August 24, 2011 – According to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, a nonprofit collaboration of patients and families, physicians, advocates, and researchers, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other nearby states are ranked among the highest in the U.S. for individuals being at risk for asbestos exposure and mesothelioma. For example, four of the 28 sites of primary concern in the U.S. listed by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) are located in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Read more:
The Garden State is ranked fifth in the nation when it comes to the mortality rate for mesothelioma, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. When it comes to counties in the U.S. with the highest malignant mesothelioma rates, the International Journal of Occupational Environmental Health notes that Somerset County is among the top 20, with Gloucester County not far behind. The highest risk of asbestos-related illness in NJ has occurred in power plants, refineries and shipbuilding.
For example, one manufacturer of asbestos products in NJ, the Johns-Manville Corporation, exposed notably large numbers of people to asbestos, many of whom contacted mesothelioma and other illnesses caused by asbestos. Furthermore, two of the 28 sites of primary concern in the U.S. listed by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) are located in New Jersey. These are the former gypsum wallboard manufacturer of Edison, NJ, which processed over 350,000 tons of vermiculite from 1948-1994, as well as the W.R. Grace plant near Trenton, where workers were also exposed to hazardous levels of asbestos.
As for the Keystone State, which comes in twelfth in the nation for mortality rate of mesothelioma according the National Center for Health Statistics, PA’s Delaware county is among the 20 counties in the U.S. with the highest malignant mesothelioma rates, says the International Journal of Occupational Environmental Health. The highest risk for asbestos-related illness in PA occurs in power plants, refineries, shipbuilding and other industrial facilities.
The ATSDR listed two Pennsylvania sites out of the 28 that are of primary concern across the country. These are in Ellwood City and New Castle, where workers at both sites were exposed to hazardous levels of asbestos. Particularly in Ellwood, however, community residents were expressing concern in 2005 when ATSDR reopened an investigation to look into the risks posed to children at a playground located near the former disposal site of vermiculite. Researchers found startling news—that children “played in and around the waste vermiculite piles at the site and slid down the adjacent embankments where vermiculite waste was reportedly dumped when the plant was operating.” Shiny vermiculite material covered the playground area, according to community members. And in New Castle, PA, one facility processed more than 172,000 tons of asbestos-contaminated vermiculite between 1969 and 1992.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, Delaware comes in at sixth place for the ranking of age-adjusted mortality rates for mesothelioma. With 74 deaths between 1999 and 2005, Delaware ranks 44th in the nation for number of deaths from mesothelioma. The highest risk of asbestos-related illness, including mesothelioma, has occurred in Delaware’s refineries. Two sites with particularly high levels of asbestos include a Dupont facility in Seaford, DE, as well as the Dover Air Force Base, where workers are likely to have had an elevated risk of developing asbestos related diseases.
New York is ranked 44th in the U.S. when it comes to the mortality rate for mesothelioma, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. However, New York ranks fourth in the nation for mesothelioma death numbers. As for counties in the U.S. with the highest mesothelioma rates, Niagara and Cattaraugus counties are ranked 36th and 48th respectively. The highest risk of asbestos-related illness in NY occurs in power plants, breweries, ship yards, and aircraft manufacturers. The ATSDR found one of its 28 sites of primary concern in the U.S. to be in New York. The former Zonolite Company/W.R. Grace facility near Weedsport processed over 148,000 tons of vermiculite. Elevated levels of asbestos were found in soil samples taken in 2001. Such contamination in the surrounding area is believed by investigators to be a result of waste disposal practices and falling debris from unloading the vermiculite ore from delivery freight trains.
The devastating effects of previously unregulated use of asbestos-contaminated materials in Pennsylvania and it’s neighboring states is evidenced by the statistics. Philadelphia mesothelioma attorney Benjamin Shein and his staff of knowledgeable asbestos lawyers have dedicated their practice to fighting for the rights of victims of asbestos-related illnesses, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer. Mr. Shein has successfully represented countless individuals in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas in recovering compensation for the devastation caused by asbestos contamination. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of exposure to asbestos, contact our offices to speak with an experienced asbestos lawyer.