Alaska Mesothelioma Attorneys and Asbestos Cancer Resources (AK)

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Alaska (AK) Asbestos Information:

In terms of geology, naturally-occurring asbestos is associated with volcanism and areas in which earthquakes are common. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the geologically-active areas in the Pacific regions of North America – including Alaska – should contain numerous deposits of asbestiform minerals.

Alaska is also home to many industries, both directly and indirectly connected to asbestos.

Courtesy of Mother Nature

Asbestos deposits are found throughout the state. This has been less of an issue in Alaska than in places such as California, because not only does this state cover the greatest area in terms of square miles, but it also has one of the lowest population densities in the world.

Mesothelioma InformationNonetheless, according to a map published by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, there are four outcroppings in the Panhandle region alone. Two of these deposits are in the populated areas around Ketchikan and Juneau. Other deposits are found in east-central Alaska along the Yukon River and in the northwestern part of the state in and around Kobuk Valley National Park.

Along the southwestern coast of Alaska (not including the Aleutian Peninsula and island chain), there are two prominent asbestos deposits on the tip of the peninsula that separates Kuskokwim Bay from Bristol Bay to the south. There is also a noteworthy cluster of asbestos deposits located approximately 100 miles northeast of Anchorage in the vicinity of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and within the roughly triangular region defined by State Routes 1, 2 and 3.

One of the towns near this cluster is Glennallen.

Glennallen, Alaska, and Other Abatement Projects

Asbestos Removal & AbatementThere is no shortage of licensed asbestos abatement contractors in the State of Alaska, a fact that is indicative of the problems still created by asbestos. A few years ago, the town of Glennallen acquired a building from the state Department of Transportation that contained friable (crumbling) asbestos.

Despite this danger, of which the public was presumably notified, the building became an “attractive nuisance”; it was broken into no fewer than four times, making it necessary for the town to remove the asbestos and demolish it before trespassers were harmed.

When it comes to asbestos cleanup in Alaska, state agencies other than the Department of Health or Environmental Quality are involved in identifying potential trouble. The Department of Fish and Game is also involved; it was the agency that requested state funds for the Glennallen cleanup.

Alaska Industries

Industrial sites in Alaska where asbestos has been a problem include pulp mills, marine repair facilities and, interestingly, seafood processing plants. According to an EPA news release from 2001, a manager at Great Pacific Seafoods, Inc., pleaded guilty for violating Clean Air Act safety regulations when removing asbestos at an Anchorage facility prior to its sale to the Alaska DOT. The company was fined half a million dollars, and the manager faced a one year prison sentence and a $100,000 fine.High Risk Job Sites

Alaska is also the home of numerous power generation plants and the facilities of four oil companies that include ARCO, Tesoro and Williams Alaska Petroleum.

A cursory examination of news stories on asbestos issues indicates that numerous public school buildings have had to deal with asbestos problems over the past several years as well. According to the Alaska Statutes 18.31.040, public school officials are legally obligated to maintain records of building inspections, notify all affected parties of asbestos concerns, and arrange for removal as well as monitor such projects.

Alaska Asbestos Laws

The state laws that pertain specifically to asbestos are contained under Alaska Statutes, Title 18, Chapter 31. Most of these cover issues such as the duties of the state Departments of Labor (Section 20) and Education (Section 30).

Alaska (AK) Job Sites At Risk From Asbestos Exposure:

Over the course of the last century, hundreds of thousands of workers were exposed to asbestos while on the job – and for the most part, they were not warned. Below is a list of Job sites covered on Asbestos.net from the state of Alaska (AK) where workers were potentially and unnecessarily put at risk:

Seward Ship’s Drydock: Seward, AK

Alaska (AK) Asbestos Cancer & Mesothelioma Treatment Centers

Today, between 25 and 30% of all Americans will get some form of cancer during their lifetimes. There are many reasons for this, including the modern lifestyle and the poisons that have been put into the environment – of which asbestos is a prime example.

The number of clinics and hospitals that specialize in oncology have increased in response to the growing number of patients. Below is a list of the cancer treatment centers located in Alaska (AK) that we feature on Asbestos.net:

Ketchikan General Hospital
Ketchikan, Alaska (AK)

Alaska (AK) Mesothelioma Lawyer & Legal Resources:

The State of Alaska imposes a two-year statute of limitations on all personal injury claims, including toxic torts (toxic exposure) such as mesothelioma causing asbestos exposure, premises and products liability, workers’ compensation and wrongful death lawsuits. Mesothelioma CompensationThis is upheld and modified by certain statutes: Alaska Statute 23.30.105(a) requires that a claim for disability compensation must be filed after victims develop the disabling condition and within two years of learning of the nature of their condition and its relation to the employment. However, the statutes do make an exception for latent injuries. For latent injuries, the two-year statute of limitations begins when victims discover the disabling condition, as long as it can be shown that the victims did not realize and would not have had the education, intelligence or experience to realize any earlier the nature of their condition and its relation to their employment. In practice, this means that in Alaska the two-year statute of limitations for bringing an Alaska mesothelioma lawsuit due to asbestos exposure begins when the individual discovers the malignant mesothelioma.

The Supreme Court of the State of Alaska confirmed this decision in its 2001 review of the court case Collins v. Arctic Builders, Inc., et. al. The plaintiff in that case was exposed to asbestos in 1963 but did not know of his condition until 1990. He filed for workers’ compensation in 1991, but due to administrative confusion regarding his status as a civilian employee working on a federal property, he had to file again in 1993 with the Alaska Workers’ Compensation Board (AWCB). The AWCB reviewed his claim in 1996 and determined that they did not have to pay because the two-year statute of limitations had run out. The Supreme Court of the State of Alaska found that because he filed initially in 1991, he was within the statute of limitations. The court ruled that he had until 1992, two years after he discovered the rare asbestos cancer mesothelioma, to make this claim.

It is not only individuals suffering the effects of work-related exposure to asbestos who are encouraged to contact an Alaska mesothelioma lawyer for help with filing an Alaska mesothelioma lawsuits. Individuals who have lived, attended school, or worked near Superfund sites may also suffer the effects of having been exposed to toxins such as asbestos. Enacted by the United States Congress on December 11, 1980, the Superfund law was passed in response to the Love Canal and other environmental disasters. The law imposed a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries and also provided broad, federal authority to respond directly to the release or threatened release of hazardous substances that might endanger public health or the environment. Over $1.5 billion was collected during the next five years, with the money going to a trust fund for cleaning up abandoned or uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.

Arctic Surplus Salvage Yard is one of the Superfund sites in Alaska. It was placed on the National Priorities List as a Superfund site in 1990. Located about six miles southeast of Fairbanks, the site has been owned by the Department of Defense as well as private companies, one of which conducted salvage operations on material including asbestos insulation. Other Alaska Superfund sites known to have asbestos contamination include U.S. Army Fort Richardson, located five miles north of Anchorage, and U.S. Army Fort Wainwright, located near Fairbanks. Alaska residents who have lived near such Superfund sites are urged to get checked for signs of asbestos exposure and contact an Alaska mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible after a diagnosis in order to file immediate claims if they are diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases.