least 100 known sites of asbestos that occur naturally in the state. Approximately 96 of them have chrysotile asbestos that are found in the counties of Gila and Pinal. The greatest concentration of the deadly mineral is in Gila County, especially around Salt River Canyon with at least 90 deposits. Over the last 50 years, approximately 75,000 pounds of deadly asbestos was mined out of the area from 160 mines, according to the Arizona Geological Survey.
If you have developed mesothelioma and lived or worked in Arizona where you think you were exposed to the deadly mineral, there are several potential options for compensation. But first, let’s tame a closer look at asbestos and mesothelioma in Arizona.
How Common Is Mesothelioma in Arizona?
While mesothelioma is a rare cancer with approximately 3,000 diagnoses per year, it is one of the deadliest and most difficult to treat cancers in the world. The five year survival rate of most forms of mesothelioma is in the single digits in Arizona and across the country.,
A major problem with mesothelioma is that the deadly disease spreads through the organ linings like wildfire. It affects the lining of the lungs, stomach, intestines and sometimes the heart. The tumors are very difficult to cut out as they are not localized, and its widespread nature makes radiation and chemotherapy treatments less effective than on other cancers.
The rate of the cancer in Arizona is less than it was a few decades ago. The majority of these changes have been seen in men. This is most likely because there is not as much asbestos being used on the job than 50 years ago. However, bear in mind the long latency period between asbestos exposure and diagnosis – as long as 50 years. It could be that someone was exposed 40 years ago to asbestos in the state and could be diagnosed in the coming years.
What Causes Mesothelioma with Arizona Residents?
Despite popular belief, mesothelioma is not actually a lung cancer. It is not caused by smoking, although smoking can increase the chances of developing the disease. Many large corporations used materials and products that contained asbestos for many years, knowing full well that the products were dangerous to employees. Even after the health risks were noted in company documents, some Arizona employers continued to put profits over human beings.
The reason asbestos is so dangerous in Arizona is that it contains tiny, sharp fibers that cannot be seen by the naked eye. When they are inhaled, some of them can be lodged in the lungs for years. Over time, the body struggles to get the shards out, and may succeed some of the time. But if the exposure continues, the asbestos fibers can build up. After being in the body for 10, 20, 30, 40 and even 50 years, dangerous mutations can happen, and deadly mesothelioma may develop. (Cancer.org).
Mesothelioma is tough to treat, and many workers do not know they have it until they are in Stage IV and can barely breathe. At that point, treatment is virtually impossible and doctors can merely administer painkillers.
Major Risk Factors for Asbestos Exposure in Arizona
Some workers in Arizona had a higher exposure risk for asbestos than others. Some common exposure risks in the state are:
- Working in an asbestos mine or a plant that handles and processes asbestos
- Works in higher risk jobs, such as construction, heavy industry, or electricity production
- Works on US military vessels
- Resides in an area that is near a facility that works with asbestos
- Tearing into materials containing asbestos during a renovation project
Arizona Sites of Asbestos Exposure
The very last asbestos mine in Arizona closed in the 1980s. But there were many asbestos mines in the state for decades; there are large, natural deposits of natural chrysotile asbestos. The deadly mineral also was once considered one of the most important resources on the San Carlos Indian Reservation; thus seven asbestos mines operated there.
Copper mining was also common in Arizona for years. That created a high need for copper smelters, which used heat and chemical processes to melt the element. Many copper mining companies, such as Phelps Dodge Copper Mine and Magma Copper Company heavily used asbestos in much of their equipment to prevent overheating and fires.
The state of Arizona has several oil refineries that have many types of asbestos materials in the construction of the refinery, as well as in the machinery for the many chemical processes, which put many works at high risk of asbestos exposure.
Electrical companies such as Cholla Power Plant and Yucca Power Plant have made use of many asbestos products in construction and machinery. Several industrial safety experts have noted that power plants are among the most dangerous in the state for asbestos exposure.
Arizona Asbestos Exposure Laws
Federal laws and rules set by the federal EPA deal with most of the matters related to asbestos use and exposure in the state. The Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health or ADOSH, which works with the US Department of Labor, provides oversight of state specific occupational health and safety problems. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality also has notification documents for any demolition or renovation activities where there is asbestos in play. Three counties – Maricopa, Pima and Pinal, have more asbestos regulations that go beyond federal rules.
Arizona Mesothelioma Attorneys
If you were a worker in Arizona who believes you were exposed at work, and you have mesothelioma, you should consult with an experienced attorney in Arizona. A skilled attorney can review your case at no cost and can tell you if you have legal recourse. Here are some good attorneys to consider for this highly specialized field:
Levy Kongisberg LLP
800 Third Ave., 11th Floor
New York NY 10022
For more than three decades, the mesothelioma attorneys at Levy Konigsberg LLP have been recognized by colleagues and clients as among the top attorneys in this area of the law. These attorneys have great skill, experience, knowledge and skills that allow them to obtain large settlements and verdicts for Arizona mesothelioma victims.
Simmons Hanley & Conroy
One Court Street, Alton IL 62002
Since 1999, these mesothelioma attorneys have recovered $5 billion verdicts and settlements, with millions of dollars being recovered for victims of mesothelioma. They have seen first hand all of the pain that a mesothelioma diagnosis brings, and they work as hard as possible to get you the compensation you deserve.
Throneberry Law Group
40 North Central Ave #1400
Phoenix AZ 85004
The attorneys at Throneberry Law Group know what it is like to lose a loved one to mesothelioma. The leading partner at the firm last his father to the awful disease. He understand the toll that asbestos cancer takes. The goal of this law group is to get the best care in the shortest time, and to get as much compensation as possible.
- Malignant Mesothelioma Mortality – 1999 to 2015. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6608a3.htm
- What Causes Mesothelioma?(n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/malignant-mesothelioma/causes-risks-prevention/what-causes.html
- Best Mesothelioma Lawyers. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.mesolawsuitafterdeath.com/legal/best-mesothelioma-law-firms-navy-veterans/