Finding state-specific information about your legal options for asbestos exposure is critical. Residents of New Hampshire are no exception. Like many regions in the United States, asbestos was used extensively in the construction of buildings in New Hampshire throughout the mid to late 20th century. With just over 1.3 million people, the scenic and mountainous state of New Hampshire has a relatively small population, with a populace passionate about public health and awareness.
Mesothelioma Cases In New Hampshire
Unfortunately, the mesothelioma death rate in New Hampshire is higher than the national average, with approximately 11 deaths per million people annually, according to the CDC. The counties that have witnessed the most deaths due to asbestos-related illness between 1999 and 2013 are Hillsborough and Rockingham counties.
New Hampshire is one of just 16 states reporting mesothelioma death rates in the double digits.
Asbestos Use In New Hampshire
Although there is no evidence of naturally occurring asbestos deposits or asbestos mines in New Hampshire, the state is inextricably tied to asbestos usage, perhaps more so than many other states. Much of New Hampshire’s asbestos use stems from its past as a manufacturing hub, creating a unique association with asbestos in the state.
The economy was dominated by the textile, paper and shoe manufacturing industries. The factory employees who worked in these industries were often exposed to asbestos on the job, causing health issues down the line.
In addition to the asbestos exposure that stemmed from the manufacturing industry, some New Hampshire residents were exposed during their time working in the military or in Navy shipyards. Some may have been exposed on the job at a New Hampshire power plant.
In general, those that worked in heavy duty and industrial fields were more likely to be working with asbestos, as the material was present in machinery, protective gear, insulation and various worksites.
New Hampshire is also home to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, which is part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund program.
This program is in charge of cleaning up contaminated lands across the country which pose risks to the environment or public health. Comprising almost 280 acres, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard had been in operation since the 1800s.
In more recent years, hazardous debris, including asbestos, was found in the area. The site underwent cleanup initiatives, and the EPA currently deems it to be “protective of human health and the environment.” However, there are plans for further investigation of the site’s safety.
New Hampshire Asbestos Laws and Regulations
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) is the unit that oversees the management and control of asbestos, as well as the rules and regulations regarding the inspection and abatement of the material. Statutes Env-A 1800 and RSA 141-E form the New Hampshire Asbestos Management and Control Rules.
The following rules are found within these statutes:
- NHDES strongly recommends that homeowners use a licensed asbestos abatement contractor for their removal projects, but it is not required. Homeowners may perform the removal themselves as long as they are not selling their home within 6 months and they follow proper waste disposal procedures.
- Building owners and contractors must have their properties inspected by an accredited asbestos inspector before demolition or renovation projects may proceed
- Facility owners are required to provide written notice to NHDES and a local health officer at least ten business days before starting a demolition project. This notice is required even in cases where the building does not contain any known asbestos
New Hampshire Statute of Limitations on Asbestos Claims
If you’re seeking legal advice for a personal injury or wrongful death suit for yourself or a loved one with mesothelioma, it’s important to act quickly. Pursuing your legal options is also a time-sensitive matter. There are regulations that prevent you from filing for legal action outside of a certain time frame—the statute of limitations.
In New Hampshire, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is 3 years from diagnosis. For wrongful death suits, it’s 3 years from the subject’s death.
Retaining a New Hampshire Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you’re looking into your legal options as a New Hampshire resident with mesothelioma, finding a specialist is of the utmost importance. While any lawyer will be able to assist you, a mesothelioma attorney can take your case to the next level and provide you with advice tailored to your situation. New Hampshire mesothelioma lawyers have a better understanding of the nature of this rare illness and a better chance of helping you get the settlements you deserve.
If you’re ready to speak with a qualified New Hampshire mesothelioma lawyer, we can help put you in touch. Please call the Mesothelioma Justice Network today at (855) 213-6894.