South Carolina has a long history of asbestos exposure due to industries that used the mineral heavily before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placed regulations against it. From mining, textiles, construction, and more, arrays of job sites exposed workers to asbestos for prolonged periods. Mining continues to put residents at risk even today, along with shipyards along the state’s coastline. In addition, naturally-occurring asbestos continues to be a problem.
As a result, South Carolina is #22 in the nation for the most asbestos-related deaths.
If you or a loved one suffer from mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may qualify for substantial compensation. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in South Carolina, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more.
Keep in mind that we offer assistance to residents in all cities and towns in South Carolina, including:
Columbia, Charleston, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Rock Hill, Greenville, Summerville, Sumter, Goose Creek, Hilton Head Island, Florence, Spartanburg, Aiken, Myrtle Beach, Greer, Anderson, Mauldin, Taylors, Greenwood, St. Andrews, North Augusta, Socastee, Easley, Simpsonville, Hanahan, Lexington, Wade, Hampton, Conway, Seven Oaks, West Columbia, Ladson, Five Forks, North Myrtle Beach, Red Hill, Gantt, Clemson, Dentsville, Berea, Orangeburg, Bluffton, Beaufort, Cayce, Gaffney, Fort Mill, Irmo, Port Royal, Parker, James Island, Forest Acres, Newberry, Oak Grove, Woodfield, Little River, Garden City, Laurens, Moncks Corner, Georgetown, Lancaster Lake, Wylie, Sangaree, Bennettsville, Boiling Springs, Clinton, Tega Cay, Red Bank, Seneca, Union, Powdersville, Murrells, Inlet, Fountain Inn, York, Hartsville, Sans Souci, Burton, Lugoff, Camden, Marion, Homeland Park, Lake City, Dillon, Centerville, Welcome, Darlington, Laurel Bay, Cheraw, Valley Falls, Belvedere, Chester, Clearwater, Batesburg-Leesville, Clover, Walterboro, Lake Murray of Richland, Central, Abbeville, Piedmont, Travelers Rest, Hollywood, Edgefield, Barnwell, and more.
Occupations Associated with Asbestos in South Carolina
One of the primary industries in South Carolina has always been vermiculite processing. Although vermiculite was typically never associated with the dangers of asbestos, researchers and scientists have now confirmed that it indeed runs the risk of exposing people to the harmful fibers of asbestos.
Along with naturally-occurring asbestos that was mined and processed frequently, plants in South Carolina received shipments from W.R. Grace, a large global chemical and materials company that’s been sued numerous times for exposing workers to asbestos.
The textile industry in South Carolina was also known for its high use of asbestos. Raybestos Manhattan, located in the North Charleston area, put workers at risk for years. Even though the company was warned of the dangers of asbestos in the 1970s, it continued to use hazardous minerals for years.
In fact, asbestos use was so high that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) was sent to the facility to test the amount of asbestos in the air. High concentrations of asbestos were found throughout the premises, especially in the yard spinning stations.
Raybestos Manhattan was only one of the textile companies that put workers at risk. A test was conducted on previous textile workers in South Carolina to determine the rate of asbestos-related diseases that had developed. At least 18% of the textile workers who were exposed to asbestos have developed an asbestos-related illness.
Job Sites Known for Use of Asbestos in South Carolina
- Monsanto Chemical Plant, Anderson
- Stauffer Chemical Plant, Anderson
- Celanese Chemical Plant, Spartanburg
Vermiculite Processing Plants
- Palmetto Vermiculite, Woodruff
- Zonolite (W.R. Grace), Enoree
- Patterson Vermiculite Company, Enoree
- Carolina Vermiculite Mining Division, Enoree
- West Virginia Pulp & Paper Mill, Charleston
- International Paper Mill, Georgetown
- Raybestos-Manhattan, Charleston
- Spartan Mill, Spartanburg
- Fiber Industries Textile Plant, Greenville
Schools, Shipyards, and Military
- University of South Carolina, Columbia
- U.S. Navy Mine School, Charleston
- Goose Creek Naval Shipyard, Charleston
- Detyens Shipyard, Charleston
- Fort Jackson, Columbia
- U.S. Naval Receiving Station, Charleston
Power, Gas, and Steam Companies
- South Carolina Power & Light, Charleston
- South Carolina Electric & Gas, Columbia
- Georgetown Powerhouse, Georgetown
The Savannah River Site (SRS)
From 1950 until the mid-1980s, the Dupont Corporation, a company known for its high use of asbestos, ran a nuclear materials site, known as SRS. The company regularly polluted the air and exposed workers to asbestos. Due to the extreme conditions, NIOSH performed a study on 18,883 former employees and contractors who worked at the job site. The results revealed that the majority of workers were at high risk or had already developed an asbestos-related disease, specifically pleural mesothelioma.
More male workers have died from pleural mesothelioma than the expected average person in the general population. Other workers also developed and died from leukemia. In addition to asbestos, workers also faced high amounts of ionizing radiation, which led to a high amount of leukemia victims.
SRS is still in operation today. However, it’s now run by the Department of Energy and used primarily as an environmental management site. Since removing asbestos from the site, the rate of asbestos-related diseases has decreased.
If you currently work around radioactive products, contact your physician as well as your local health and safety representative, as working around these materials have proven to be just as hazardous as working around asbestos.
Asbestos Laws in South Carolina
Per the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), there are strictly-enforced asbestos laws that must be adhered to at all times in South Carolina.
Anyone who wants to remove, repair, or tear down a home, building, or facility and/or home, building, and facility parts that contain asbestos must comply with all asbestos renovation, removal, and demolition laws set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health and Administration (OSHA).
- Write the South Carolina Air Quality Bureau to get permission for asbestos disposal.
Keep the materials wet at all times until you can dispose of them properly at a landfill that accepts asbestos.
Burning asbestos-containing materials is strictly forbidden.
Never throw or drop asbestos-containing materials on the ground. Instead, keep them sealed until you can properly dispose of them.
If debris lands on the ground, it should be collected immediately and sealed for proper disposal.
A building and/or facility must be thoroughly inspected by a qualified Asbestos Building Inspector before any renovations, removals, or demolitions.
Before removing asbestos from buildings and/or facilities, you must write the DHEC at least 10 days in advance. Include the amount of asbestos being removed, the owner and contractor’s names, the details of the project, and any required fees. Keep in mind that you must obtain a permit from DHEC as well.
For more information regarding asbestos-related laws in South Carolina, contact the DHEC Asbestos Section at 803-896-7665.
Statute of Limitations for Asbestos Lawsuits in South Carolina
Along with a strict statute of limitations, South Carolina also has some of the strictest laws in the nation when it comes to asbestos-related lawsuits. Plaintiffs filing an asbestos lawsuit must be able to prove their medical condition with specific, high-level amounts of medical documentation as well as in-depth documentation concerning how, where, and why the asbestos exposure occurred.
Lawsuits must be filed within three years from the time of an official diagnosis. For those filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you must file within three years of the date of the victim’s death.
Getting Medical Help in South Carolina
Treatment for any other type of asbestos-related disease is extremely important. However, not all physicians and clinics understand the complexities that come along with these types of diseases, as they are still considered new in the medical world. Seek out assistance from physicians and clinics that are backed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and specifically specialize in cancer and asbestos-related diseases.
The Hollings Cancer Center is an NCI-designated hospital that treats all forms of cancer, with special focus on mesothelioma and asbestosis. It’s conveniently located at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and has some of the nation’s best researchers, physicians, and cancer investigators. For more information, call the center directly at 843-792-0700.
South Carolina Legal Help and Additional Information
If you’ve been injured by asbestos, there is a good chance that you’ll qualify for considerable compensation. Remember to fill out our form to get your free Financial Compensation Packet, with information on asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers in your area. If you have questions or need additional assistance, contact us at 800-793-4540.