Missouri is sometimes known as the 'Mother of the West' and is home to over 6 million residents. One of the largest urban areas, St. Louis, is well-known for its beer brewing, which used to be a significant industry in the state. Though Missouri is extensively an agricultural state, it has also relied on manufacturing and automotive industries over the years—all of which used asbestos historically. Missouri was also home to mines and deposits containing asbestos.
Mesothelioma Cases in Missouri
Minnesota’s mesothelioma annual mortality rate is below the national average of 11.1 people per million and currently stands at 7.5 people per million. A recorded 699 Missouri residents died from mesothelioma between 1999 and 2013, and the area with the most deaths was St. Louis County. Missouri has four areas that are well-known for their asbestos usage: two mines and two deposits.
Most mesothelioma patients in Missouri discover that they were exposed to asbestos at work. Second-hand asbestos fibers can also harm those at home; carried in on clothing, shoes or hair. While mesothelioma is not curable, there are several aggressive medical treatments to help manage the disease. Of course, these come with a price tag. For many families, it’s critical that they seek compensation from the workplace to help with medical costs, lost wages, end-of-life costs and to aid their family after death.
Recent Mesothelioma Claim in Missouri
Mesothelioma is a difficult disease to tackle, but it’s also difficult when it comes to getting compensation. In a recent Missouri case, a tile installer was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2014. He filed for workers compensation in 2015 but died while the claim was still pending. His wife amended the claim listing and proceeded with the lawsuit to support herself and their eight children.
An administrative law judge with the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation agreed that his employer was liable. However, due to some issues surrounding insurance the claim is still pending, which goes to show that compensation can be a long, tough road (for both the patient and the family).
Asbestos Use in Missouri
While most asbestos-related cases are due to mines and deposits in Missouri, additional harm may come from the following industries:
Mining is still at large in Missouri, and natural asbestos has been found in a manganese mine in Winona and a copper mine in Astoria—the two main asbestos sites in Missouri. There are also two deposits in St. Francois and Iron counties.
Missouri was a manufacturing hub until the late 70s, with many companies making asbestos-containing roofing materials in St. Louis. Workers at the plant were put at risk, as were consumers of the goods. While these kinds of plants closed in 1979, the manufacturers improperly disposed of the waste and contaminated the Maline Creek shoreline. Despite the government’s efforts, the asbestos waste remains in the area today.
Asbestos in the brewing industry is not an issue today, but historically, brewing companies in Missouri used asbestos in their facilities and equipment. It was common during the 20th century for brewery filters to contain asbestos.
Asbestos Abatement Efforts in Missouri
Missouri has made efforts to clean up its asbestos through Superfund Sites. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability act of 1980 (CERCLA) was established by the EPA to remove hazardous waste from such sites.
Two sites in Missouri were added to the list because of asbestos waste concerns: Lake City Army Ammunition Plant and Weldon Spring Chemical Plant and Quarry. Both sites are now deemed safe after extensive cleaning efforts over many years. Constant monitoring of the soil and groundwater is needed to ensure that these sites are kept safe.
Missouri Asbestos Laws and Regulations
Today, Missouri’s Department of Natural Resources is responsible for overseeing federal asbestos laws and requirements for licensing. Only Missouri-certified asbestos professionals are permitted to handle asbestos projects in the state, and the Air Pollution Control Program is in charge of authorizing the licensing. They are also the governing body for transport procedures and monitor the disposal of asbestos to ensure it is removed safely.
Missouri does not have a state plan for asbestos, but workers are protected by the federal OSHA laws instead. Businesses can consult the Missouri Division of Labor Standards for on-site advice on how to make workplaces safer and avoid violations.
Gathering evidence can be a lengthy process, and as there is no cure for mesothelioma, it is advised that you seek legal aid as soon as you possibly can to help with treatment costs.
Retaining a Missouri Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you are a resident of Missouri and you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s vital to consult a specialized mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible. To effectively represent their clients, mesothelioma attorneys must have excellent knowledge of mesothelioma and the damage that asbestos can cause.
For more information on asbestos exposure in Missouri, contact our Justice Support Team today.