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Hastings Minnesota Mesothelioma and Asbestos Law Blog

Despite rigid federal regulations, asbestos deaths still occur

When people think about harmful substances and gases like asbestos, lead and radon, they often assume that they are no longer a threat to people in the U.S. due to rigid regulations and standards.

Unfortunately, that is not accurate. These harmful elements still pose a very real risk to people right here in Minnesota. In fact, according to a recent NPR article, toxic exposure to asbestos is still contributing to thousands of deaths in the U.S., and Minnesota is among the states with the highest number of deaths per million people due to malignant mesothelioma.

Homeowners: Remember the risks of asbestos

You don't have to look too far to find someone remodeling a home, whether it's just down your street or on the numerous home renovation shows on TV. Especially now that spring is here, people all over Minnesota are starting to think about their own home construction projects.

This is a good time to remind homeowners about the risks of asbestos exposure during home construction and demolition projects. In fact, the first week of April was designated as Asbestos Awareness Week in the U.S. and in countries across the globe. With all this in mind, we urge homeowners to think carefully about how they can protect themselves from asbestos exposure in the coming weeks and months.

Asbestos a lingering hazard in U.S. schools

Despite efforts to monitor and abate asbestos in schools, many schools still contain asbestos, potentially putting both students and teachers at risk for developing mesothelioma and other deadly diseases.

Nearly 40 years ago, in 1980, before many students were even born, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began an effort to eliminate asbestos from schools throughout the United States. By 1984, the EPA had identified 2,600 school districts that contained asbestos, potentially exposing 15 million students and 1.4 million teachers to asbestos fibers. That same year, Congress passed the Asbestos School Hazard Abatement Act, which gave school districts the resources needed to assess the extent of the asbestos exposure risk and made grants and loans available to abate it. What happened?

Mesothelioma rates are on the rise

In March of this year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that mesothelioma rates are on the rise. Despite a prediction that mesothelioma rates would decline after 2005, mesothelioma rates continue to rise. Between 1999 and 2015, mesothelioma rates rose from 2,479 to 2,597. A total of 45,221 individuals died of mesothelioma during that time. What is causing the rise?

New therapies focus on improving mesothelioma survival rates

The hazards of asbestos exposure has been known for a long time and the majority of asbestos-related products have been removed from our marketplace. Despite this, mesothelioma rates have continued to rise. According to the Environmental Working Group, 4,852 people died in Minnesota between 1999 and 2013 of asbestos related deaths.

Up to this point treatment of asbestos-related cancers, such as mesothelioma and asbestosis has not been effective in improving survival rates and finding a cure. Survival rates for these types of cancer range between one and two years. New research is working on changing that and progress is being made.

Mesothelioma rates are on the rise

In March of this year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that mesothelioma rates are on the rise. Despite a prediction that mesothelioma rates would decline after 2005, mesothelioma rates continue to rise. Between 1999 and 2015, mesothelioma rates rose from 2,479 to 2,597. A total of 45,221 individuals died of mesothelioma during that time. What is causing the rise? 

The military and asbestos

Serving in the U.S. military is an incredible sacrifice. Members of the military face the possibility of long deployments, strained family relationships and threats to their safety overseas.

Unfortunately, U.S. service members also face the threat of exposure to harmful and toxic substances during their time in the military. In fact, if you work or worked in certain military occupations, there is a very real chance that you were exposed to asbestos. 

Why are younger people still dying from asbestos exposure?

For many reasons, victims of asbestos-related illnesses are often older workers who may already be retired. This is due to the fact that asbestos is not used as widely as it was decades ago, and it can take as long as 50 years to develop symptoms of the illnesses. 

However, according to this CNN article, younger populations are still dying as a result of asbestos exposure. This is particularly troubling considering the significant efforts made over the last 30-plus years to prevent harmful exposure. Unfortunately, there are no clear answers as to why young people are still being exposed.

Why are there so many parties named in asbestos lawsuits?

When people think about personal injury lawsuits, they typically assume it involves two parties: the victim and the person who hurt the victim. However, in cases like those that stem from asbestos exposure, there are often multiple parties accused of contributing to a victim's injuries.

For instance, recently, the family of one woman who died from mesothelioma filed a wrongful death claim. They named about 40 defendants in their lawsuit, including a school where she had worked for a year. While this might sound unusual or heavy handed, there are often multiple parties named as defendants in asbestos-related lawsuits.

The hazards of vermiculite insulation

Many people have vermiculite insulation in their homes. It was a popular form of loose insulation used to insulate many homes throughout the United States. Used extensively in colder climates such as Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas, it was most often used as attic insulation.

Vermiculite is a mineral product known for its heat and fire-resistant properties. These qualities made it ideal for many different types of building products, including insulation, but it also contained hidden dangers.

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National Mesothelioma, Asbestos & Injury Law Firm

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