New Mexico Asbestos Exposure
New Mexico's unique geology has produced six natural asbestos deposits. It is also home to a number of oil refineries and two power plants at which asbestos has been identified as an issue.
New Mexico Cities where Asbestos Exposure Occurred
Provided below is a list of cities in the state of New Mexico where asbestos jobsites are known to have been located. If you worked at any of these companies and/or jobsites in New Mexico there is a possibility that you may have been exposed to harmful asbestos which is known to cause mesothelioma. Click on any link to view a complete list of jobsites in that city.
A Hidden Cost of Energy
The Four Corners Power Plant and the San Juan Powerhouse are two of New Mexico's industries at which workers have been at elevated risk for asbestos disease. In 2003 alone, the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) which operates most of the state's electrical utilities was a named defendant by a mesothelioma lawyer in 20 asbestos complaints and had been sued over a case of secondary, or non-occupation exposure earlier.
According to a 2003 study in Puerto Rico, 13% of all employees of power generation facilities may have preliminary symptoms of asbestos disease. This study was later confirmed by the Center for Health Statistics with data indicating that three percent of the power plant workers who die of work-related causes are those who have contracted mesothelioma. Asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) are not only flame-retardant, but resistant to electrical current as well; such materials were used in power plants for over 50 years. ACM products were to be found in electric wiring, panel partitions, and electrical cloth as well as the building materials of the structure itself.
Even in crude form, petroleum is highly toxic and volatile as well. This is why oil refineries are constructed with large amounts of ACM building and insulation. Ironically, one source of asbestos danger was in the clothing designed to furnish protection from burn injuries, which was lined with asbestos.
Asbestos is invariably used in situations in which heat or fire is a hazard. In addition, many buildings in general before 1980 incorporated ACM plaster, drywall, and even cement in their construction.
According to Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry maps, there are four deposits of chrysotile and two of amphibole minerals within the state. Two chrysotile deposits are found near Lordsburg and Deming in the state's southwestern region, while the third is situated about halfway between El Paso and Las Cruces approximately fifteen miles north of the Texas-New Mexico state line. One amphibole source is located in New Mexico's “boot heel” in the middle of the desert, while the other one is near the town of Ruidoso. A fourth chrysotile outcropping has been identified approximately thirty mines northwest of this location. Those residing near such sites should seek medical attention at mesothelioma clinics in New Mexico.
Other New Mexico Jobsites Where Asbestos Exposure Occurred
If someone you know has ever worked at one of the Jobsites listed below, they may have been exposed to high levels of asbestos. Asbestos exposure at any one of these Jobsites could put them at risk for developing one of the following asbestos related diseases: malignant mesothelioma (a terminal cancer), asbestos related lung cancer, asbestosis or pleural mesothelioma.
- Alamogordo Lambert Company
- Alamogordo Lumber Company
- Holloman Air Force Base
- M.R. Prestridge Lumber Company
- Merrill H. Fisher
- Southwest Lumber Company
- Texas Louisiana Power Company
- White Sands Missile Range
- Navajo Refining
- A.T. and Sante Fe Railway System
- Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company
- Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad
- Southern Public Service Company
- Town of Clovis
- Bureau of Reclamation
- Chaco Compressor Station
- Farmington Insulation & Metal Supply Inc.
- Four Corners Powerhouse
- Municipal Light Plant Farmington
- Plateau Refinery
- Production Equipment Corp
- San Juan Power Plant
- Arizona Public Service Company
- Four Corners Power Plant
- Four Corners Steam Electric Generating Plant
- Lovington Power Plant
- Public Service Company of New Mexico
- Ace Building & Supply Company
- Ace Welding Service
- Climax Chemical Company
- H B Zachry Company
- Maddok Power Plant
- New Mexico Electric Service Company
- Northern Natural Gas Company
- Warren Petroleum Corporation
- Wonder Building Display
- American Laundry and Dry Cleaning Company
- Chino Mines Company
- Chino Mines Power Plant
- Kennecott Copper Company
- Kennicott Copper Mines
- Nevada Consolidated Copper Corporation
- Phelps Dodge Mining
- Burn Construction Company, Inc.
- City of Las Cruces Gas Distribution System
- El Paso Electric Company
- Farmers Compress Company
- Haines Sewing Plant
- New Mexico State University
- Atomic Energy Commission
- Los Alamos Atomic Testing Site
- Los Alamos Laboratories
- Los Alamos Power Plant
- Zia Corporation
- International Minerals and Chemical Corp
- United States Potash Company
- Lea County Electric Cooperative Inc
- Turbine Generator
- Warren Petroleum Corporation
- Aqua Fria School
- Neff Buckner
- New Mexico State Penitentiary
- Santa Fe General Hospital
- New Mexico Light Heat and Power Company
- New Mexico State Teachers College
- Silver City Reduction Company
- Socorro Mines
- Town of Silver City
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. “Who Is At Risk of Exposure to Asbestos?” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/asbestos/risk2.html (accessed 23 August 2010).
Cabrera-Santiago, Manuel et al. “Prevalence of Asbestos-Related Disease Among Electrical Power Generation Workers in Puerto Rico.” Presentation at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, 2007.
Geological Research, Analyses and Services Programs. “Naturally Occurring Asbestos Locations in the Contiguous U.S. and Alaska.” Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 25 May 2007.
http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/noa/usamap.pdf (accessed 23 August 2010).
Public Service Company of New Mexico. "Form 8-K." SEC filing, 22 April 2003.
http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/81023/000110842603000011/f8k_04222003.txt (accessed 23 August 2010).