For many industrial workers in Ohio, exposure to asbestos occurred on a daily basis for decades, both before and, unfortunately, even after the hazards of the substance were known. Today, an alarming number of individuals continue to pay the price for this when they develop mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that results from asbestos exposure. While Ohio is a state with many asbestos-related deaths, its residents are sadly not alone in their plight.
The state of Ohio does have an unfortunately high number of deaths resulting from exposure to asbestos. Sadly, it is a problem that stretches across the country. In another state, a woman recently filed a lawsuit after her husband's death from lung cancer related to asbestos exposure. In the complaint, the woman names a total of 136 companies she claims are responsible.
While Ohio has a significant amount of legal cases involving asbestos due in part to a heavy history of manufacturing within the state, they are by no means alone in this issue. A family in another state is fighting an ongoing court battle after a man died of mesothelioma, a type of cancer that the family complains he contracted after asbestos exposure. This particular case is even more complex than some, however, because the area where the man worked during the alleged exposure is different from the state in which he resided at the time.
Ohio has traditionally been one of the largest manufacturers of plastics, metal products, appliances and rubber in the country. Historically, the manufacturing processes for these materials tended to involve the use of asbestos for insulation, which in turn resulted in a disproportionately high incidence of mesothelioma and cancer deaths linked to asbestos exposure. Ohio is by no means alone regarding incidents of asbestos-related illness, however.
Findings from an analysis by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control could prove worrying for residents of Ohio and others across the nation. The CDC found that each year thousands of people are still dying from mesothelioma, a type of cancer associated with asbestos inhalation. This despite the fact that the material has been under regulation for decades to try to curb the fatalities associated with exposure to the dangerous material.
Companies in Ohio and across the nation should be reasonably responsible for the safety of their employees. Sometimes, of course, a worker is injured or becomes ill due to a simple oversight or laxity on the part of an employer, and while this is still unacceptable, it is far less upsetting than cases of blatant disregard for employee well-being. A recent case of asbestos litigation in another state demonstrated just such an instance of disregard after a company letter surfaced that demonstrated both knowledge and indifference in regard to the link between asbestos exposure and the resultant increased risk of cancer to employees.
In the U.S., Ohio leads in the production of rubber, plastics and metal products. While this industry has many benefits, there are also risks. Because these products are manufactured using insulation and fireproofing, many people have been exposed to asbestos across the state.
Asbestos has been an ongoing problem in Ohio and across the United States, with symptoms showing up years or even decades after the original time of exposure. A recent piece of asbestos litigation in another state, however, may help expound upon another ongoing legal question: does a company's responsibility to protect against hazardous material exposure stop with the employee or extend to cover other members of the employee's household? This question has applied specifically in the past to work environments rife with asbestos.
Anyone in Ohio who suffers with mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis -- or knows someone who has -- understands the physical and emotional pain that accompanies the diagnosis. It is safe to say that the exact number of asbestos-related deaths is not known. This is because public health administrators do not always attribute a disease to asbestos exposure. For example, despite the fact that many cases of lung cancer are related to asbestos contamination, that fact is seldom included in a victim's cause of death statement.
Asbestos is a slow killer, affecting victims decades after exposure. Asbestos causes 107,000 deaths and more than 1,523,000 disabilities each year around the world. The chemical poses a serious threat to many unsuspecting Americans. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finally gotten a step ahead in its fight to ban the chemical.