Vermont was the second state in the United States to mine asbestos since the Belvidere Mountains were so rich in the toxic mineral. Later, power plants, hospitals, schools and manufacturing sites throughout the state would employ the use of asbestos, creating risk of exposure to all working or inhabiting these sites. Now, Vermont has strict rules to regulate the use of asbestos and vigilantly monitor areas where exposure is prone to occur.
Mesothelioma Cases in Vermont
Between 1999 and 2015, there were 91 residents who died from mesothelioma in Vermont. This is a significantly lower death rate from other states, yet despite this low rate, Vermont has a mesothelioma mortality rate slightly higher than the national average at nearly 9 people per million each year.
Vermont has 22 known asbestos sites, with Chittenden and Windsor counties containing the highest number of asbestos-related deaths between 1999 and 2015.
The risk of exposure and developing mesothelioma has caused lawmakers in Vermont to become much more strict in the last several decades. As with many other states, health officials in Vermont are rallying for more rigid regulations to prevent future mesothelioma cases.
Asbestos Use in Vermont
In addition to the significant natural asbestos, Vermont residents have been at risk of exposure to asbestos in the workplace.
Vermont was home to the first commercial asbestos mine in all of the United States. The toxin was discovered around Belvidere Mountain during the first part of the 19th century, and at the turn of the century, several mines had opened on the mountain.
The dangers of asbestos were not fully understood until the late 60s and early 70s, but even by then, the Vermont Asbestos Group purchased the mine and kept it running until the early 1990s. Even after its closing, a significant amount of asbestos waste was left, causing extreme risk of exposure to residents.
Power plants contain many generators and boilers, creating high levels of heat and potentially causing fires. Due to its ability to withstand such high heat, asbestos was commonly employed to protect the materials and employees from fires or burns. The toxin was also used in the actual building of the worksites and facilities, as well as in protective gear, putting large numbers of workers at risk of asbestos exposure.
Schools and Universities
The University of Vermont in Burlington is one of many school buildings across the U.S. that was built with asbestos as a prime material. Now, there are regulations employed to help protect workers and students, but exposure can still happen.
The paper mills are another industry with severe amounts of asbestos-containing materials that were in use many decades ago. The toxin can be found in machinery such as drying machines, as well as in the physical building of the walls of the mill.
Workers in such places were more at risk of exposure, as well as their families—much of the toxin remained on their own clothing and the very gear meant to protect them.
Vermont Asbestos Laws and Regulations
The Department of Health in Vermont is responsible for creating and regulating the rules regarding asbestos abatement contractors, permits for the removal of asbestos and proper asbestos disposal.
The Outreach Program was created to inform the public about Vermont laws as well as federal laws. Through their compliance inspection process, they conduct random or purposeful inspections of any asbestos renovation and demolition projects to make sure the process adheres to relevant regulations.
Handling and Disposing of Asbestos in Vermont
The Department of Health in Vermont also introduced an Enforcement and Compliance Inspection Program to manage any renovation or demolition projects that involve asbestos, proper disposal of such materials are dealt with under the Solid Waste Management Rules in the state.
If asbestos-containing materials are required to be disposed, similarly to other states, only a certified asbestos contractor in Vermont can collect and dispose of the waste.
Statute of Limitations on Asbestos Claims
Patients should know that once they are diagnosed with mesothelioma, they have only a certain amount of time to file a mesothelioma claim. In Vermont, if an individual has passed away from mesothelioma, direct family members can also file a claim, but within a limited timeframe.
Patients in Vermont claiming personal injury for mesothelioma have 3 years after diagnosis to file their claim. Family members can file a wrongful death suit in Vermont within 2 years of their loved one’s death from mesothelioma.
Retaining a Vermont Mesothelioma Lawyer
Mesothelioma litigation is a detailed and emotional area of law for patients to get involved in. Those suffering from mesothelioma should seek a specialized mesothelioma attorney who has the knowledge and resources to help you file a claim and possibly reach a settlement as quickly as possible.
If you worked in Vermont and were exposed to asbestos on the job and have since developed mesothelioma, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Justice Support Team today.