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Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure in North Dakota

North Dakota

North Dakota had the lowest rate of asbestos disease of any state between 1980 and 2000. The factors here were due to a low population and the fact that the vast majority of the state's economic activity is related to agriculture. There are however a number of power generation facilities as well as an oil refinery operated by BP Amoco. Oil refineries and power plants are among the most hazardous in terms of asbestos exposure. In addition, a large amount of asbestos-containing products from the W.R. Grace mines in Montana were processed in North Dakota.

Power Plants and Asbestos in North Dakota

Three North Dakota jobsites that have been identified as having asbestos issues are:

  • Coyote Station
  • Stanton Powerhouse
  • United Power

Asbestos insulation was used throughout the construction of these in order to manage fire and electrical hazards. Such insulation was used for:

  • boilers
  • turbines
  • generators
  • gaskets (used for sealing valves, pumps and pipe fittings)

Part of plant maintenance workers' jobs involved cutting, trimming and filing this gasket material for the several miles of pipes and conduits that were found in most of these facilities.

According to Center for Health Statistics, 3% of all work-related fatalities at power generation plants are due to mesothelioma. This has been confirmed by a Puerto Rican study, in which 13% of such employees were found to have “abnormalities” in their chest x-rays that were indicative of asbestos disease.

The BP-Amoco Operation

Asbestos has been used in the construction of oil refineries since the mid-nineteenth century, as the process of turning crude oil into usable fuel involved both fire and chemical hazards. A medical study in the U.K. followed 45,000 oil refinery and petroleum distribution workers over the course of several years; the results showed that refinery workers suffered “significantly elevated” rates of mesothelioma and other cancers, even among those who had worked there for no more than twelve months.

Vermiculite Contaminated with Asbestos

Vermiculite ore from Libby, Montana was processed in Stanton, Minot and Center, where 300 shipments totaling nearly 26,000 tons passed through between 1948 and 1993. Vermiculite itself is a relatively harmless form of clay, but is usually contaminated with tremolite, a deadly form of amphibole asbestos. As fibers were released into the air, they exposed not only people who worked at the plants, but anyone in the vicinity as well.

Mesothelioma Statistics in North Dakota

Among the nearly 100 victims of asbestos disease during the years leading up to 2000, mesothelioma victims outnumbered those with asbestosis by two-to-one. Although mesothelioma is quite rare compared to asbestosis, it is virtually always fatal, whereas asbestosis can usually be managed for many years if diagnosed early on and the patient receives proper treatment.

Asbestos Exposure in North Dakota Cities

Provided below is a list of cities in the state of North Dakota where asbestos jobsites are known to have been located. If you worked at any of these companies and/or jobsites in North Dakota, 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.

Asbestos Exposure at North Dakota Jobsites

Any tradesmen who worked at one of the North Dakota Jobsites listed below could 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 or asbestosis.

Beulah

  • Ang Coal Gasification Company
  • Basin Electric Power Cooperative
  • Coyote Power Station
  • Hughes Electric Company
  • Montana Dakota Utilities
  • Otter Tail Power Company
  • Wellsboro Electric Company

Bismarck

  • Basic Electric Power Corp
  • Cowan Building
  • Garrison Dam
  • Lignite Combustion Engineering Company
  • Montana-Dakota Utilities

Bismark

  • Basin Electric Power Cooperative
  • Bismarck Civil Center
  • Hughes Electric Company
  • Lignite Combustion Engineering Company
  • North Dakota State Peniteniary

Center

  • Center Power Plant
  • Milton R. Young Station
  • Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc.
  • Square Butte Electric Company

Emerado

  • Grand Forks Air Force Base
  • Macarthur Warehouse Building

Jamestown

  • Boiler Plant State Hospital
  • Crippled Childrens Hospital
  • Jamestown Plumbing, Heating, & A/C, Inc.
  • Jamestown State Hospital
  • North Dakota State Hospital
  • Northern Pacific Railway Company
  • State Hospital
  • State Hospital For Insane

Kincaid

  • Minnesoto Northern Power Company
  • Montana Dakota Power Company
  • Montana Dakota Utility Company
  • Truax Traer Coal Company

Langdon

  • Abm Missile Radar Sites
  • Langdon Missile Sites
  • Minuteman Missile Site
  • Par Missile Sites
  • Safeguard Facilities

Mandan

  • American Oil Refinery
  • Amoco Chemical Company
  • Amoco Oil Company Refinery
  • BP Amoco North Dakota
  • Heskett Station
  • Mandan Oil
  • Mandan Powerhouse
  • Montana-Dakota Utilities Company
  • No Pacific Railway Plant
  • North Dakota State Industrial School
  • Sornsin Company
  • Standard Oil Company
  • State Industrial School

Stanton

  • Basin Electric Power Cooperative
  • Leland Olds Generating Station
  • North Dakota 45 Basin
  • Stanton Power Plant
  • United Power Association

Tatman

  • Minot Air Force Base

Filing an Asbestos Claim in North Dakota

Don’t lose your right to file a claim. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and were exposed to asbestos in North Dakota, you may be entitled to compensation. If you have a pathology report in hand to support the mesothelioma diagnosis, you should be eligible for financial assistance.

Resources for Mesothelioma Patients and their Families

Asbestos Exposure Across the U.S.

Sources

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.

Evans, David and Greg Johnstone. “Asbestos Use Companies and Locations in North Dakota.” All About Malignant Mesothelioma (September 2005.)

EWG Action Fund. “W. R. Grace Hotspots in North Dakota.” Environmental Working Group, 1 June 2005.
http://www.ewg.org/files/ND_factsheet.pdf (accessed 23 August 2010).

Sorahan, Tom. “Mortality of UK Oil Refinery and Petroleum Distribution Workers, 1951-2003.” Occupational Medicine 57, no. 3 (2007).

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