Home to one of the largest asbestos mines in the U.S., Vermont is known as one of the first states to commercially mine asbestos. The Eden-Belvedere mine supplied most of the other states with asbestos; however, in the process, harmed many of its own residents and workers who unknowingly breathed in high levels of the toxic mineral every day.
The state of Vermont actually was the second in the US to have asbestos mining, and it is ranked #40 in the number of deaths.
Asbestos Exposure in Vermont
In addition to the asbestos mining and processing plants, individuals living and working in Vermont were exposed to asbestos through other avenues such as the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. Asbestos was heavily used in the power plant and resulted in the death of numerous employees who worked with large amounts of the toxin.
Asbestos was not only used in plant products, but was also woven into the workers protective clothing, to protect them from the intense heat. The fibers would find their way onto the worker’s everyday clothing and shoes and would hitch a ride, infecting their families, friends and neighbors.
A study that was done by doctors in Puerto Rico found that many power plant and electrical power plants can be very hazardous as far as people being exposed to asbestos. One of these plants that had dangerous levels of asbestos containing materials was Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, which is now owned by Energy Nuclear.
Mesothelioma Statistics in Vermont
From 1980 until the late 1990s, there were 75 deaths in the state that were related to asbestos. This included some deaths due to asbestosis and some due to mesothelioma. While this does not sound like a high number of victims, remember that the state has only 625,000 residents.
Areas Most at Risk in Vermont for Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos mining companies that operated in the Belvidere Mountain area near the small towns of Lowell and Eden. People who worked in the New England Asbestos Mining and Milling Company and Vermont Production Corp. may have had a high level of exposure to asbestos through any mining, processing or transporting of these materials. Even though the asbestos mines were the first to open in the entire country, they did not close until 1993. This made them the last to close, so it is possible that workers and resident were exposed as little as 23 years ago.
Thus, it is possible that some of these workers and resident may only now start to see the effects of being exposed to asbestos fibers decades ago. Even right now, there are large volumes of asbestos-containing rock around these old mine sites. It is thought that 30 million tons of dangerous ore were processed there over time.
Also note that WR Grace shipped a ton of vermiculite asbestos from Libby MT to a small processing plant in Morrisville VT. These plants would exfoliate the asbestos to produce several types of insulation. When this type of activity was performed on the material, it created a high risk of asbestos exposure to hundreds of workers. It is possible that even people who lived in the areas around the mines may have been exposed too.
Further, if you worked at Vermont Yankee Power Plant in Vernon VT years ago, you could have been exposed as well. This plant often had asbestos containing materials that were used as insulation for generators, pipes, electrical systems and boilers. Repairmen who worked on this equipment obviously had chances of being exposed. This facility also has a regular history of exposing workers needlessly to dangerous substances.
Asbestos Exposure Can Be Fatal
Asbestos fibers that are broken down or disturbed are extremely toxic. They are microscopic fibers that float freely in the air and can be easily inhaled through the nose and mouth. Once inhaled, the durable fibers don’t break down, but instead embed themselves into the lining of the lungs, stomach or heart.
After a while, the fibers lead to the development of mesothelioma cancer, lung cancer and other forms of asbestos cancers.
Contact a Vermont Asbestos Attorney for Help
If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos cancer disease, contact our experienced Vermont asbestos attorneys today to learn about your legal rights and resources. You may be eligible for mesothelioma compensation to cover physical and emotional losses.