Although New Mexico is sparsely populated compared to many other states in the United States, it still has its fair share of energy production, mining, tourism, gas, oil, production, and manufacturing companies. While these businesses provide New Mexico a powerful way to make money, in the past it came at the price of placing workers at risk for serious health issues. Many of the products and materials used at the job sites of New Mexico’s most substantial businesses were made with asbestos.
Each day that employees went to work, they were exposed to the harmful material for prolonged periods of time. Consequently, according to government data published by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), an estimated 168 to 231 persons died from asbestos-related illnesses in New Mexico between 1979 and 2001. Of these, 107 to 170 died from malignant mesothelioma, while 62 died from asbestosis.
If you or a loved one have been victim to 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 New Mexico, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file a claim for the asbestos trust funds, and more.
We are happy to offer assistance to asbestos victims in all areas of New Mexico, including:
Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Roswell, Farmington, South Valley, Clovis, Hobbs, Alamogordo, Carlsbad, Gallup, Los Lunas, Sunland Park, Deming, Las Vegas, Chaparral, Portales, Los Alamos, North Valley, Lovington, Artesia, Silver City, Española, Zuni Pueblo, Anthony, Grants, Socorro, Shiprock, Corrales, Bernalillo, Ruidoso, Bloomfield, Belen, Aztec, Raton, Kirtland, Truth or Consequences, Eldorado at Santa Fe, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, Lee Acres, Meadow Lake, Taos, White Rock, Rio Communities, Placitas Cdp, North Hobbs, Tucumcari, Paradise Hills, Los Chaves, El Cerro Mission, Santa Teresa, Bosque Farms, Edgewood, Vado, Peralta, Holloman AFB, University Park, Milan, Sandia Heights, San Felipe Pueblo, Eunice, La Cienega, El Cerro, Tularosa, Chimayo, Clayton, Santa Rosa, Agua Fria, Dulce, Cannon AFB, Ruidoso Downs, West Hammond, Boles Acres, Lordsburg, Crownpoint, Valencia, Santo Domingo Pueblo, Ranchos de Taos, Doña Ana, Navajo, Bayard, San Ysidro Cdp, Pojoaque, Jal, Nambe, La Mesilla, Las Maravillas, Flora Vista, Jarales, Mesilla, Berino, Waterflow, Moriarty, Jemez Pueblo, Sandia Knolls, Questa, Arroyo Seco, Mescalero, Keeler Farm, and more.
Asbestos Issues in New Mexico
New Mexico’s economy is driven by three major industrial sectors: energy production, government spending, and tourism. Mining is the biggest source of jobs in the state. In addition, there are five coal mines currently operating in New Mexico, as well as many uranium mines. Other minerals and ores extracted within the state’s territory include manganese, beryllium, copper, potash, and molybdenum. Coal is the most important mineral resource extracted by miners. In fact, in 2010, New Mexico was ranked 13th in overall coal production in the nation.
However, the existence of naturally-occurring asbestos deposits in New Mexico poses serious health risks for miners and other workers in the energy-producing industry. The six silicate minerals that form the asbestos family can lie in the same area as more desirable materials. Thus, miners who dig for coal run the risk of inhaling asbestos fibers kicked up into the air by their excavating activities. Any exposure to asbestos is potentially dangerous and may cause serious illnesses such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and malignant mesothelioma.
Oil and Natural Gas
New Mexico is also a major producer of oil and natural gas. According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA), the state was the sixth largest oil producer in the nation in 2010. Oil and natural wells have been used in New Mexico for over a century, and most of the pre-1980 machinery contains insulation components and gaskets made with asbestos materials for fire safety reasons. Unfortunately, the asbestos residue from these parts can be breathed in or swallowed by oil rig or gas pipeline operators. Workers in the petroleum and gas industry have historically been in the high risk groups prone to develop mesothelioma and other illnesses linked to asbestos.
Government facilities at the local, state, and federal levels built before 1980 are also known to have asbestos exposure issues. The U.S. government was one of the largest purchasers of asbestos from such companies as Johns Manville and W.R. Grace. Federal agencies such as the Departments of Defense and Justice constructed military bases, law enforcement agency headquarters, housing, and even schools with insulation, roofing materials, and floor tiles made with asbestos.
After the Environmental Protection Agency determined there was a link between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma in the 1970’s, the government began using other materials as insulation and fire retardants in new facilities. However, many persons, including workers engaged in maintaining or renovating older buildings, were exposed to asbestos. A significant number of these individuals later developed lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma.
New Mexico Job Sites Known to Have Asbestos Exposure
- Reeves Power Plant, Albuquerque
- Municipal Light Plant, Farmington
- San Juan Power Plant, Farmington
- Four Corners Power Plant, Fruitland
- Lovington Power Plant, Fruitland
- City Power Plant, Gallup
- Chino Mines Power Plant, Hurley
- Los Alamos Power Plant, Los Alamos
- Community Power and Light, Roswell
- New Mexico Light, Heat, and Power, Silver City
- Alamogordo Lumber Company, Alamogordo
- Southwest Lumber Company, Alamogordo
- Bates Lumber, Albuquerque
- Apache Lumber, Albuquerque
Schools and Medical Centers
- St. Joseph’s Hospital, Albuquerque
- V.A. Medical Center, Albuquerque
- New Mexico State University, Las Cruces
- Monterrey School, Roswell
- St. Mary’s Hospital, Roswell
- Agua Fria High School, Santa Fe
- Santa Fe General Hospital, Santa Fe
- New Mexico State Teachers College, Silver City
- Alta Vista Middle School, Carlsbad
Refineries and Gas Companies
- Albuquerque Gas and Electric, Albuquerque
- Navajo Refining, Artesia
- El Paso Natural Gas Company, Gallup
- Plateau Refinery, Farmington
- City of Las Cruces Gas Distribution System, Las Cruces
Government Buildings and Military
- Federal Building- GCA, Albuquerque
- Manuel Lujan Building, Santa Fe
- Holloman Air Force Base, Alamogordo
- Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque
- Walker Air Force Base, Roswell
Asbestos Laws in New Mexico
Asbestos regulations in New Mexico are overseen by the New Mexico Department of Environment. New Mexico has its own state regulations regarding asbestos abatement, but follow the federal NESHAP rules and regulations as well.
- For any facility demolitions in New Mexico, notification must be given to the state beforehand. This law applies to demolitions even if no asbestos is present.
- Facilities in New Mexico are defined as public, industrial, and commercial buildings, as well as residential homes, including townhomes and duplexes.
- Renovations require notification only if the total area of renovation is over 35 cubic feet, 160 square feet, or 260 linear feet.
- The area to be renovated or demolished must be thoroughly inspected for asbestos before, during, and after the project.
- A person trained to work around asbestos must be at the site at all times to ensure safety.
- It’s against both state and federal law to attempt to hide asbestos or dispose of it in a way not in accordance with NESHAP laws. In New Mexico, any caught doing these actions will possibly face fees.
- Asbestos must be securely packaged and clearly labeled during transport and disposal.
For more information, contact the New Mexico Department of Environment at 800-224-7009.
New Mexico Medical Help
It’s recommended that people dealing with rare diseases such as mesothelioma get treatment at a facility backed by the NCI, as these facilities typically specialize in asbestos illnesses.
The University of New Mexico (UNM) Cancer Center is a National Cancer Institute-designated facility in Albuquerque that concentrates on a variety of cancers, including mesothelioma, asbestosis, and more. UNM has 83 board-certified, world-class oncologists who are experienced in every type of cancer.
Statute of Limitations for Asbestos Cases in New Mexico
As with other states in the nation, New Mexico has a statute of limitations that must be followed in order to file an asbestos-related lawsuit. Under N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2a:14-1 et seq, plaintiffs must file their case within three years of the diagnosis of the asbestos disease or within three years of when the disease should have been reasonably known. For wrongful death cases, plaintiffs must file within three years from the date of the victim’s death.
Legal Help in New Mexico
Remember, if you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may qualify for significant compensation. Don’t forget to fill out our form to get our free Financial Compensation Packet, filled with information on the leading asbestos and mesothelioma attorneys in your area. If you have questions or need assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-793-4540.