Asbestos exposure still a frequent threat in many states

Being one of the most polluted states, Illinois sees a high number of fatalities from diseases linked to asbestos exposure. In fact, it comes in seventh in a list of the 15 worst states. These states saw a combined total of over 100,000 asbestos-related deaths between 1999 and 2013. The following is a brief summary of that list.

Minnesota, North Carolina and Wisconsin form the bottom three, reporting between 4,800 and 5,300 deaths. In North Carolina especially, many miners and manufacturing workers are exposed. Its tobacco policy, according to some, also leaves something to be desired. Next are Massachusetts and Virginia, two states associated with their shipbuilding industries. Shipbuilders are known to use asbestos freely.

Washington, a hub for paper production, exposes many workers in paper mills to asbestos. Michigan and New Jersey follow on the list. The latter is the most densely populated state, so many residents find themselves living close to factories that carry the mineral.

Ohio comes in sixth with hotspots in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Toledo. Texas, a center for oil refining and shipping, follows. New York and Pennsylvania, with their large industrial sectors, reported over 10,000 deaths each between 1999 and 2013. The list ends with Florida and California. California saw over 21,000 deaths; 45 of its 58 counties have naturally occurring asbestos deposits, and there are additionally two mines and a dump site.

Workers may find themselves developing asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma, in which case they might want to find out just what caused it. If it was due to the employer's negligence, then workers may be awarded damages that cover long-term medical care, lost income, pain and suffering and other losses. This means filing a claim, though, which is generally best undertaken with legal assistance. A lawyer could handle all negotiations and prepare the case for court if a settlement isn't reached.

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