Tennessee is a state known for its contributions to American musical culture, a strong agricultural industry, and is one of the nation’s largest producers of electrical power. However, its prominence in the power generating, construction, and chemical industries are linked to an array of asbestos-related deaths.
If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may qualify for substantial compensation. Fill out our form to get a free Financial Compensation Packet. You’ll learn about the top mesothelioma lawyers in Tennessee, 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 and their families in all areas of Tennessee, including:
Memphis, Nashville-Davidson, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Clarksville, Murfreesboro, Franklin, Jackson, Johnson City, Bartlett, Hendersonville, Kingsport, Collierville, Smyrna, Cleveland, Brentwood, Germantown, Columbia, La Vergne, Spring Hill, Gallatin, Cookeville, Oak Ridge, Morristown, Lebanon, Mount Juliet, Maryville, Bristol, Farragut, East Ridge, Shelbyville, Tullahoma, Dyersburg, Goodlettsville, Springfield, Sevierville, Greeneville, Dickson, Elizabethton, McMinnville, Athens, Middle Valley, Soddy-Daisy, Lakeland, Portland, Red Bank, Arlington, Martin, Lewisburg, Crossville, Millington, Seymour, White House, Union City, Lawrenceburg, Manchester, Bloomingdale, Paris, Brownsville, Clinton, Collegedale, Covington, Lenoir City, Atoka, Alcoa, Winchester, Signal Mountain, Humboldt, Ripley, Jefferson City, Fairview, Lexington, Harrison and Hartsville/Trousdale County, Milan, Pulaski, Dayton, La Follette, Fairfield, Glade, Fayetteville, Oakland, Savannah, Newport, Church Hill, Greenbrier, Millersville, Henderson, Green Hill, Lynchburg, Moore County, Harriman, Nolensville, Erwin, Pigeon Forge, Munford, South Cleveland, Tellico Village, Sweetwater, Kingston, Loudon, McKenzie, Mount Carmel, and more.
Tennessee’s Asbestos Problem
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), Tennessee was ranked 17th in the U.S. in asbestos-related deaths. Data published by EWG in 2004 shows that between 1979 and 2000, between 671 to 1,010 Tennesseans died as a result of being exposed to asbestos. Of these, 229 died from asbestosis; between 447 to 678 persons died from mesothelioma.
Most cases of asbestos exposure in Tennessee occurred in various industrial work sites. For the better part of the 20th Century, asbestos was used as insulation, fire retardant, and anti-corrosion protection in factories, power plants, public buildings, and even private residences. Even though asbestos’ beneficial traits reduced the danger from fire and heat wherever they were used, the fibrous minerals did more harm than good. Many workers developed lung cancer, asbestosis, and malignant mesothelioma as a result of prolonged exposure to asbestos or materials that contained asbestos.
Tennessee became a major provider of electricity in the 1930s and 1940s when the federal government created the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Starting in 1933, the TVA helped set up a variety of industries which ranged from power generating to flood control, navigation, and even the manufacture of fertilizer. The TVA’s mission was to modernize Tennessee and areas of several neighboring states during the recovery from the Great Depression. The TVA succeeded in its goals and is still the largest regional planning agency in the U.S.
Unfortunately, the first 40 years of the TVA’s existence coincided with the peak era of asbestos use in the U.S. Many TVA facilities, including hydroelectric facilities such as the Chickamauga Dam near Chattanooga and the Boone Dam on the South Fork Holston River were built with large amounts of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).
The TVA also built coal and oil-powered power plants, including the Bull Run Fossil Plant near Oak Ridge and the Kingston Fossil Plant. The Kingston power plant was built in the early 1950s to provide electricity for the nuclear reactors in nearby Oak Ridge. Though these power plants provide electricity to a wide swath of Tennessee and parts of neighboring states, many of the workers there were exposed to asbestos between the 1930s and the early 1980s.
Paper manufacturing is another key industry for Tennessee’s economy. Similar to the states of Wisconsin and Maine, pulp and paper mills provide thousands of jobs for Tennessee residents. Paper mills built after the 1980s aren’t associated with asbestos in Tennessee, but almost all of the older ones, at some point, used the dangerous mineral. Consequently, many former employees who worked at paper manufacturing sites such as the Tennessee River Pulp & Paper Company in Counce, and the Mead Paperboard Corporation’s plant in Harriman, are at high risk of developing asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
Other industries which depended on asbestos for safety reasons included metal processing, construction, and chemical manufacturing. Until the late 1970s, many builders used ACMs when building schools, courthouses, government offices, military bases, and residential homes and apartment buildings. ACMs were used in flooring material, roof shingles, and insulation. Normally, asbestos in these settings are not dangerous if they are left undisturbed. However, fibers of the toxic minerals can be stirred into the environment during maintenance work or renovations.
Other Tennessee Job Sites with Known Association with Asbestos Use
- Bowater Paper Mill, Calhoun
- Virginia Iron, Coal and Coke Company, Bristol
- Chickasaw Ordnance Works, Millington
- E.I. DuPont De Nemours Chemical Plant, Old Hickory
- Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC), Coffee County
- Calhoun Paper Mill, Calhoun
- Dixie Foundry Company, Cleveland
- Douglas Dam, Sevier County
- Gallatin Power Plant (coal fired), Gallatin
- Mueller Company Plant, Chattanooga
- Combustion Engineering, Chattanooga
- American Smelting and Refining Company, Knox County
- Allied Chemical Plant, Chattanooga
- Lookout Boiler Company, Chattanooga
- Tennessee Valley Power Plant, Memphis
- Louisville and Nashville Railroad, Nashville
- Crump Lime and Cement, Memphis
- Memphis City School District, Memphis
- Atomic Energy Commission Plant, Oak Ridge
- Union Carbide Chemical Plant, Oak Ridge
- Memphis Street Lighting Department, Memphis
- Chicago Bridge and Iron Manufacturing Plant, Memphis
Tennessee Asbestos Laws
The state of Tennessee follows NESHAP federal regulations regarding the demolition or removal of asbestos material from public property. However, there are also mandated state laws in place to help protect residents and encourage safety throughout the state. The following are among a few of the guidelines set forth by the state of Tennessee in regards to asbestos abatement:
- Tennessee requires that contractors and inspectors to go through state-approved training in order to operate within the state. The state has comprehensive rules regarding certification regarding asbestos removal via their hazardous waste management courses. Homeowners are exempt from certification for asbestos removal.
- Prior to removal of asbestos material, the contractor must give written notice, which must be accepted at least 10 days before the work begins. Keep in mind, however, that this rule only applies when the asbestos abatement project exceeds 260 feet of linear feet on pipes, 160 square feet of asbestos-affected property, or 35 feet or more of property land.
- The state also requires that the contractor and property owner maintain a “Waste Shipment Record” that the state files to keep track of hazardous material.
For further information and resources, contact the Tennessee Air Pollution Control at 615-532-0554.
Getting Medical Help in Tennessee
The Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) in Nashville is the state’s leading cancer-treatment facility. Affiliated with Vanderbilt University, VICC is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer in Tennessee.
For 20 years, VICC has been providing cancer treatment to patients with asbestos-related cancers, including lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma. In addition to offering various types of oncology treatments, VICC is also involved in advanced cancer research to develop more effective cancer fighting techniques. Along with 21 other leading cancer institutions, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center is part of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.
Statute of Limitations for Asbestos Cases in Tennessee
Tennessee follows a strict statute of limitations when filing an asbestos-related lawsuit. Although many states allow from three to six years to file an asbestos-related suit, in Tennessee, a plaintiff must file within one year of the initial diagnosis or within one year in which the disease should have reasonably found out. For wrongful death cases, the lawsuit must be filed within a year of the victim’s death.
Getting Legal Help in Tennessee
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 need additional assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-793-4540.