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Thanks largely to its industrial work force, Ohio has seen more deaths from asbestos exposure than most other states. It ranks sixth out of 50 states for most asbestos-related deaths from mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Between 1999 and 2013, nearly 10,000 people died from illnesses attributed to asbestos, mostly encountered on the job.
Ohio has a long history of industry, especially manufacturing. Industrial workers in many facilities were put at risk of asbestos exposure and illness because the mineral was used so heavily, both in the facilities and equipment and the products being manufactured. An Ohio mesothelioma lawyer can help any resident in the state who was exposed to asbestos and became sick as a result, get the justice they deserve and the money they need for good medical care.
Asbestos in Ohio
Ohio has no documented naturally-occurring asbestos, although the state does have mining operations in the southeast region. The Buckeye State has seen so much exposure to asbestos, and the resulting illnesses, because asbestos was imported for a variety of industries. From power plants to manufacturing plants to steel mills and chemical plants, asbestos was once heavily used all over the state. Asbestos was used extensively in past construction, leaving many older buildings as ticking time bombs for asbestos exposure. Some sites in Ohio were so contaminated by asbestos and other toxins that they have been designated Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund sites.
Industrial Jobs and Asbestos Exposure
Ohio’s economy once thrived on industrial work and these are still important jobs, despite the downturn in manufacturing and other industries. During Ohio’s industrial heyday, the state had a rich economy and high employment. But many Ohioans were exposed to asbestos. All kinds of industrial jobs used asbestos. Power plants, oil refineries, factories, chemical plants, and other industrial facilities used asbestos in machinery and equipment, and for building insulation. Many used asbestos to make things like insulation, and workers had to handle the asbestos.
Ohio Superfund Sites
Some Ohio industrial sites became so contaminated with toxic materials that they were named Superfund sites by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Many of these include asbestos; they cost millions of dollars to clean and to remove the threat of residents being exposed to asbestos and other harmful substances.
The former Ohio Cast Products foundry, where car parts were made in Canton is one such Superfund site. It went bankrupt in 2004, leaving behind a toxic wasteland. In 2008 a fire ravaged the abandoned site and firefighters reported many toxic and flammable materials there. The EPA investigated and found asbestos and other substances requiring cleanup.
The cleanup of the former Ohio Cast Products Superfund site is ongoing, but the discovery of asbestos there means that former workers were likely exposed, even those working up until the bankruptcy in 2004. Residents near the facility may also have been exposed if the asbestos got into the surrounding soil, air, and water.
Vermiculite from Libby, Montana
The Scotts Company facility in Marysville also exposed people to asbestos. The lawn and garden products manufacturer used vermiculite in the processing of its products. Some of that vermiculite came from the W.R. Grace mine in Libby, Montana, which operated for decades, producing a mineral that was laced with asbestos.
The extent of the asbestos in the Libby vermiculite did not come to light until the late 1980s. For decades the material went to processing facilities around the country, including Scotts Company in Marysville. The facility received 430,000 tons of Libby vermiculite between 1967 and 1980. This put workers during that time at risk of asbestos exposure, along with residents living nearby and anyone who bought the garden and lawn products.
Known Sites of Asbestos Risk in Ohio
There are so many industrial sites in Ohio known to have contained or used asbestos. All could have potentially exposed workers, but many are known to have done so and even to have made them sick later. There are far too many to list, but some of the sites in Ohio responsible for asbestos exposure include:
- Dayton Power and Light Company, Dayton
- Armco Steel, Middletown
- Mead Paper Company, Chillicothe
- Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati
- Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton
- Republic Steel Corporation, Cleveland and Warren
- NASA, Cleveland
- Firestone Tire and Rubber, Canton and Akron
- Sun Oil Company, Toledo
- Wheeling Steel Corporation, Martins Ferry
- LTV Steel Mill, Canton and Cleveland
Cancer Care in Ohio
For the many Ohioans exposed to asbestos, regular medical care is important. If you think you may have been exposed, get screened regularly so that if you do get sick it can be diagnosed early for the best treatment options. If you do get a diagnosis of mesothelioma or lung cancer, several great facilities in Ohio can provide excellent care. The National Cancer Institute has designated two medical centers in the state as comprehensive cancer centers: the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University and the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute at Ohio State University. Both offer cutting edge care and treatment, and lead the way in cancer research.
Ohio Asbestos Laws
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency oversees state asbestos laws and ensures federal regulations are followed. Laws require that only certified asbestos professionals work on asbestos projects and that these contractors notify the state before projects begin. They must follow certain procedures for working with asbestos, including the process for disposing of waste material.
Due to many frivolous asbestos lawsuits filed in the past, Ohio introduced laws in 2004 to reform asbestos litigation. Filing an asbestos lawsuit in the state now requires that you show medical proof of an illness related to asbestos and that you show that the symptoms cause physical impairment. Victims of exposure must also prove how long they were exposed to asbestos and that an employer or other party knew about it.
Statute of Limitations
Ohio has a statute of limitations of just two years for lawsuits over asbestos illnesses. If you were diagnosed with an illness, you have just two years to file a lawsuit. Likewise, if you lost a loved one to asbestos, you have only two years from the time of death to start a wrongful death case.
Finding an Ohio Mesothelioma Lawyer
The reforms of 2004 made filing and winning an asbestos illness lawsuit in Ohio much more difficult. They put a burden of responsibility on the sick victim to prove that asbestos exposure caused the illness and that an employer or company was negligent. To avoid the easy pitfalls in this legal system, you need an Ohio mesothelioma lawyer to help you make your case. Find a legal team that has experience working in the system and successfully winning cases for people like you.
Page Written by Rod De Llano, Esquire
Rod De Llano was born and raised in Laredo, Texas. He graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in Economics, and earned a law degree from the University of Texas. After working for an international law firm for several years, Rod formed a law firm dedicated to representing persons injured by exposure to asbestos products. For over 20 years, Rod has fought for persons diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. His clients have recovered over $1 billion over the years.