South Carolina was one of the few states within the U.S. to mine asbestos. Asbestos deposits can be found in the Foothills of South Carolina along the eastern slope of the Appalachian Mountains and in the south along the Georgia border line.
While the asbestos deposits found in South Carolina produce white asbestos, which is the safest form of asbestos, thousands of individuals have and will continue to die from disease after inhaling the toxic fibers.
South Carolina Asbestos Exposure
South Carolina is home to several asbestos industries including:
- Shipping industry: asbestos was widely used in the shipbuilding industry as it is composed of heat and friction resistant fibers
- Power plants: asbestos was used in insulation materials for boilers and other machines
- Building industry: asbestos can be found in many building products such as flooring and roofing, decorative painting products, stucco, tile, etc.
Cities with Asbestos Problems in South Carolina
People who worked and lived in the cities and towns below may have been exposed to higher levels of asbestos:
- College Spur
Natural Deposits of Asbestos in South Carolina
The mountains in this state contain many vast deposits of serpentine, which is the source of white asbestos. There were many mining operations for asbestos here years ago. The dangerous deposits are located in the northwestern part of the state near the Georgia border.
Other deposits are found in the Appalachian Mountains and in the Piedmont.
Energy Industry and Asbestos in South Carolina
People who worked in power plants often suffered from higher rates of asbestos diseases, according to the Center for Health Statistics. That organization found that three percent of all work related deaths in powerplants were due to asbestos diseases. In particular, crocidolite asbestos was used in power plants because it is such an excellent electrical insulator.
Also, gaskets that were used to seal valves, pumps and pipe fittings and machinery insulation often contained asbestos. To fit these gaskets into place, the workers had to trim, cut and file the material, and this created clouds of asbestos dust.
Shipyards and Asbestos in South Carolina
Shipboard fires burn fast and hot and can start without warning, and therefore, asbestos was always used in the building of many ships in the 20th century. The insulation was usually added to the ship as a type of slurry, which would get hard after it was sprayed on. However, during application, workers often inhaled the deadly fibers and these fibers could be in very high concentrations in the air below decks.
Thousands of workers in shipyards in South Carolina may have been exposed to asbestos containing materials in these facilities:
- Carolina Shipping Company
- Charleston Naval Shipyard
- Detyen’s Shipyards
Hundreds of Deaths Attributed to Asbestos Exposure
Records show that 634 deaths in South Carolina, between 1980 and 2000 (when the FDA began regulating the use of asbestos) are directly related to asbestos exposure. Since then, hundreds more people have suffered and died from asbestos cancer diseases including mesothelioma cancer, lung cancer and other asbestos cancers.
Mesothelioma Statistics in South Carolina
From 1980 until 2000, 635 residents of South Carolina died from asbestos related diseases. Mesothelioma victims were about 50% of those deaths; most of them lived and around Charleston.
Get Legal Help from South Carolina Asbestos Attorneys
If you have been exposed to asbestos in your home, work or in a commercial building, it is important to speak with a South Carolina asbestos attorney who understands the laws of your state and will help you understand your legal rights. Contact mesothelioma centers today to schedule a private consultation.