The state of New Mexico has both natural asbestos deposits and many worksites that have provided asbestos exposure to their employees. The natural asbestos sites include:
- Chrysotile deposits near Lordsburg and Deming
- Chrysotile deposit near Las Cruces
- Amphibole site near Ruidoso
- Chrysotile deposit about 30 miles northwest of Ruidoso
Long Latency of Asbestos Diseases
People who work or live near these deposits should be aware of the risk of inhaling asbestos fibers. Asbestos diseases have a long latency; that is, the symptoms of the diseases may not show up until years or even decades after the asbestos exposure.
Cities with Asbestos Exposure Problems in New Mexico
If you lived or worked in the communities below, you may have been exposed to higher than normal levels of asbestos:
Asbestos Cancers Symptoms in New Mexico
Symptoms of asbestos cancer diseases — including mesothelioma cancer, lung cancer and asbestosis — include difficulty breathing, coughing and wheezing, chest and/or abdominal pain, and ascites (internal fluid build-up). New Mexico residents who are experiencing any of these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately. It is also in their best interest to consult an asbestos plaintiffs’ attorney in New Mexico to discuss their legal options.
Industries and Jobsites Exposed to Asbestos
In addition to the asbestos naturally present in New Mexico, there are several industries and jobsites that may have provided dangerous asbestos exposure to workers and their families, including:
- The Four Corners Power Plant
- The San Juan Powerhouse
- Burlington Northern Railroad
- The Northeastern New Mexico Regional Landfill
- Oil refineries
Several of these companies have already been named as defendants in asbestos lawsuits brought by individuals harmed there by toxic asbestos.
Powerplants and Asbestos in New Mexico
The Four Corners Power Plant and the San Juan Powerhouse are two of the largest power plants in this state. Many workers over the years were exposed to high levels of asbestos at both places. In 2003, the Public Service Company of New Mexico, which is the operator of most electrical utilities in NM, was named as the defendant in 20 asbestos lawsuits.
It is very common for powerplant workers around the world to be exposed to asbestos; according to a 2003 study in Puerto Rico, 13% of all employees at powerplants that were surveyed may have had early symptoms of asbestos related diseases. This study has been confirmed by the Center for Health Statistics, which showed that three percent of power plant workers who die from work related conditions died from mesothelioma.
Albuquerque and Asbestos Exposure
This is the largest city in the state and is the home of much of the state’s economy. Some of the industries that make this their home include energy producers, manufacturing and industrial companies. All of them have historically used asbestos containing materials. In fact, records indicate that at least 57,000 tons of asbestos tainted ore was brought to to Albuquerque from Libby MT.
One of the major employers in this city that has used a lot of asbestos is Kirtland Air Force Base. Some of the materials at this base that may have contained asbestos include sealants, paint, plumbing and piping.
Some of the other major employers in this city that have had asbestos exposure problems include Albuquerque and Cerrillos Coal Company, University of New Mexico, H.M. Public Service Power, Columbia Asbestos Company, Owens Corning Fiberglass, Reeves Power Plant, Bates Lumber Company, Albuquerque Gas & Electric and Kent Nowlin Construction Company.
Asbestos Litigation in New Mexico
As mentioned above, in 2003, PNM Resources was listed as a defendant in 20 asbestos lawsuits. Also, a woman in New Mexico sued 48 companies in a 2011 asbestos cancer case. She claimed that these companies were responsible for the death of her husband, who had lung cancer.
Because of the legal changes here, mesothelioma patients can now sue several defendants at once.
Mesothelioma Statistics in New Mexico
From 1999 until 2013, it is reported that there were 197 mesothelioma deaths and 27 asbestosis deaths, for a total of 224 total deaths.
Learn More about Asbestos in New Mexico
If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease — or if your family member was diagnosed or died from an asbestos disease — contact mesothelioma centers today to speak with New Mexico asbestos attorneys to learn more about pursuing your legal claim.