Officially, Colorado was not a high asbestos-producing state like Arizona, Montana and Vermont. Those three states supplied the United States asbestos industry with the majority of raw ore. Most of this was chrysotile asbestos.
However, Colorado had a predominant mining industry for coal, gold, iron, limestone, and vermiculite. Mixed in with these Colorado minerals were deposits of amphibole asbestos fibers that were far deadlier than chrysotile.
While there is no safe level of exposure to chrysotile asbestos, this softer substance was more forgiving on the lungs and mesothelium than hard and spiky amphibole asbestos. Underground miners in Colorado were at higher risk than open pit workers for regularly inhaling amphibole fibers as a by-product of their work. Consequently, Colorado ranks as one of the leading states reporting mesothelioma deaths, especially those who worked in mines.
Colorado lawyers who specialize in mesothelioma lawsuits are well aware of the state’s mines with asbestos deposits. They’re also aware of other Colorado worksites proven for asbestos exposure. This information is well documented and strongly supports claims for personal injury and compensation for medical costs and lost income. Specialized lawyers can tie illnesses to certain occupational sites even though mesothelioma has an extremely long latency period. Mesothelioma symptoms can appear anywhere from 10 to 50 years after asbestos exposure.
This latency period is similar with all people who suffered occupational asbestos exposure in other Colorado workplaces. Miners had some of the worst asbestos hazards due to the type of mineral and the lack of ventilation in mine shafts and tunnels. Most other Colorado asbestos exposures causing mesothelioma were from chrysotile fibers commonly used in high-risk jobs and products.
Asbestos Use in Colorado
Colorado had its share of occupations and products that exposed workers to airborne asbestos fibers, resulting in malignant mesothelioma illnesses and deaths. Mesothelioma lawyers use historical facts and data to litigate mesothelioma compensation claims. Lawyers are aware that Colorado ranks as the twenty-second highest state for asbestos-related lawsuits and has a disproportionately high ratio of mesothelioma diagnosis compared to other asbestos-related diseases like lung cancer, asbestosis, and pleural disorders.
Mesothelioma lawyers have well-established evidence that certain occupations in Colorado had the highest risk for asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma is directly linked to asbestos exposure. Most workers who developed mesothelioma had jobs where they directly worked with raw asbestos or products with asbestos-containing materials (ACM).
These are the top Colorado occupations where workers developed mesothelioma:
- Underground and open pit mining
- Factories producing products with ACM
- Workers who packaged, shipped and stored ACM
- Heavy-duty and automotive mechanics
- Metal fabricators and welders
- Boiler makers, tenders and repair technicians
- Insulators in industrial, commercial and residential buildings
- Plumbers and pipefitters
- Refinery and power plant operators
- Construction workers
Every one of these high-risk workers directly handled ACM products or was exposed to second-hand airborne asbestos fibers. There was no escaping it for many Coloradans during the peak asbestos period of 1930 to 1980.
These were the top products containing asbestos:
- Auto and heavy equipment brakes and clutches
- Engine gaskets, valves, and hoses
- All types of building insulation
- Boiler liners and heatshields
- Electric wire coating
- Pipe and duct wrap
- Welding rods and protective equipment
- Roofing, siding, and flooring
- Cement powder and mortar mix
- Drywall panels, tape, and joint compound
- Paint, adhesives, and sealant
Colorado Asbestos Laws and Regulations
The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) is chiefly responsible for regulating how asbestos products are handled and disposed of. The CDPHE’s Air Quality Control Commission regulations accredit asbestos contractors and have heavy fines for non-compliance. Colorado also adopts the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules and regulations. Furthermore, Colorado adheres to worker safety through the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines.
Colorado lawyers who practice mesothelioma litigation are bound by the state’s civil court procedures and various rulings previously made in mesothelioma cases. One law particularly important to mesothelioma petitioners is the statute of limitations. In Colorado, there is a maximum two-year limit on filing a claim after mesothelioma was diagnosed.
Retaining a Colorado Asbestos Lawyer
It’s vitally important for anyone in Colorado to retain a mesothelioma lawyer immediately after their diagnosis. Lawyers who specialize in mesothelioma cases know that time is of the essence in the courtroom as well as for their client’s prognosis.