North Carolina, although a beautiful state with lush trees and mountains, is also home to multiple sources of dangerous exposure to asbestos. Its western region, in particular, has various sites where naturally-occurring asbestos deposits lie. In addition, there are also several vermiculite processing facilities, power plants, steel mills, and other facilities that built with asbestos-containing materials before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) limited its use. Unfortunately, thousands of workers in North Carolina had already been exposed to asbestos and its dangerous fibers.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in North Carolina, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more.
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Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, Cary, Wilmington, High Point, Greenville, Asheville, Concord, Gastonia, Jacksonville, Chapel Hill, Rocky Mount, Burlington, Huntersville, Wilson, Kannapolis, Apex, Hickory, Goldsboro, Indian Trail, Mooresville, Wake Forest, Monroe, Salisbury, New Bern, Sanford, Matthews, Holly Springs, Thomasville, Cornelius, Garner, Asheboro, Statesville, Mint Hill, Kernersville, Morrisville, Lumberton, Kinston, Fuquay-Varina, Havelock, Carrboro, Shelby, Clemmons, Lexington, Elizabeth, Boone, Lenoir, Clayton, Morganton, Hope Mills, Leland, Albemarle, Laurinburg, Roanoke Rapids, Eden, Henderson, Pinehurst, Stallings, Graham, Murraysville, Reidsville, Mount Holly, Harrisburg, Piney Green, Hendersonville, Knightdale, Lewisville, Newton, Spring Lake, Southern Pine,s Mebane, Davidson, Smithfield, Archdale, Tarboro, Waxhaw, Lincolnton, Kings Mountain, Summerfield, Mount Airy, Belmont, Weddington, Washington, Dunn, Waynesville, Winterville, Elon, Rockingham, Morehead City, Clinton Half Moon, Oxford St., Stephens, Myrtle Grove, Kings Grant, Roxboro, and more.
Asbestos Issues in North Carolina
Asbestos is a group of six silicate minerals that resist heat and add tensile strength to other materials. These minerals occur naturally and are found around the world. In some instances, asbestos deposits exist in the same area that other minerals or metals lie. Thus, miners digging for gold, silver, or vermiculite can also find asbestos deposits in the same soil or rock.
Although undisturbed asbestos is not a health hazard, the fibrous nature of the materials can be deadly if they are stirred up by human activity. The fine nature of asbestos finder makes it easy for humans to inhale or even swallow airborne fibers. If a person is exposed to asbestos for long periods of time, or if enough asbestos fibers are introduced into the body in a briefer span of time, the exposure can trigger malignant lung cancer, asbestosis, or mesothelioma.
Per U.S. government statistics published by the Environmental Working Group, North Carolina ranks 13th in the nation in asbestos-related deaths. From 1979 to 2001, there were between 1,027 to 1,410 deaths caused by exposure to asbestos in North Carolina. Of these, 503 were attributed to asbestosis; between 534 to 917 deaths were linked to mesothelioma.
There are several naturally-occurring asbestos deposits in the western section of North Carolina. They are found primarily in eight counties in the Appalachian Mountains and outlying foothills, and most of them are either in asbestos mines or lie adjacent to non-asbestos mines. Jackson County has the most naturally-occurring asbestos sites. There are at least 21 asbestos deposits or mines there. The other seven counties with large asbestos deposits are:
- Ashe County
- Avery County
- Caldwell County
- Macon County
- Mitchell County
- Transylvania County
- Yancey County
North Carolina Job Sites With Known Asbestos Exposure Issues
Until the mid-1970s, asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) were used by many industries as insulation, fire retardants, and heat resisting materials. Facilities where fire and/or high temperatures were part of the operational process were built with huge quantities of ACMs.
Asbestos was usually added to cement or concrete to add durability and resistance to heat, electrical discharges, and even chemical reactions. Thus, steel mills, foundries, factories, lumber mills, automobile repair shops, shipyards, railroad depots, and power generation plants built from 1930 to 1978 contain large amounts of asbestos.
North Carolina has a diverse economy based on a mix of industries. Like many states in the U.S., it has a large agricultural sector, but North Carolina is home to heavy manufacturing, aviation and aerospace businesses, defense jobs, automotive, and pharmaceuticals. Though many of these industries have new facilities built without the use of ACMs, the state is dotted with job sites which were built between the 1930s and mid-1970s.
Many of these job sites contained asbestos to protect property, equipment and workers from fire or electrical discharges. Asbestos was used to insulate wiring, steam pipes, and even interior walls. ACMs were also used in roofing shingles or flooring materials. In most cases, asbestos is not dangerous if it is undisturbed. However, many workers were exposed to the fibers when they did routine maintenance or major renovations and inadvertently stirred up the asbestos.
The following is a sampling of North Carolina job sites and public buildings where asbestos exposure took place:
- Allied Chemical plant in Wilmington
- Weyerhaeuser Company facility in New Bern
- Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company factory in Durham
- Carolina Power & Light generating plant in Georgetown
- John Umstead Hospital in Butner
- Babcock & Wilson boiler factory in Wilmington
- Gibson Manufacturing Company facilities in Concord
- Owens Corning Fiberglass factory in Charlotte
- Appalachian State University student dormitories in Boone
- Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Hickory
- Hickory Plumbing in Hickory
- Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro
- Pope Air Force Base in Manchester
- Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in Onslow County
- Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point
- Ft. Bragg Army installation in Fayetteville
Asbestos Shipments to North Carolina
According to the Environmental Working Group, 208 cities throughout the U.S. received shipments of asbestos mixed in with vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and elsewhere before 1979. In all, 5.8 million tons of asbestos were transported to American communities, exposing many individuals to the dangerous minerals.
The North Carolina community of High Point received 150 shipments that totalled 10,108 tons of asbestos. The asbestos was embedded in vermiculite shipped to a processing plant in High Point owned by the Carolina Vermiculite Company and then later by W.R. Grace.
Asbestos Laws in North Carolina
North Carolina, as with most other states in the nation, has state-specific as well as federal laws in regards to asbestos abatement. Because the a dangers of airborne asbestos fibers, these laws are strictly enforced. Examples of some of the laws are as follows:
- There are three county ordinances for asbestos-related issues, including Forsyth, Buncombe, and Mecklenburg counties.
- 40 CFR Part 763; NC Gen. Stat. §130A-444 through §130A-451 of the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), any school that built using asbestos-containing materials must, at all time, have regular maintenance and inspections. In addition, an emergency plan must always be in place in the event that asbestos fibers become airborne.
- 10 N.C.A.C. 10G .0505 mandates that asbestos can only disposed of in the approved North Carolina landfills.
- 49 CFR 173.1090 mandates that the North Carolina Department of Transportation is responsible for the enforcement of the transportation of asbestos to landfills.
- A permit must be granted from the state before any asbestos abatement project. Applicable fees must also be paid beforehand, under the North Carolina General Statute tj 130A-450 n.
For more detailed information and additional asbestos-related regulations in North Carolina, contact the NC Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health at 919-707-5950.
Statute of Limitations for Asbestos Lawsuits in North Carolina
The deadline to file a lawsuit for asbestos-related cases differ according to state. In North Carolina, these types of cases are treated as personal injury cases and therefore follow the personal injury statute of limitations. The personal injury statute of limitations in North Carolina are three years within the time the injury was discovered and diagnosed. Wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within two years from the date of the victim’s death.
Legal Assistance in North Carolina
If you or a loved one have been victim to mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, it’s important to understand your legal rights and what compensation you may be entitled to. Remember to fill out our from to get your free Financial Compensation Packet, with information on top asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers in your area. For questions and assistance, feel free to contact us at 800-793-4540.