Alaska Mesothelioma Lawyers

Summary

Alaska has the largest land mass of all American states. It’s bigger than California and Texas combined. For all that massive area, Alaska has the lowest population per area, yet Alaska residents have one of the highest per-capita rates of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases in the entire United States. There is a sad and serious reason for these disproportionate figures.

Asbestos Use in Alaska

Asbestos is a naturally occurring silicate mineral with glass-like fibers. Nature manufactures asbestos minerals in volcanic processes like those present in Alaska’s large earthquake-prone panhandle and Aleutian Island chain. Huge asbestos deposits were found throughout western Alaska. For years, Alaska was a prominent raw material producer of asbestos ore used to manufacture asbestos-containing material (ACM) products.

Statistics show that Alaskans have extremely high mesothelioma case figures.

The Center for Disease Control reports Alaska’s mesothelioma death rate is approximately 21 individuals per million each year. Records show 80 Alaskan deaths from mesothelioma between 2000 and 2015.

That’s far above the national average. These out-of-proportion numbers happened because of the high number of Alaskan occupations having long-term exposure to toxic asbestos fibers.

Asbestos Exposure in Alaska

American asbestos use was prominent from the 1920s until the early 1980s when the Environmental protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) took hard measures to reduce and eliminate ACM across the nation—including Alaska. It had several core asbestos-consuming industries that supported the state’s economy.

MJN Brief

The biggest Alaskan occupations with high-risk asbestos exposure were the oil, mining, marine and construction industries. Most Alaskans were employed in these sectors which were high-paying put inherently risky jobs.

These were the highest-risk Alaskan occupations being exposed to toxic asbestos fibers:

During the peak asbestos period, thousands of Alaskans had daily exposure to ACM products. Alaska is a coastal state with a prominent marine force. Ships were the highest-risk places for asbestos exposure. That included United States Navy and Coast Guard vessels. Asbestos products were statewide.

These were the main ACM sources exposing Alaskans to asbestos:

  • Insulation onboard ships and inside land buildings
  • Pipe wrap and fireproofing materials
  • Cement powder and masonry mortar
  • Electric cable coverings
  • Brake pads and clutch discs
  • Engine gaskets, valves, packings and hoses
  • Asbestos sheet materials
  • Roofing, flooring and wallboard
  • Drywall tape and joint compound
  • Caulking, adhesives and paint

Alaska Asbestos Laws and Regulations

The State of Alaska adopted a specific statute to address the serious problem asbestos use presented. They defined Alaska’s asbestos law by recognizing four principles overseeing asbestos products.

They include:

Alaska has its own body that regulates asbestos. The Alaska Occupational Safety and Health Agency (AKOSH) has some of the nation’s strictest rules governing asbestos and some of the severest fines for offenders. Alaskan courts streamlined civil tort processes for seeking asbestos compensation. This was due to the vast number of litigations.

Like most states, Alaska has a two-year statute of limitations concerning asbestos compensation claims. There is no gray area about limitation start times. The Alaskan law is clear that claims must commence within two years of when mesothelioma or another asbestos-caused disease patient learned about their condition and conclusively knew it was related to their work environment.

Retaining a Mesothelioma Lawyer in Alaska

Although Alaska has an efficient court system to deal with mesothelioma cases, this is still a complicated legal area. No person who develops mesothelioma or asbestos-related disease should be without specialized legal representation for filing lawsuits, settling claims, accessing trust accounts or insurance claims. Even military veterans need help in applying for Department of Veterans Affairs benefits.

The Mesothelioma Justice Network works with the top mesothelioma litigation specialists. We can connect you with experienced attorneys accredited in Alaska as well as across every state. For more information on mesothelioma cases, call us today at (888) 360-4215.

View Author and Sources
Sources
  1. FindLaw, “Alaska Asbestos Regulations”, Retrieved from http://statelaws.findlaw.com/alaska-law/alaska-asbestos-regulations.html Accessed on 11 January 2018
  2. Laws.com, “Alaska Asbestos Laws”, Retrieved from https://asbestos.laws.com/alaska-asbestos-laws Accessed on 11 January 2018
  3. Alaska State Department of Environmental Conservation, “Air Quality – Asbestos Abatement and Disposal”, Retrieved from http://dec.alaska.gov/air/anpms/Asbestos/Asb_disp_AK.htm Accessed on 11 January 2018

Last modified: January 31, 2018