Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma in New Mexico
New Mexico, the Enchantment State, is known for its stunning desert beauty. While beautiful, the state is unfortunately home to its fair share of chemical plants, power plants, railroad construction sites, and other industrial sites tarnished by the legacy of asbestos. While these industries provide New Mexico with economic benefits, it too often came at the expense of the health of New Mexico residents. Though asbestos has been phased out in the United States because of its serious health risks, those who worked at certain jobsites in the state and their family members may be at risk for developing mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer, and other asbestos related diseases.
The experienced attorneys at MesoLawyersCare have successfully recovered monetary compensation for workers and their families who have been injured by jobsite exposure to asbestos in New Mexico and neighboring states. While individuals can be exposed to asbestos in a number of ways, the following list of worksites in New Mexico are examples of places that present elevated risks for exposure to past and present workers.
1. International Minerals & Chemical – Carlsbad, NM
Founded in New York City in 1909, International Minerals and Chemical was a mining and production company operating mines throughout the United States, including mines in Carlsbad. The company specifically focused on phosphate and potash production that was used in fertilizer. The Carlsbad mine is one of the largest underground mines in the United States and mines potash, mined salts that contain potassium in a water-soluble form. In 2009, International Minerals & Chemical tore down the aged above ground facilities of the mine including the refinery, offices and warehouses because they contained asbestos that was used in the building materials and as insulation and sealants in heavy mine equipment and machinery more than 70 years ago. Former workers at the Carlsbad mine were likely exposed to dangerous amounts of asbestos while working which can lead to deadly asbestos related illnesses.
2. Four Corners Generating Station – Fruitland, NM
The Four Corners Power Station in Fruitland was built by the Arizona Public Service Co. in the 1960s and sat on land leased from the Navajo Nation government. The smoke plume produced by the enormous 5 unit coal-fired power plant is famed to have been seen by astronauts in space. The plant, before it closed the three oldest units in 2014, used coal-fired steam turbines to generate 2,040 megawatts of electricity. As with other power plants built during much of the 20th century, the Four Corners facility used asbestos-containing materials for insulation and sealing purposes. Asbestos materials used at the Four Corners site include asbestos insulation, cements, gaskets and packing. Those most at risk for asbestos exposure were insulators, pipefitters, electricians, welders, and others who drilled, cut, or worked directly with asbestos and inhaled the toxic fibers.
3. Los Alamos Labs – Los Alamos, NM
Los Alamos Labs is most famous for its involvement in the World War II “Manhattan Project.” The U.S. Department of Energy lab was built in the 1940s and selected as the top-secret location for bomb design and construction. The lab’s existence was finally announced after the war had ended. Unfortunately, as with other laboratories and factories built prior to the 1980s, the Los Alamos Lab worksite used asbestos throughout their facilities. The various buildings contained asbestos in the roofing material, floor tiles, and window glazing. Ironworkers at the site were exposed to powdered asbestos when mixing it into a wet solution for insulating purposes. Much of the time, work around asbestos was done without masks or respirators to protect workers. Many former workers at Los Alamos Labs have developed mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases due to their exposure to asbestos particles at the lab.
4. Burlington Northern (BNSF) – Clovis, NM
Burlington Northern, or BNSF, was created in 1970, through the consolidation of several railways that date back to the 1850s, making BNSF the largest freight railroad in North America. The company has 44,000 employees and hauls freight over its 32,000 miles of track. In Clovis, BNSF operates a division point and freight classification yard where cars are moved around to be put on trains heading to their proper destination. Throughout the 1900s, asbestos was used to insulate train components such as boilers, engines, pipe coverings, and the underbelly of the train. It was also used in brake pads and brake linings, and clutches. As asbestos aged, it became flaky. When BNSF workers at the Clovis yard moved, repaired or disturbed that asbestos in anyway, it became airborne allowing the toxic fibers to be inhaled by unsuspecting workers. BNSF put the health of their employees at risk by failing to warn their employees of the dangers of asbestos.
5. Reeves Generating Station – Albuquerque, NM
The Reeves Generating Station, is a natural gas-fired plant in Albuquerque, owned and operated by the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM). This plant went online in 1958 and has the capacity to produce enough electricity to power 123,000 homes.
As with many power plants built in the 1900s, building materials for the facility and equipment like boilers, generators, and piping were often insulated with or had parts containing asbestos. Workers at these plants were exposed to dangerous amounts of asbestos, and often, they carried the toxic dust home on their clothing exposing their family members to the harms of asbestos as well. Because it can take many decades before symptoms appear, new claims are still being filed based on exposure at power plants throughout New Mexico.
The skilled attorneys from MesoLawyersCare have successfully represented workers exposed to asbestos throughout New Mexico and the entire United States. Our attorneys have recovered more than $10 billion dollars for people diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos related illnesses. For more information or a free consultation, fill out the website form, type into our live chat tool on this page, or call us today.
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