Missouri has been an industrial state for decades. Its industries, including chemical production, mining, and manufacturing, all have a high risk of occupational exposure to asbestos. Being exposed to asbestos has long been linked to multiple severe health risks, such as asbestosis and mesothelioma, but only in recent years has it become apparent how widespread the problem may be both in Missouri and across the nation as a whole.
For Missouri mesothelioma sufferers and their families, help and legal support are available. Here is what you should know about the disease, including where exposure to asbestos could have happened in Missouri, where sufferers can go for treatment and emotional support, and information about mesothelioma lawsuits.
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos or asbestos-containing materials. The most common form of the disease is called pleural mesothelioma, which affects the mesothelium lining the lungs. Pleural mesothelioma is linked to the inhalation of asbestos fibers, but exposure through contaminated food or water is also potentially harmful.
Other less common forms of mesothelioma that may occur include pericardial and peritoneal mesothelioma. Pericardial mesothelioma is a version of the disease that attacks the membranes surrounding the heart. Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs in the mesothelium that lines the abdominal cavity. In rare cases, mesothelioma may also appear in other parts of the body, as well.
Mesothelioma can take years or decades to develop after initial exposure to asbestos. Once mesothelioma is diagnosed, it is frequently fatal. The American Cancer Society survival estimates show that while the two-year survival rate of the earliest stages of mesothelioma are as high as 46 percent, the five-year survival rate is approximately 16 percent, or a little better than one in six patients. The five-year survival rate for a later-stage diagnosis are much lower, though outlooks always depend on the specifics of a diagnosis.
Potential Asbestos Exposure Sources in Missouri
Asbestos is a broad term that covers a family of silicate minerals commonly found in the earth. Asbestos has historically been mined heavily on its own and can be found as a byproduct in the course of gathering other minerals or metal ores, such as talc, copper, manganese, or lead.
Asbestos is both abundant and cheap and possesses multiple properties that made it ideal for industrial and commercial use. It was widely known as a good electrical and heat insulator and for its resistance to fire.
Some of the industries in Missouri that put workers at risk of occupational exposure to asbestos include:
Missouri has a long history of mining, especially in the “lead belt” region of Southeastern Missouri. Multiple mines or mining prospects have found natural asbestos deposits in the state, and mines in Astoria and Winona were found to contain asbestos, as well. Even when asbestos isn’t the primary product of the mine, disturbing a natural deposit can release asbestos fibers, contaminating the air, water, and soil in and around the mine.
Asbestos has been widely used in nearly every type of manufacturing facility to some degree, whether to construct the factories themselves or as part of the products being made. The GAF Materials Corporation/Ruberoid and CertainTeed were just two of many companies that were producing roofing tiles and other construction materials out of asbestos in Missouri. Both these and other manufacturers are also known to have improperly disposed of asbestos and asbestos-bearing materials in outdoor waste piles, especially in the Maline Creek area.
Auto Parts Manufacturing And Repair
Missouri is or has been home to many plants that produce automotive components that either historically or currently contain asbestos, such as brake pads and certain types of gaskets. This not only puts the manufacturing workers at plants like Joplin’s Mack Truck plant at high risk for asbestos exposure, it also can expose other truck or automobile mechanics who work with those parts.
Construction and maintenance workers in Missouri also face significant risk of asbestos-related disease through occupational exposure. Many older buildings and facilities contain asbestos or asbestos-bearing materials, and any repair or renovation project, such as after a heavy storm or tornado damage, can release asbestos into the air, exposing the workers and any employees or residents in the building or nearby.
There are many employers in Missouri with facilities where asbestos is either known to exist or is suspected, including:
- Amoco Oil
- Atlas Powder Company
- Browning Arms
- Empire Electric Company
- Ford Motor Company
- Kingsford Charcoal Company
- Lake City Army Ammunition Plant
- McDonnell Douglas
- Missouri Steel
- Pure Ice Company
- Sara Lee
- University of Missouri
- Weldon Spring
Missouri Mesothelioma Treatment Centers
There are many health care providers in and around Missouri that provide options for treating mesothelioma. Though there is no definitive cure for mesothelioma, seeking treatment can provide a better quality of life and offer hope for victims and their families. Many hospitals and cancer centers also offer support groups for mesothelioma patients, survivors, and families.
- The Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital
4921 Parkview Place
St. Louis, Missouri 63110
3655 Vista Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63110
2316 E Meyer Blvd
Kansas City, MO 64132
800 Hospital Drive
Columbia, MO 65201
Compensation for Missouri Mesothelioma Victims
Missouri victims of mesothelioma have up to five years from the initial date of diagnosis to seek legal compensation, and families have up to three years from the date of death to pursue a wrongful death action. Mesothelioma is a fast-moving disease that leaves victims and their families little time to pursue a lawsuit, even though the statute of limitations is one of the longest in the nation. Acting quickly to start the legal process is absolutely essential to protecting your legal right to fair compensation due to asbestos exposure.
At Neblett, Beard & Arsenault, we understand that mesothelioma patients and their families need legal help and need it quickly. Our experienced legal professionals will work closely with you to get you the justice you deserve. We take our mesothelioma clients on a contingency basis—with no up-front costs until a settlement is reached. To arrange a free consultation with one of our experienced mesothelioma attorneys, call us today, or use our online contact form to send us an email now.
The attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault understand that mesothelioma patients and their families need help, and need help fast. We work closely with our mesothelioma clients and their families to help them get the justice they deserve, and we do it on a contingency fee basis only, meaning that there are no up-front costs—we don’t charge mesothelioma patients or their families until a settlement is made.