Mesothelioma Attorneys by State > Texas

Dallas Asbestos Attorney

The Roots and Repercussions of Asbestos and Mesothelioma in Dallas, Texas

The discovery of oil in Texas in 1901 brought jobs and a the booming city of Dallas, petroleum companies, and oil refineries to the great state, along with a population boom and many willing laborers. Texas has since become the largest producer of petroleum products in the country, providing around 35% of all the crude oil found in the United States. But all that growth didn’t come without a cost.

Oil Refineries, Petroleum, and Asbestos

Unfortunately for Texans, jobs in the petroleum industry rank as some of the most dangerous occupations when it comes to asbestos exposure. In terms of job sites, oil refineries are at the top of the list of those that routinely expose workers to asbestos, along with the likes of steel mills, construction work, and chemical plants. BP, Chevron, Citgo, Esso, Exxon, Gulf, Mobil, and Shell are some of the big names and major owners of oil refineries in Texas, and every one of them has been named as a defendant in asbestos lawsuits.

Texas now has the fourth-highest number of deaths from mesothelioma and asbestosis in the country. And occupational exposure to asbestos is the number one cause of those fatal diseases.

But the growing number of deaths caused by asbestos aren’t limited strictly to jobs within the oil and gas sector. Texas is home to many busy ports and industries that have seen rapid growth since the discovery of oil. Asbestos was used its power plants, shipyards, manufacturing facilities, railroads, auto assembly lines, and other big industries where its flame retardant and insulating properties were valued. Due to the nature of these jobs and the land they require, asbestos spread from big cities and ports in Texas to rural areas where oil fields and factories could be located.

Countless other people in Dallas Texas contracted mesothelioma simply because they lived near hazardous these job sites. Many were were the spouses and children of workers who’d unknowingly brought home their asbestos-contaminated work clothing. Even without working in dangerous jobs, many families of industry laborers and residents of towns located near these job sites were exposed to asbestos almost daily.

Thriving Port Towns and “Asbestos Alley”

Houston is home to the busiest port in the United States, and throughout its burgeoning years the shipbuilding and oil and gas industries frequently used asbestos to build fire and heat-resistant buildings, vessels, and chemical facilities. And while asbestos is no longer mined in the United States and its use is more tightly regulated, an estimated 8 million pounds of it have been imported into the country since 2006.

Nearly all of that deadly toxin arrived in the Port of Houston or the nearby Port of New Orleans.

Unsurprisingly, Texas counties close to this wealthy and industrial area in the Gulf of Mexico have been hit harder by asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma. The prosperous towns located here – Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Orange – have been deemed the “Golden Triangle” for their affluent nature and successes that originally derived from the 1901 oil strike.

However, eight counties here have also been given the nickname “Asbestos Alley” for their shockingly high rates of death from asbestos-related diseases. These Texas counties saw higher asbestos death rates than both state and nationwide averages. In fact, they were between two and five times the national average.

The statewide rate for asbestos deaths in Texas is 3.3 deaths per 100,000 and the nation’s average is more like 4.9 per 100,000, while Sabine County has a death rate of 22.7 and Orange County’s death rate is 23.9.

Other Sources of Asbestos

But Houston isn’t the only culprit. The Dallas-based company OxyChem currently imports 300,000 pounds of asbestos each year. As one of the largest importers of the toxic substance in the United States, the company uses asbestos and dated technology to produce chlorine, even though European plants have moved on to safer methods.

Between 1963 and 1992, the notorious asbestos producer W.R. Grace shipped tons of asbestos from its mine in Libby, Montana to 24 locations in Texas, including 327,000 tons to Dallas and over 675,000 tons in total. Each shipment of vermiculite was contaminated with tremolite, one of the deadliest forms of asbestos, reaching towns all over the state.

Once exposed, the human body is unable to dissolve tremolite fibers and they penetrate the chest lining, often causing mesothelioma. A federal grand jury in Montana famously indicted W.R. Grace for knowingly withholding studies that proved the dangers of asbestos, endangering whole towns and costing over $55 million in taxpayer funding for cleanup.

Texas, however, has been less enthusiastic about targeting asbestos companies.

Mesothelioma in Texas Today

Because of the high number of mesothelioma victims, more asbestos lawsuits were filed in Texas between 1998 and 2000 than any other state in the country.

In response, the state’s lawmakers sought to decrease and manage the number of cases filed by victims and curb filings by nonresidents in the late 1990s. In 2003, they created a multidistrict litigation process which designated specific courts to handle similar cases. Then in 2005 legislators attempted to reduce caseloads by joining dissimilar claims (for instance, mesothelioma victims with other plaintiffs who had no physical impairments). They also began requiring proof of minimum medical criteria and limiting the liability of companies who buy, merge with, or assume the liabilities of companies that have existing responsibilities to asbestos victims or former employees.

Despite the huge impact that asbestos has had on Texas residents and their families, state legislators continue to limit citizens’ rights to sue asbestos companies.

Lawyers have alleged that over 2,600 asbestos exposure sites exist within the state of Texas – this includes 368 different cities.

Even in small amounts, the toxic mineral is known to cause mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, and a number of other serious health issues that frequently lead to death. And it’s estimated that 70-80% of people with mesothelioma were exposed to the deadly material at work. Texas has long been an epicenter for refineries, power plants, and shipyards – jobs that repeatedly exposed workers to asbestos during the 20th century, even after the dangers of asbestos were well known.

The Future of Mesothelioma and Asbestos-Related Illnesses in Texas

Deaths from asbestos-related diseases in Texas are only expected to continue increasing steadily over the next ten years, as the latency periods for diseases which stem from exposure are long. It often takes between 20 to 50 years for mesothelioma victims to display symptoms, but following a diagnosis of this sort, their life expectancy becomes incredibly short.

From 1999 to 2013, the number of asbestos-related deaths in Texas reached 2,454, though it’s believed that many more deaths – perhaps up to 1,000 – were never reported to federal health officials, so that numbers may actually be on the low side.

Sadly, because asbestos usage peaked in the 1970s, that means the state has yet to suffer the full impacts of its asbestos use and the deadly exposure inflicted upon its residents. Estimates predict that the highest rates of deaths from asbestos-related diseases will peak at about 1,000 deaths annually between 2015 and 2020, with around 400 people dying per year from mesothelioma and asbestosis alone.

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Mesothelioma treatment centers in the state of Texas:

Mesothelioma treatment is often costly and painful for the victim of mesothelioma. There are many treatment options that are available for patients of mesothelioma to ease the suffering and the pain of the victims. If you have worked at any of the above mentioned work sites, you should immediately get a mesothelioma screening done in order to make sure that you don’t suffer from an asbestos related condition. The following treatment centers offer treatment to mesothelioma victims in the state of Texas:

AUSTIN, TX 78759


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