Maryland is a Mid-Atlantic state with several connections to asbestos and asbestos-related illnesses. The state has 22 known sites where naturally-occurring asbestos (NOA) deposits exist, including a 0.899-acre location in Baltimore County known as the BOK Mines NOA Site. Maryland is also home to a substantial number of construction companies, shipyards, factories, and power plants. These enterprises represent industries which were large-scale users of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in the past. Many exposed workers in these industries later developed asbestosis, mesothelioma, and cancers of the digestive system.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be entitled to considerable compensation. Fill out our form to get a free Financial Compensation Packet. You’ll learn about the top mesothelioma lawyers in Maryland, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file a claim for the asbestos trust funds, and more.
We offer assistance to asbestos victims and their families in all areas of Maryland, including:
Baltimore, Annapolis, Columbia, Germantown, Silver Spring, Waldorf, Ellicott,Frederick, Glen Burnie, Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Rockville, Dundalk, Towson, Bowie, Aspen Hill, Wheaton, North Bethesda, Bel Air South, Severn, Potomac, Woodlawn Cdp, Catonsville, Hagerstown, Chillum, Clinton, Odenton, Olney, Severna Park, Essex, Owings, Mills, Montgomery Village, Pikesville, Parkville, Eldersburg, Milford Mill, Bel Air North, Randallstown, Salisbury, College Park, Carney, Crofton, Perry Hall, Ilchester, Middle River, Reisterstown, South Laurel, Edgewood, Pasadena, Laurel, Lochearn, Suitland, North Potomac, Greenbelt, Fort Washington, Landover, Langley Park, Arnold, Fairland, North Laurel, Cockeysville, Cumberland, Arbutus, Camp Springs, Lake Shore, Oxon Hill, Calverton, Westminster, Rosedale, Ballenger Creek, Hyattsville, Ferndale, Takoma Park, Glassmanor, White Oak, Beltsville, Redland, Easton, Parole, Seabrook, Maryland City, Cloverly, Elkridge, East Riverdale, Elkton, Adelphi, Rossville, Hillcrest Heights, Aberdeen, Clarksburg, Damascus, Glenmont, Colesville, Brooklyn Park, Glenn Dale, Havre de Grace, Kettering, Cambridge, Joppatowne, Riviera Beach, and more.
Maryland Asbestos Issues
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), Maryland is ranked 14th in the U.S. in asbestos-related deaths. Per the EWG’s report, from 1979 to 2001, asbestosis caused 633 deaths. In addition, between 453 to 747 persons died from mesothelioma. The total number of asbestos-related fatalities during that 22-year period ranges between 1,074 and 1,368.
Although some of these deaths may have been the result of repeated exposure to naturally-occurring asbestos in Maryland, most can be traced to large-scale industrial use of ACMs. Asbestos has been used by humans for thousands of years for various purposes, but the peak period of heavy mining, processing, and use in modern industry was between 1930 and the 1970s. All of Maryland’s major industries relied on such asbestos-derived products as insulation, gaskets, roofing and flooring materials, and even fire-resistant clothing. Of these industries, the ones whose workers were most at risk of being exposed to asbestos fibers were:
- Mining Companies
- Chemical Manufacturers
- Electrical Power Companies
- Construction Companies
- Automobile Repair Shops
- Heavy Industrial Manufacturers
- Steel Mills
- Paper Product Manufacturers
- Government Agencies
- Cement Manufacturers
Although these industries made or distributed a wide array of different products and services, they used asbestos because it resists corrosion, electrical currents, and high temperatures. It is also flexible enough to be woven into fabrics and adds tensile strength to various materials. These properties made asbestos particularly useful in heavy industries such as steel manufacturing and shipbuilding.
Maryland Job Sites with Asbestos Exposure Issues
Maryland’s location on the Atlantic coast has made the state a major player in the U.S. shipbuilding industry. Throughout the greater part of the 20th Century, shipyards such as the Curtis Bay Coast Guard Yard near Baltimore and the Bethlehem Steel-owned shipyard in Sparrows Point built thousands of ships with many components made from asbestos. Boilers, steam pipes, and other heat-generating parts were covered with asbestos lagging or asbestos-laced paint to prevent extremes in temperatures or shipboard fires. Merchant ships and U.S. Navy vessels built during World War II also used insulation which was made from asbestos fibers. This dependency on asbestos in the shipbuilding industry had dire results. Shipyard workers, sailors, and ships’ engineers are among the high-risk groups for asbestos-related illnesses. Thousands of these individuals have died from mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other cancers as a result of exposure to ACMs at these shipyards:
- Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard, Baltimore
- Bethlehem Sparrows Point Shipyard, Baltimore
- Key Highway Shipyard, Baltimore
- Curtis Bay Coast Guard Yard, Baltimore
- Maryland Drydock Company, Baltimore
Power Stations with Known Asbestos Exposure Problems
Until the early 1980s, all power generating stations were built with massive amounts of asbestos as a safety precaution. As in the shipbuilding and heavy manufacturing industries, ACMs were standard issue construction materials because they resist corrosion and excess heat.
Power plants, whether powered by fossil fuels or nuclear reaction, generate much of their energy via steam-driven turbines, and asbestos was liberally applied to all sections and components. Even workbenches and protective gear were made with some amount of asbestos added in as insulation or fire retardant.
Unfortunately, by the time the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially concluded that there was a link between asbestos and various illnesses, many power plant employees and their families had been exposed to the toxic minerals. Asbestos fibers, which are usually harmless if left undisturbed, can be introduced into the body by inhaling or swallowing if they are airborne. ACMs were used extensively in these power generating plants:
- Potomac Electric Company, Aquasco
- Baltimore Gas & Electric Company, Baltimore
- Northern Electric Company, Baltimore
- Brandon Shores Generating Station, Glen Burnie
- Chalk Point Generating Station, Eagle Harbor
- Charles P. Crane Generating Station, Bowleys Quarters
- Herbert A. Wagner Generating Station, Glen Burnie
- Dickerson Generating Station, Dickerson
- Montgomery County Resource Recovery Facility, Dickerson
- Warrior Run Generating Station, Cumberland
- Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, Lusby
Other Maryland Job Sites Where Asbestos Exposure Took Place
Due to its clever marketing tactics which emphasized asbestos’ useful traits and careful concealment of the mineral’s health hazards, the asbestos industry had many customers. Steel mills, sheet metal factories, chemical plants, the construction industry, and various government facilities used asbestos in a similar fashion as shipyards and power plants.
They also used ACMs as conduit lagging or in electrical tape due to asbestos’ ability to act as an electrical insulator. In addition, asbestos fibers were used to manufacture workers’ gloves, overalls, and firefighters’ garments, especially gauntlets and jackets. Asbestos exposure occurred as a matter of course for many decades in many Maryland job sites, including the following locations:
- Bethesda Naval Medical Hospital, Bethesda
- Naval Ordnance Laboratory, White Oak
- Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, Cumberland
- Western Maryland Railroad, Cumberland
- Anchor Packing Company (Asbestos Manufacturer), Baltimore
- Porter Hayden Company (Asbestos Manufacturer), Baltimore
Asbestos Laws in Maryland
According to the Maryland Department of the Environment, the way asbestos is handled and removed in strictly regulated. Following the guidelines of the EPA, state laws include the following:
- If you plan to remove, renovate, or repair any home, building, or product that contains asbestos, you must be a licensed asbestos contractor prior to starting. If you aren’t a licensed contractor, you must hire one to perform the job for you. The contractor must also sign a contract with the state and pay the applicable fees associated with asbestos removal.
Asbestos licenses must be renewed annually under the COMAR 26.11.21 law.
In order to qualify for asbestos removal, the contractor must first undergo training at an accredited asbestos training provider.
A respiratory program that outlines the safety guidelines to be used while handling asbestos must be submitted to the state beforehand.
Warning signs, at least 20 x 14 inches, must be placed in prominent areas surrounding the asbestos project.
All records of any asbestos project must be maintained and saved. The state has the right to request these records at anytime. The name and location of the project, along with the name of the supervisor must be included on all projects. Most asbestos project records will stay on file for a minimum of six years.
Along with the EPA guidelines, the state of Maryland also follows the NESHAP regulations along with its own specific state rules. For more state-specific asbestos information, contact the Office of the Secretary of State at 410-974-2486.
Getting Medical Help
The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in East Baltimore can treat patients with malignant mesothelioma and lung cancer at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. Its main center is located on the Johns Hopkins Hospital campus. Most treatment-related activities for adult patients are carried out in the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building at 401 North Broadway, The Kimmel Cancer Center is accredited by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as a Comprehensive Care Center and offers many treatment options.
Keep in mind that it’s important to seek treatment at a qualified medical facility that specializes in asbestos-related diseases. Since these types of illnesses are still considered new in the medical world, you’ll need to find the right facility in order to get the best options to help you.
Maryland Statute of Limitations on Mesothelioma and Asbestos Lawsuits
Code Ann. § 5-101 et seq. of the Maryland Courts and Judicial Process mandates that an asbestos-related lawsuit must be filed within three years of the time of the diagnosis or within three years of the time the disease should have been reasonably discovered. Wrongful death lawsuits must also be filed within three years. However, if the wrongful death was caused by a disease that developed because of the victim’s occupation, a 10-year statute of limitations is set into place. For example, plaintiffs must file within three years from the time the death was discovered or within 10 years from the date of the actual death.
Legal Help in Maryland
If you or a family member have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. Get our free Financial Compensation Packet for information on the top mesothelioma and asbestos lawyers in your area. If you have questions or need assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-793-4540.