Mesothelioma is aggressive cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. When the dangerous carcinogen is breathed in or swallowed, the invisible shards of asbestos become stuck in delicate body tissue. Over time, the body attempts to rid itself of the asbestos, but some of it is stuck permanently in the body. Some people will eventually be diagnosed with mesothelioma or other serious asbestos-related conditions.
If you are diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, the five-year survivability rate is less than 10%. Most people with the disease were exposed to asbestos decades ago. It takes a good mesothelioma attorney to find the companies responsible and hold those companies accountable for their negligence.
South Carolina and Asbestos Exposure
Statistics indicate that South Carolina is ranked #21 in the country for mesothelioma and asbestosis deaths. There have been more than 600 deaths caused by asbestos in this state between 1999 and 2013. It is estimated that 470 of the deaths were from mesothelioma. Although South Carolina has a high number of asbestos claims, it is one of few current states that makes it harder for workers to file asbestos lawsuits.
In this state, asbestos claimants need to provide a high level of medical information about the disease and how they were exposed.
South Carolina Sites of Asbestos Exposure
Many asbestos problems in South Carolina are due to the vermiculite industry. Vermiculite is not dangerous on its own, but it is known to sometimes contain asbestos. With the natural deposits of asbestos in parts of South Carolina, vermiculite was a major industry decades ago. In addition to mining natural deposits of asbestos, many South Carolina companies received countless hazardous shipments of asbestos from Libby, Montana.
Residents of the state that did not work with vermiculite still could be at risk of developing mesothelioma. Many South Carolina workers were employed in making asbestos textiles for years, which was a common occupation in Charleston. Clinical studies have shown that workers have a higher risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Other people in South Carolina who may have been exposed to asbestos were shipyard workers. Older vessels often had asbestos onboard for heat and fire insulation. People who worked in South Carolina shipyards may have been exposed to high levels of asbestos. This is a big problem at shipyards controlled by the Navy, such as Charleston Naval Shipyard.
Some of the South Carolina job sites with known asbestos exposure are:
- Savannah River Site
- Charleston Naval Shipyard
- Palmetto Vermiculite Company
- Carolina Vermiculite Division
- Patterson Vermiculite Company
- Zonolite Company/WR Grace
Raybestos-Manhattan Asbestos Exposure
Raybestos-Manhattan’s North Charleston plant was a plant that produced asbestos textiles. Early employees were exposed to the mineral during the weaving and spinning processes. As early as 1974, there was concern about workers’ asbestos exposure. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) did tests on air samples. Asbestos levels were high – up to 1.6 fibers per cubic centimeter. The highest concentrations were 16 times higher than what is deemed acceptable today. These very high asbestos levels put employees at risk of developing mesothelioma and asbestosis.
In 1986, 40 former asbestos-related workers and their loved ones filed an asbestos exposure claim at this plant. The claimants filed suit against Turner & Newall Ltd, Turner Asbestos Fibres, Ltd., and Bell Asbestos Mines, Ltd. These were three foreign companies that allegedly supplied the plant with asbestos-containing materials. The court dismissed the claim because there was no evidence the defendants had shipped raw asbestos to the Raybestos-Manhattan Plant.
There was a 1997 lung cancer study that confirmed the dangers of work conditions for asbestos textile workers in South Carolina. Results indicated that 20% of workers got lung cancer. This was three times higher than was expected in the general population. The study also found that 30% of asbestos employees had pleural plaques, compared to 3% of the study control group.
Savannah River Site
The Savannah River Site in Aiken was a busy industrial complex managed by the Department of Energy. The site is focused on nuclear materials and environmental management. From its beginning in 1950 until 1986, it was operated by the DuPont Corporation. During these 36 years, workers were often exposed to asbestos and other hazards.
Conditions at the site prompted NIOSH to look at the effects of occupational hazards retroactively. In 2008, the organization did a review of 19,000 workers who worked there before 1986. Resulted showed that the workers had higher rates of pleural mesothelioma compared to the US population.
This state is the biggest producer of vermiculite in the US and it poses a health risk to South Carolinians. While the mineral by itself is harmless, vermiculite ore often contains asbestos. People who lived or worked near vermiculite mines may have been exposed to asbestos.
Some of the threat from vermiculite in South Carolina stems from Libby, Montana. Vermiculite from Libby is known to contain high amounts of asbestos. Before this was known, millions of tons of vermiculite were shipped from the Libby mines to many palaces. South Carolina factories processed 8,800 tons of the material.
Asbestos also was sent to four South Carolina companies, but the Zonolite/WR Grace Facility got most of the asbestos. It has been known for years that safety precautions at this facility were poor. Workers never were given respirators and they breathed for years air that contained more than 2.5 asbestos fibers per cubic centimeter. That is double the typical concentration at Libby mines.
South Carolina Mesothelioma Attorneys
Were you diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestosis? You would be wise to talk to a skilled South Carolina mesothelioma attorney immediately. You could be entitled to damages for your injuries:
Joye Law Firm
1333 Main Street #170A
Columbia, SC 29201
Joye Law Firm provides personal injury clients with expert representation, including in asbestos and mesothelioma claims. They have more than 250 years of combined courtroom experience and have earned high honors from Martindale-Hubbell and Super Lawyers.
Anastopoulo Law Firm
32 Ann Street
Were you or a loved one hurt by asbestos? Did you recently get a diagnosis for mesothelioma? This law firm’s seasoned attorneys have years of successfully prosecuting mesothelioma lawsuits. If you choose this firm, you will know you have a high chance of getting the settlement or verdict you deserve.
Louthian Law Firm P.A.
1116 Blanding St., #3A
Columbia SC 29201
(888) 359- 2807
If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you could be entitled to compensation for past and future medical costs, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and more. This law firm has extensive experience in asbestos lawsuits in South Carolina, with a history in the state going back to 1959.
Get South Carolina Mesothelioma Legal Help Immediately
With over $30 billion available for South Carolina victims through the Asbestos Trust Funds, you could be entitled to financial compensations without ever filing a lawsuit.
Mesothelioma & Lung Cancer victims qualify immediately. Complete the form or call us toll-free (800) 352-087