Delaware is small but mighty, and home to almost one million Americans today. Located in the Atlantic United States, Delaware is known for its gorgeous waterways, Colonial landmarks and rich farming history. But like the rest of the nation, Delaware participated in numerous economic and industrial activities that have resulted in asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma Cases in Delaware
It’s estimated that 64 Delawareans die each year from asbestos-related diseases and recent reports have indicated that mesothelioma cases continue to rise throughout America. The majority of mesothelioma deaths have been reported in the northern part of the state and the Wilmington area, although the entire state has seen the misfortunate that asbestos can cause.
Delaware has one of the fewest rates of reported mesothelioma cases in the United States. However, this statistic is not reassuring for the people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of living and working in Delaware.
In recent years, there have been mesothelioma cases directly linked to commercial activities in the following cities:
- Atlas Point
- Delaware City
- New Castle
- North Claymont
In fact, each of these cities in Delaware has locations that have been directly linked to asbestos in legal cases fighting mesothelioma. Most cities have at least a dozen locations known to cause mesothelioma, while Wilmington is home to more than 150 sites with asbestos that have resulted in mesothelioma lawsuits.
Many of Delaware’s mesothelioma lawsuits are a result of asbestos use in the 1900s through the late 1970s, prior to when the hazards of asbestos were recognized. However, many occupations continue to expose Delawareans to asbestos.
Asbestos Use in Delaware
The state of Delaware has recognized numerous current occupations that can result in direct or indirect contact with asbestos-containing materials, which may lead to mesothelioma, and therefore need to be regulated.
Asbestos-related occupations in Delaware include:
- General contractors
- Professional service firms
- Siding Contractors
- Sealant manufacturers
- Equipment distributors
- Asbestos abatement experts
Delaware’s asbestos use has been heavily linked to the economic boom in the United States that resulted in significant building and construction. Many of Delaware’s historic buildings are known to contain asbestos and have resulted in hundreds of mesothelioma cases. To this day, people who work with historic buildings are at risk of developing mesothelioma within their lifetime.
Delaware also participated in some industrial activities that are known to cause mesothelioma, including:
- Chemical plants
- Energy plants
- Construction and renovation
Delaware has only one naturally occurring source of asbestos, Mount Cuba, which isn’t likely to cause mesothelioma. Fortunately, Mount Cuba was never commercially mined for asbestos, and these natural deposits have been left undisturbed. Therefore, if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma in Delaware, occupational hazard and exposure is the most probable cause.
Delaware Asbestos Laws and Regulations
Delaware primarily leans on the federal laws for asbestos regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. These agencies prevent asbestos from being used in new construction and outline clear guidelines and requirements for people working in locations where asbestos may be present.
Delaware has the Delaware Department of National Resources and Environmental Control Asbestos Management & Control Program, which directly regulates the use of and interaction with asbestos in the state.
The DNREC must be informed 10 days before asbestos-containing materials are disturbed, and there’s a process for homeowners to arrange disposing of asbestos-containing materials with the Delaware Solid Waste Authority.
In addition, Delaware Code Title 16, Chapter 78, regulates the use and exposure of asbestos in building and plumbing applications. This code sets out the certification requirements, as well as the fines and penalties for violations. It states that the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will be the enforcement team for asbestos use, essentially putting Delaware’s fate under the control of the federal government agencies.
Delaware’s Regulations Governing Asbestos has also been created to help aid self-proclaimed asbestos experts with following proper protocol and ensuring the safety of the citizens around them. This program requires proper training, education, and certification to handle and manage asbestos. It also ensures the safety of the surrounding population by ensuring asbestos is not accidentally released into the air. In addition, the Regulations Governing Asbestos have resulted in an asbestos management program for public schools.
Delaware Statute of Limitations on Asbestos Claims
Delawareans have 2 years to file a personal injury claim after being diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease. Additionally, as part of the state’s statute of limitations on asbestos claims, family members also have 2 years to file a wrongful death suit.
Retaining a Delaware Mesothelioma Lawyer
People diagnosed with mesothelioma deserve to work with an experienced lawyer with mesothelioma expertise. The law is particularly complex, but mesothelioma lawyers in Delaware can help patients alleviate some of their burden with financial compensation.
A specialized mesothelioma attorney knows and understands the intricacies of the law and is prepared to fight on your behalf. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure in Delaware, reach out to our Justice Support team now.