Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure in Alabama
Prolonged exposure to asbestos can lead to serious health problems including pleural mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer. If you have lived and worked in Alabama for significant amount of time, there is a chance that you were exposed to asbestos at home or in the workplace. For your convenience, we have compiled information about asbestos and mesothelioma in the state of Alabama.
Below you will find recent statistics about mesothelioma and asbestos exposure in Alabama. We have also included descriptions of industries and lists of cities, towns and specific job sites in Alabama where asbestos exposure has occurred. Local Alabama mesothelioma doctors and treatment centers are also listed. Finally we include recent local news articles about asbestos and mesothelioma.
Alabama Mesothelioma and Asbestos Statistics
From 1999-2015, 524 Alabama residents have died of mesothelioma
- Alabama has a mesothelioma mortality rate of about 9 people per million annually (Source: CDC)
- St. Clair County ranks among the top 50 counties in the U.S. with the highest mesothelioma death rates, with a rate of about 21 from 2000-2009 (Source: CDC)
- While Alabama had 10 asbestos sites considered for commercial use, no mining or further development ever occurred at these sites. Alabama does, however, have 9 known sites of naturally occurring asbestos. (Source: USGS)
Asbestos Exposure in Alabama Workplaces
Many industries throughout Alabama used asbestos, putting their citizens at risk of exposure.
Many manufacturing companies have used asbestos for a variety of processes because of its heat and chemical resistance. Companies like Rock Wool Manufacturing in Leeds, which manufactured insulation and cement that contained asbestos, exposed thousands of workers to the toxin.
Power plants relied heavily on asbestos for their equipment and facilities. There were many of these plants in Alabama, such as the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant and Colbert Steam Plant located near the Tennessee River.
Four oil refineries in Alabama, like the Coastal Mobile Refinery, used a variety of asbestos materials in construction of the facility and the required machinery for the chemical processes, putting many oil refinery workers at risk.
Alabama was home to several large shipyards and shipbuilding companies, including the Gulf Shipyard and Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company. Asbestos was widely used in shipbuilding for its durability and heat resistance, which has led to shipbuilders being among the most high risk for mesothelioma.
Asbestos was widely used throughout the military, whether in construction of buildings on army bases or navy vessels. Veterans are among the most at risk for developing mesothelioma. Army bases like the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville could have led to exposure for veterans in Alabama.
Asbestos Superfund Sites and Shipyards in Alabama
Alabama has had several locations added to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund List over the years including one with asbestos concerns, as well as many shipyards that put workers at high risk for developing mesothelioma.
Anniston Army Depot
The Anniston Army Depot in Calhoun County provides storage, testing and refurbishment of combat vehicles. Over time, the Depot created solid and liquid wastes of various toxins that contaminated soil and groundwater. The site has also been known to contain asbestos products. In 1989, the EPA placed a portion of the depot on the National Priorities List. In 1990, the EPA and the Army agreed to address the entire depot in order to protect contamination of the environment and public health.
Alabama Drydock and Shipping Company (ADDSCO)
ADDSCO, located in Mobile, has a long history in Alabama. The company was formed after a merger of several smaller shipyards in 1917, becoming one of the largest marine facilities in the United States. The shipyard became especially important during WWII, and became the single largest employer in Alabama. The shipyard helped with repairs and even production of tanker vessels for the Navy. The asbestos use on these vessels put both shipyard workers and Navy veterans at high risk for exposure. While the shipyard was very important during these war efforts, it eventually closed briefly during the 1980s. Today, Alabama Drydock is owned by BAE Systems and operates as Southeast Shipyards Alabama.
Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company
Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company, established in 1919, operated in Mobile. The company built vessels of all sizes, allowed for ample storage with huge dock capacities, and helped repair ships and other vessels. For decades, Bender was very successful and employed hundreds of shipyard workers, all of whom were at risk of asbestos exposure. Despite its early success, the company ultimately filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and was later purchased by another Alabama marine construction company, Signal International LLC.
Gulf Shipbuilding Company
Gulf Shipbuilding Company operated in Chickasaw after buying the Chickasaw Shipbuilding and Car Company in 1940. The shipyard was instrumental to the U.S. Navy’s efforts during WWII and received contracts to build the Fletcher Class destroyers. These large contracts resulted in the employment of thousands of workers throughout the war who all faced a high risk of developing mesothelioma. When the demand for ships diminished after the war, the shipyard eventually closed.
Asbestos Exposure in Alabama Cities
Provided below is a list of cities in the state of Alabama where asbestos use in the workplace is known to have occurred. Click on a city below to see more detailed information about the specific job sites where asbestos exposure occurred.
Asbestos Risks at Other Alabama Work Sites
Asbestos exposure is also a problem if you look beyond the major cities and towns in Alabama. Select a town to see the list of its job sites where asbestos exposure occurred. Asbestos exposure at any one of the work sites revealed could put a worker at risk to develop mesothelioma cancer.
Asbestos-Related News in Alabama
Asbestos tiles at a Birmingham, Alabama, police station have caused it to shut down, and two officers have been admitted to the hospital. Read more at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.
Author: Linda Molinari
Editor in Chief, Mesothelioma Cancer AllianceRead about Linda
Reviewer: Jennifer R. Lucarelli
Lawyer for Mesothelioma Victims and Their FamiliesRead about Jennifer
Centers, Jessica. "Multiple Water Systems Still Use Asbestos Pipe." Aniston Star, 24 July 2005.
Curran, Eddie. "Diagnosing for Dollars?" Mobile Register, 4 April 2004.
Center for Disease Control