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Tennessee mesothelioma lawyers are always at work fighting for justice for the victims of asbestos exposure in the state. Residents and workers in Tennessee have been unjustly exposed to this mineral, which was heavily used in a number of industries, including construction. While older homes can pose a risk, workplace exposure has been the biggest cause of asbestos illnesses like mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.

Tennessee ranks high among the 50 states for number of people who have died because of illnesses caused by inhaling or ingesting asbestos fibers. Between 1999 and 2013 there were nearly 4,000 such deaths, putting Tennessee in the top 20. This can be explained by a number of factors from the use of asbestos in older buildings to the industrial workplaces that have kept so many residents employed.

Asbestos in Tennessee

Tennessee has no natural asbestos or history of mining it, but it does have a long and rich history of industrial plants, especially power and energy generating plants, and it is this kind of workplace that has caused so much asbestos exposure and illness in the state. Asbestos is a harmful mineral, but also a useful one for a lot of applications. It can insulate against heat and protect against fire, so many industrial settings have used it in their buildings, machinery, equipment, and in some cases their products.

Another, lesser source of asbestos exposure in the state has been through older buildings. Before it became very clear in the last century that asbestos was causing serious illnesses, it was heavily used in the construction of buildings. Now, older homes, public buildings, schools, and military facilities often contain old asbestos and time and damage can cause it to become exposed and fiber to get into the air where people may inhale them.

Natural Disasters and Asbestos Exposure

Tennessee often experiences floods and tornados that cause huge amount of structural damage. Because a lot of older buildings contain asbestos, these events can damage those materials and spread harmful asbestos through the water, ground, and when it all dries out, into the air. A major disaster, like the Nashville flood of 2010 can put people at significant risk. When that event occurred, residents were warned to take care when cleaning up their yards and homes and to call licensed asbestos abatement professionals to help with homes built before the 1980s.

The Tennessee Valley Authority

The Tennessee Valley Authority, or TVA, was started in the 1930s to open up economic development throughout the region. The TVA is federally owned and has been involved in electricity generation and power plants, making fertilizers, and providing control for floods. The industrial facilities in which people worked for the TVA were responsible for many of the instances of asbestos exposure and illness for many decades.

Since the 1970s when regulations on asbestos use were put in place, the TVA has been cleaning up many of its sites and removing asbestos, but it takes time. For instance, one plant, the John Sevier Fossil Plant, was closed in 2012, but it wasn’t until 2016 that a cleanup process began. It has involved the removal of a number of hazardous substances, including asbestos.

Other Sites in Tennessee with Asbestos

Tennessee has had a lot of different industries helping the economy thrive. Many of these used asbestos in their facilities and caused exposure and illness. These include power plants, TVA manufacturing facilities, paper mills, and many others, but also older buildings and public buildings. Some of these are:

  • Virginia Iron, Coal, and Coke Company, Bristol
  • Allied Chemical Plant, Chattanooga
  • Calhoun Paper Mill, Calhoun
  • Crump Lime and Cement, Memphis
  • Atomic Energy Commission Plant, Oak Ridge
  • Lookout Boiler Company, Chattanooga
  • Arnold Air Force Station, Tullahoma
  • Tennessee Valley Authority, Gallatin
  • Union Carbide, Oak Ridge
  • Vanderbilt University, Nashville
  • United States Naval Air Station, Millington
  • Mead Paper Company, Kingsport
  • Knoxville Power Plant, Knoxville

Tennessee Asbestos Laws

In Tennessee, the Department of Environment and Conservation is responsible for managing and administering federal and state laws regarding asbestos and for keeping residents in the state as safe as possible from the harms of asbestos. Training through the state is required to certify contractors to work with asbestos, although homeowners are not restricted from working on asbestos in their own homes. On projects for abatement contractors must notify the state ten days in advance when the area of asbestos is in more than 160 square feet of a building or 260 linear feet of pipes. The contractor and owner of the property must also both keep a record of the asbestos materials removed and taken away for disposal.

Cancer and Mesothelioma Care in Tennessee

Tennessee is home to two comprehensive cancer centers as designated by the National Cancer Institute. These are facilities that are considered to be the best for cancer care and are great options for seeking treatment for mesothelioma or lung cancer after asbestos exposure. These facilities have cutting edge treatments, experienced physicians and specialists, and are conducting groundbreaking cancer research: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville.

Statute of Limitations on Asbestos Lawsuits

If you were exposed to asbestos in Tennessee and you hope to file a lawsuit in the state to seek damages for your resulting illness or justice for a lost loved one, you need to move fast. The state has set a statute of limitations of just one year on asbestos lawsuits. That means you only have one year after the time you were diagnosed to file a lawsuit against those you believe to be negligent. You also only get one year from the time of death of a family member from an asbestos illness to start a wrongful death case.

Find and Work with a Tennessee Mesothelioma Lawyer

With such a pressing and short time limit on filing lawsuits and because the legal system is complicated and difficult to navigate, it is crucial that you enlist the help of a Tennessee mesothelioma lawyer if you want to file an asbestos lawsuit. You need this professional on your side to help you start the lawsuit, complete all the necessary paperwork, take all the steps needed to make your case, like gathering evidence, and to advocate on your behalf. Your lawyer is an important part of your mesothelioma team, so choose your legal counsel thoughtfully and consider working with someone who has a proven track record of helping other Tennessee asbestos victims.

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