Idaho is a scenic state with plenty of beautiful, rural beauty. Known for its industrial, technological and agricultural industries, Idaho is also home to the stunning Rocky Mountain vistas. This terrain is a host to naturally occurring asbestos deposits, with factories bringing industrial asbestos into the environment over the years.
Mesothelioma Cases in Idaho
According to statistics from the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, Bonner County ranks seventh for age-adjusted mortality rates of mesothelioma in all of the United States. If workers had been correctly notified and protected from asbestos exposure, all of these related these cases could have been prevented.
Due to the high rates of asbestos exposure in Idaho, the state has litigated precedent-setting cases and gathered significant rulings that have included some of the highest awards in mesothelioma, asbestos and personal injury litigation.
Asbestos Use in Idaho
Idaho’s lumber and paper, steel, agriculture and even nuclear power industries form a large contribution to the asbestos exposure in workers.
However, many individuals in Idaho developed mesothelioma from non-occupational asbestos exposures, including:
- Automotive work
- Home renovations
- Second-hand asbestos exposure (when occupational clothes contaminated with asbestos were worn home)
Idaho Power Company
The Idaho Power Company was established in 1916 and has been one of the state’s biggest employers for decades. The company’s business includes more than 15 hydroelectric generating plants and coal-fired plants, with thousands of employees to support its activities.
Callout: Idaho’s power generation required massive, high-temperature equipment like boilers, furnaces, turbines and ovens. This type of equipment used significant amounts of asbestos-containing products to perform properly. Workers were exposed to extremely high levels of asbestos debris from their work around such equipment.
Other products such as heaters, gaskets, chillers and valves were also necessary to the powerhouses ability to function. Additionally, various trades workers, independent contractors and even visitors to the power plants were frequently exposed to asbestos.
The construction and manufacturing industry was another major contributor to asbestos exposure in Idaho employees. Manufacturing equipment like furnaces, ovens and boilers all produce heat that was well-insulated by raw asbestos and frequently exposed workers. At the same time, many of these building and distributor companies provided their employees with products manufactured of asbestos that were intended to protect them, such as gloves, blankets or vests.
In addition to the above industries, there are many Idaho residents who worked at military sites who were exposed to asbestos without knowledge. There are hundreds of major sites and employers throughout the state that have placed workers at risk of asbestos-related diseases without their understanding or knowledge.
Idaho Asbestos Laws and Regulations
Idaho’s asbestos laws are regulated by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the body that oversees compliance-related issues. The Idaho DEQ is in charge of regulating air quality permits in the state. These air quality permit requirements are split into two different tiers (Tier 1 and Tier 2) based on the annual amount of emissions of hazardous air pollutants, such as asbestos, at a specific site. Different types of facilities require different permits, taking into consideration whether it is an old building or new construction.
Any asbestos-related work in Idaho must now be handled by certified and licensed asbestos contractors or inspectors, including any work related to demolition, renovation or construction. To follow new rules across the country, explicit and appropriate notifications are required to be made before conducting such work that may involve asbestos. The certification and licensing of Idaho asbestos professionals ensure that the hazardous material is dealt with correctly so that it does not affect the rest of the state’s inhabitants or visitors.
For those who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, you have 2 years from your diagnosis to file for legal compensation as part of Idaho’s statute of limitations on asbestos claims. Wrongful death lawsuits must also be filed within 2 years of death from an asbestos-related disease.
Retaining an Idaho Mesothelioma Lawyer
Mesothelioma litigation is an intricate and emotional field to navigate. Patients suffering from mesothelioma should contact an attorney experienced in asbestos cases. Working with an expert in the legal field of asbestos claims is necessary, as each person has a unique working history and legal case to build.
If you have developed mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure in Idaho, please do not hesitate to contact our Justice Support Team today.