California ranks number one among all U.S. states for deaths caused by mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses. There have been over 4,000 asbestos-related deaths in the state to date.
Most of these cases are a result of asbestos exposure on job sites. The victims never knew they were at risk of harm from asbestos. They have since turned to a experienced California mesothelioma lawyer for guidance in the fight against the manufacturers and companies that exposed them to asbestos.
There is currently more than $30 billion available in trusts funds for those who have been affected by an asbestos-related illness. If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Fill out our form to get a free Financial Compensation Packet. You’ll learn about the top mesothelioma lawyers in your area, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file a claim for the asbestos trust funds, and more.
We are happy to offer legal assistance to families in all California cities and towns, including these:
Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach, Oakland, Bakersfield, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Riverside, Stockton, Chula Vista, Irvine, Fremont, San Bernardino, Modesto, Oxnard, Fontana, Moreno, Valley, Huntington Beach, Glendale, Santa Clarita, Garden Grove, Oceanside, Santa Rosa, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Elk Grove, Lancaster, Corona, Palmdale, Salinas, Hayward, Pomona, Escondido, Sunnyvale, Torrance, Orange, Pasadena, Fullerton, Thousand Oaks, Visalia, Roseville, Simi Valley, Concord, Victorville, Santa Clara, Vallejo, Berkeley, El Monte, Downey, Costa Mesa, Inglewood, Carlsbad, Fairfield, Ventura, West Covina, Richmond, Murrieta, Antioch, Temecula, Norwalk, Daly City, Burbank, Santa Maria, El Cajon, Rialto, San Mateo, Clovis, Jurupa Valley, Compton, Vista, Mission Viejo, South Gate, Vacaville, Carson, Santa Monica, Hesperia, Westminster, Redding, Santa Barbara, San Marcos, Chico, San Leandro, Newport Beach, Whittier, Hawthorne, Citrus Heights, Livermore, Tracy Alhambra, Indio, Menifee, Buena Park, Hemet, Lakewood, Merced, Chino, and more.
Asbestos Exposure in California
Several companies and industries in California used large amounts of asbestos from the early 1900s until the 1970s. These included construction, shipbuilding, automobile manufacturing, electronics, the military, and many other industries.
Asbestos use only decreased after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) put limits on it in the 1970s when its link to cancer had been proven. Even with these limits, asbestos continues to impact thousands of individuals.
In spite of the protections, Californians still receive diagnoses of asbestos illnesses today. This is because it takes years or decades for symptoms to develop and the diseases to manifest. There are several reasons that California residents, even today, are especially vulnerable to mesothelioma and other illnesses related to asbestos:
- California has several industries that used asbestos on a large scale. During World War II California had aircraft factories, radar and radio equipment manufacturers, shipyards, and automobile plants that used asbestos.
- Military men and women who served between World War II and the mid-1970s experienced asbestos exposure during active duty.
- Thousands of residential developments used and still contain asbestos. This is because the state’s population boom coincided with the prosperity of the post-Depression recovery.
- California has some of the highest levels of naturally occurring asbestos (NOA) in the U.S. NOAs are harmless if they remain undisturbed. The effects of earthquakes and human activity stir up asbestos fibers and release them into the air.
High Rates of Mesothelioma in California
The rapid increase in California’s population since the 1940s resulted in the state’s economic expansion. It also led to an increase in mesothelioma cases. As more people moved to the state to seek jobs or to live in California’s temperate climate after World War II, the boom in construction resulted in widespread use of asbestos.
Serious health risks associated with asbestos were poorly understood back then. The fire- and heat-resistance of asbestos made it a desirable material for use in construction. Many buildings, including homes, schools, offices, and industrial factories still have asbestos in them for this reason.
Workers who handled drywall, insulation, roofing materials, steam pipes, plumbing materials, electrical wiring, and many other building materials faced serious exposure risks during the construction boom.
California Companies That Used Asbestos
Until the regulations put in place by the federal government, many companies and government agencies used asbestos. Asbestos adds strength, and heat and fire resistance to materials, making it a useful mineral for many different types of industries.
Electric companies, including Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric used asbestos in their facilities. Automobile, aviation, electronics equipment, computer science and chemical industries also used asbestos in materials and components.
Examples include Chrysler, Ford Motor Company, Boeing, North American Aviation, Rockwell, Honeywell International, Union Carbide, U.S. Steel, and Chevron. Companies that mined asbestos in California included Bell Asbestos Mines, Ltd. and Calaveras Asbestos, Ltd. Both miners and nearby residents were put at risk of exposure.
Other California Job Sites Known for Asbestos Use
- King City Asbestos Company (KCAC)
- California Naval Shipyard
- Hunters Point Naval Shipyard
- Moore Dry Dock
California Asbestos Laws
California laws are designed to ensure lower asbestos exposure levels. According to the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), Title 8 sets guidelines for each industry for the reduction of asbestos exposure, for minimum air quality, and asbestos exposure documentation.
The DIR’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health enforces the state’s asbestos laws and standards in construction, shipbuilding, and other industries.
Under subchapter 7 of Title 8, Section 5208 of the California Code of Regulations there are several laws related to the abatement, handling, removal, and disposal of asbestos within the state:
- Breathing exposure limits are set for all employees who work around asbestos. This determines both the amount of asbestos that employees can be around and the time they can be around it.
- Employees working around asbestos must be monitored.
- Employees must be professionally trained in working around and handling asbestos.
- Facility and building owners must determine the location and amount of any existing asbestos.
- Warning signs and postings that clearly convey asbestos in the work area must be posted in the vicinity of the workplace.
- Protective clothing and respirators must be provided to and worn at all times by workers around asbestos. Tools and equipment must also be cleaned.
For more detailed information, you can contact the California Department of Industrial Regulation’s at 510-286-7000.
California Statute of Limitations on Mesothelioma and Asbestos Cases
The Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 335.1 states that asbestos-related cases in California must be filed separately from personal injury cases. Asbestos cases also have a different statute of limitations. Plaintiffs filing an asbestos or mesothelioma lawsuit must do so within one year of the first signs of the condition or within one year after the victim should have reasonably received a diagnosis.
Wrongful deaths lawsuits must be filed within one year of the victim’s death. It is important to work with an experienced asbestos lawyer if filing a related case, as it is easy to miss the window of opportunity without that expertise and knowledge of the laws.
Getting California Legal Help
Keep in mind that you may qualify for substantial damages if you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis. Get our free Financial Compensation Packet for info on the top mesothelioma and asbestos lawyers in your area . If you need additional assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-793-4540.