Massachusetts (MA) Asbestos Information:
The list of job sites, companies, factories and public facilities in Massachusetts at which asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) are now or have been used is extensive, containing over 400 different industries and institutions. They run the gamut from the usual industrial settings such as gas works, power plants, foundries and shipyards to several school and university buildings, retirement homes, banks and libraries. The list even contains a motion-picture theatre.
Why would asbestos be in so many places?
The fact is that Massachusetts has been inhabited by non-Native peoples for nearly 400 years. As a result, there is an abundance of old buildings that have been remodeled and renovated numerous times.
Meanwhile, asbestos building materials have been around since the 1850s, when Henry Johns started experimenting with “fire-proof shingles” as a young man. Ironically, Henry Johns was killed by the same substance that made him wealthy (his company, the H. W. Johns Manufacturing Company, was the predecessor of Johns-Manville), dying of asbestosis at the age of sixty.
Between 1980 and 2000, 759 people from Massachusetts shared Johns’ fate. An additional 613 succumbed to mesothelioma, a rare and highly malignant form of cancer that, in it’s most common form of pleural mesothelioma, attacks the pleural lining and often spreads to other parts of the body.
For many of them, exposure was the result of ACM building material that was used extensively in buildings for perhaps one hundred years. Industries in which heat or corrosive chemicals were a problem also made use of asbestos products in many places–including, ironically enough, the protective garments worn by workers. These garments–gloves, aprons and even full body suits–had asbestos linings that released fibers when the outer surfaces became ripped or worn.
Amherst, Boston, Braintree, Cambridge, Cape Cod, Dartmouth, Fall River, Gloucester, Holyoke, Kingston, Plymouth, Quincy, Salem, Worcester and even Martha’s Vineyard are just a few of the Massachusetts cities, towns and communities where people of nearly all walks of life were exposed to asbestos.
Asbestos Mining in Massachusetts
Naturally-occurring deposits in Massachusetts are located in two places. One of these is in the rural western part of the state in the vicinity of Pittsfield; the other is located in the central part of the state in the area of Quabbin Reservoir, near Harvard Forest.
There have also been two asbestos mines in the state; unsurprisingly, neither was located far from the asbestos deposits. One of them, located in North Cambridge, has a particularly infamous name attached to it: W.R. Grace & Company. This corporation has been a major source of asbestos poisoning; they were among the major players in the asbestos industry whose management was well aware of the health hazards of asbestos, yet took no action to either warn or protect employees or the people of the community.
W.R. Grace also had asbestos-processing operations in Woburn and Walpole. As of this writing (2007), six surviving corporate officers of W.R. Grace & Company are under indictment on criminal charges and are facing trial in federal court. The seventh, a mine supervisor, ironically died of asbestos cancer in February of 2007.
Asbestosis and Mesothelioma
In many states, unlike the situation in Massachusetts, mesothelioma victims outnumber asbestosis victims, sometimes by a substantial amount. This is despite the fact that malignant mesothelioma is much rarer. It is, however, incurable and fatal in all cases; the average mesothelioma prognosis for a victim is 18 months following the initial diagnosis.
Asbestosis is also incurable. However, if caught and diagnosed in an early stage, its progress can be arrested. Many asbestosis victims live long, reasonably normal lives with medication and the use of supplemental oxygen.
Massachusetts (MA) 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 from the state of Massachusetts (MA) where workers were potentially and unnecessarily put at risk:
Bethlehem Steel Shipyard: Quincy, MA
Charlestown Navy: Charlestown, MA
Fore River Shipyard: Quincy, MA
Massachusetts (MA) Asbestos Cancer & Mesothelioma Doctors:
The diagnosis and treatment of asbestos-related cancers and other diseases is gradually becoming a sub-specialty in the field of medicine all its own. However, as of the present time, there is no medical degree that is specific to asbestos-related practice. Most doctors focusing on asbestos disease today are trained in oncology, thoracic surgery, respiratory or occupational medicine, or some related field.
Massachusetts (MA) 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.
Massachusetts (MA) Mesothelioma Lawyer & Legal Resources:
A search through the Massachusetts Federal District Court Cases for asbestos-related personal injury product liability lawsuits and Massachusetts mesothelioma lawsuits brings up a list of ten recent lawsuits from 2006 and 2007. It should be noted however that none of these lawsuits was the suit of an individual against a corporation or company but rather they were petitions for (and notices of) removal from asbestos litigation. Two of these cases involve Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, which filed for bankruptcy settlement in its nationwide asbestos lawsuits.
Massachusetts is ranked ninth in the U.S. for mesothelioma cases. With a mesothelioma mortality rate of 16.39 per million, Massachusetts has a crude mortality rank of eight in the country.
The state of Massachusetts has an unusually large number of known asbestos exposed areas. In Abbington, the Abbington Fire Station, Abbington High School, and Abbington School are known to be asbestos-exposed areas. In Acushnet, Acushnet Gas Pipes, Acushnet Housing, the Acushnet Telephone Building, and St. Francis Xavier School are asbestos-exposed areas. In Adams, Arnold Fishing Co. and Mf Ashley Co. of Addelboro are known areas exposed to asbestos. Asbestos has also been found in Rosen Textile in Agawam. In Amherst, there are many known asbestos exposed areas. These include Amherst College, Valentine Hall, and areas of the University of Massachusetts, including dormitories, the library, the boiler room, the Student Union building, the Men’s Physical Education building, the Physics building, and the Science Addition. In Andover, Andover School, the Fishbrook Pumping Station, the IRS building, and Phillips Academy have at some point been exposed to asbestos. The Arlington Boys Club and the Ashburnham Telephone building are also known asbestos-exposed areas. In Ashland, Ashland High School and Fenwal, Inc., are exposed areas. In Ashton, Black Stone Valley Gas Company and Blackstone Valley Gas Tank are affected. St. Bernard’s Church in Assonet and Athol High School and the Athol YMCA in Athol are sites of asbestos exposure.
Attleboro, Massachusetts alone has a very long list of known asbestos exposed areas. These include the American Sisalkraft Corporation, the Athestons of Attleboro, Attleboro Elderly Housing, Attleboro Junior High School, Attleboro School, Attleboro Town Hall, Attleboro Trust Company, Attleboro Veterans Housing, Bruce Diamond Company, the Donnelly Building, Hope Gardens Housing, Joe Martin School, Kinney Shoe Store, Old Hickton Hotel, Peter Thatcher Jr. High, Sweet Library, Yaeger Estate, Balfour Company, Belfore Jewelry, Crown & Yarn Dye Company, General Instruments, Handy & Harmon, Holiday Inn, Jostens Jewelry Manufacturing Company, LG Balfour Company, Lasalette Shrine, Leachand Garner, Marathon Company, Montrose Hauser, National Guard Armory, Attleboro St. Regis Paper, Sturdy Memorial Hospital, Sweet Manufacturing, the Texas Instrument Waste Water Treatment facility, Texas Instruments, Thompson Chemical, Tells Manufacturing, and the YMCA.
In addition to these known sites, there are known asbestos exposure sites in Auburn, Avon, Ayer, Baldwinville, Barnstable, Barrington, Belchertown, Bellingham, Bellington, Belmont, Beverly, Billricca, Blackstone, Boston, Bourne, Braintree, Brewster, Bridgewater, Brockton, Brookfield, Bryantville, Burbank, Burlington, Buzzards Bay, Cambridge, Canton, Cape Cod, Centerville, Central Falls, Charlestown, Chatham, Chelmsford, Cherry Valley, Chesterfield, Chestnut Hill, Chicopee, Cleghoen, Clinton, Cohasset, Concord, Cranston, Cummiquid, Dalton, Danvers, Dartmouth, Dedham, Deerfield, Deighton, Dennis, Dorchester, Dudley, Duxbury, Dyer, E. Braintree, E. Brockton, E. Taunton, East Boston, East Bridgewater, East Douglas, East Longmeadow, East Walpole, Eastern, Everett, Fair Haven, Fall River, Easton, Fallriver, Malden, Mansfield, Marion, Marlboro, Marlborough, Marshfield, and Martha’s Vineyard. Individuals living or working near the known asbestos-exposed areas in these regions should be checked regularly for signs of mesothelioma in order to hire a Massachusetts mesothelioma lawyer and file any lawsuits within the state’s statute of limitations.
Those interested in filing Massachusetts mesothelioma lawsuits or hiring a Massachusetts mesothelioma lawyer should know that the statute of limitations for personal injury law in Massachusetts is three years with a discovery rule that states that this amount of time begins when the problem (in this case the mesothelioma) either was discovered or should have been discovered. Wrongful death cases fall under the same statute of limitations and follow the same discovery rule. There is no specific statute about asbestos in Massachusetts.