Utah (UT) Asbestos Information:
Although not an oil-producing region, Utah has a number of oil refineries. The petroleum industry is one of the most dangerous fields of work among industrial occupations, not only from immediate injury, but from asbestos exposure as well.
Despite this fact, Utah refineries have a better-than-average safety record. The state’s mortality rate from mesothelioma and other asbestos-disease is also lower than many other states. Between 1980 and 2000, the population increased by over 33%, from 1.46 million to 2.23 million; during that same period, there were 157 recorded deaths from asbestos diseases such as asbestosis and pleural plaques as well as forms of asbestos cancer such as mesothelioma or lung cancer. Two-thirds of these were due to mesothelioma, while the remainder was from asbestosis. These were concentrated along the Wasatch Front, where the majority of the population resides.
American Oil, BP Amoco, Chevron, Flying J, Phillips and Standard are the major oil companies that own and operate refineries in the state of Utah. Other industries in which asbestos exposure is a risk include Intermountain Power and DuPont Chemical.
All of these companies are located in Salt Lake City and Provo.
Asbestos Hazards in the Oil Industries
In 2003, British researchers studied 45,000 workers who had been employed in the oil industry for at least twelve consecutive months between 1946 and 1971. These workers were employed in delivery and distribution or in the tasks of refining crude oil into fuel. There were no abnormal rates of illness among the first group; however, those in the latter category were found to have “significantly elevated” rates of malignant mesothelioma and other cancers when compared to the general population.
The process by which crude oil is refined into gasoline and other products requires the use of heat and chemicals; for this reason, asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) have been used in oil refineries practically from the beginning of the industry in the 19th century. ACM insulation has been used to protect distillation columns, pipes and various conduits, as well as working surfaces and other equipment.
One of the great ironies is the fact that some of the asbestos exposure suffered by oil refinery workers is from the clothing items intended to protect them from injury. This clothing – overcoats, gloves, hoods and aprons – was lined with asbestos fabric, which could release fibers when worn or ripped open.
Intermountain Power & DuPont Chemical
Power generation plants pose substantial asbestos exposure risks to those who repair and maintain them. A Puerto Rican study showed asbestos-related abnormalities in 13% of the chest x-rays made of power plant employees.
In addition to fire resistance, asbestos provides excellent resistance to electrical current, making it ideal for electrical cloth, conduits, and components of various mechanical devices such as generators and turbines. The latter is a particularly dangerous source of asbestos; as these machines operate, asbestos fibers are thrown out into air breathed by workers in the area.
DuPont Chemical is also listed as an asbestos location. This highlights another quality of asbestos that made it so useful: its resistance to corrosive chemical reactions.
In the case of chemical plants, the asbestos of choice is usually crocidolite or amosite. These are both highly resistant to acid, and frequently used in countertop or work surface material.
Utah has a fair number of older and historic buildings. As in the rest of the country, construction occupations – especially those related to demolition and renovation of aging structures – pose a certain amount of danger to workers. Those who work in construction trades should be aware of asbestos issues, particularly in how to identify ACMs when they are encountered. Removal of ACMs should be undertaken only by trained asbestos contractors. In many states – including Utah – only licensed asbestos abatement professionals are allowed to do such work commercially; violators can be subject to criminal prosecution.
Utah (UT) 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. Below is a list of the cancer treatment centers located in Utah (UT) that we feature on Asbestos.net:
University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute
Salt Lake City, Utah (UT)
Utah (UT) Mesothelioma Lawyer & Legal Resources:
A search through the Utah Federal District Court Cases for asbestos-related personal injury product liability lawsuits, such as mesothelioma lawsuits, brings up no recent lawsuits.
Utah is ranked 44 in the U.S. for mesothelioma cases. With a mesothelioma mortality rate of 5.83 per million, Utah has a crude mortality rank of 48 in the country.
Utah has a number of known asbestos-exposed areas. These include the Intermountain Waste Oil Refinery and the Standard Oil Refinery in Bountiful, Intermountain Power in Delta, the Chevron Oil Refinery in Ogden, and Inland Refining and Phillips Petroleum in Woods Cross. Salt Lake City alone has a number of known asbestos-exposed areas. These include the American Oil Refinery, BP Amoco, Chevron, Flying J, the Kennicott Copper Mine, and the Standard Oil Refinery.
Individuals living or working near these areas should be checked regularly for signs of mesothelioma and should contact a Utah mesothelioma lawyer as soona s possible after diagnosis in order to file a Utah mesothelioma lawsuit within the state’s statute of limitations. While many of these sites have been inspected and some have been cleaned up, anyone who worked or lived in these areas before asbestos contamination was reported can still be affected. Also, it is important to keep in mind that these are only known asbestos sites. Other areas in the state may also contain asbestos but may not yet have been reported as such.
One important asbestos case in Utah took place in 2000. That case, State of Utah, by and through the Utah Air Quality Board v. The Truman Mortensen Family Trust and Roxanne Jensen-Daley, involved Roxanne Jensen-Daley, who was responsible for the Truman Mortensen Family Trust, a body which owned properties in Idaho and Utah. In 1997, the Environmental Health Division of the Salt Lake County Health Department ran an analysis of the ceiling tiles as part of the inspection of one of the buildings that the Trust owned. The tiles were found to contain asbestos, and the department advised Jensen-Daley of the issue. Jensen-Daley allegedly hired workers to remove the ceiling. When a Utah State Division of Air Quality (DAQ) inspector arrived at the site, he found that workers hired by Jensen-Daley were using improper asbestos handling techniques and were in fact producing large amounts of asbestos-containing dust.
Five days later, the inspector arrived again to witness further violations involving the removal of the asbestos. He verbally told Jensen-Daley of the dangers and advised her to hire qualified workers. The DAQ then received a phone call from one the building residents advising the DAQ that after the inspector’s departure, Jensen-Daley herself was removing asbestos, again incorrectly. The DAQ Board issued the Trust and Jensen-Daley a “Notice of Violation and Order to Comply or Cease and Desist” for violations of various state asbestos regulations. The document outlined specific code violations, indicated that the order was to become effective immediately and would become final within 30 days unless a hearing was requested in writing, and made clear that failure to comply might result in penalties. Jensen-Daley was ultimately fined $23,000, which she appealed repeatedly. The Supreme Court upheld the fine.
Those interested in filing a Utah mesothelioma lawsuit should know that the statute of limitations for personal injury law in Utah is two 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 and that a Utah mesothelioma lawyer will be most helpful in ensuring that important deadlines are upheld. Wrongful death cases follow the same statute of limitations and discovery rule. There is a special provision for asbestos cases which increases the statute of limitations to three years instead of two.