Mesothelioma Risk For South Korean Baseball Players, Fans

With baseball on everyone’s mind as the new season gets underway, we at Sokolove Law decided to take a look at a recently discovered asbestos issue that is currently affecting an entire generation of players and fans from South Korea, some of whom could someday end up on a major league team in the United States.

The Jamsil Baseball Stadium, which is located in Seoul, South Korea, can seat more than 30,000 fans and acts as the home to two professional Korean Baseball Organization teams – the LG Twins and Doosan Bears. It also serves as a landmark for tourists, having hosted Olympic events in 1988 when the city hosted the summer games. However, recent samples taken at the stadium revealed that soil samples from the field contain levels of asbestos that exceed legal levels and could pose a health risk.

Other samples taken at four other baseball stadiums located in three other South Korean cities also detected elevated levels of asbestos in the soil.

Perhaps even more troubling than the detection of the dangerous fibers in the soil is that it seems there is no secret as to how or why the asbestos got there in the first place. According to The Hankyoreh, crushed olivine has been used since 2008 along the field’s base lines that stretch from the home plate to first, second, and third bases. The olivine used in South Korea is found in a serpentine asbestos mine located in Andong, meaning that the fibers could easily be contaminated with loose asbestos fibers.

The use of olivine was part of an initiative that was launched in 2008 by the Ministry of Science, Education and Technology. Some schools that have used olivine on their fields have been found to have asbestos levels as high as 3.75 percent

While an asbestos problem of this magnitude luckily does not seem to currently be a problem in most American baseball stadiums, mesothelioma has been something that has recently affected the U.S. baseball community. Charlie Metro played with the Detroit Tigers in 1943-44 before working as a coach with the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox. He may be best known for acting as one of “The College of Coaches” for the Chicago Cubs in 1962 and briefly managed the Kansas City Royals in 1970. Last March, Metro passed away from mesothelioma at the age of 91.

If you have developed mesothelioma that can be linked to previous asbestos exposure, contact Sokolove Law today to learn more about pursuing a mesothelioma lawsuit.