01. Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos Exposure in Phoenix, Arizona
Asbestos was prominently used in Phoenix from the mid-1900s to the early 1980s. After the dangers of asbestos became widely known, regulations began to limit its use. Despite regulations, many individuals in Phoenix faced, and continue to face, the risk of asbestos exposure.
Asbestos was incorporated into Phoenix landmarks, schools, homes and other areas. Now decades old, many of these buildings require demolition and renovation. If disturbed, asbestos fibers may become airborne. Airborne fibers can then be inhaled or ingested, putting individuals at risk of malignant mesothelioma.
Phoenix, Arizona Landmarks and Asbestos
As the capital of Arizona, Phoenix has several prominent landmarks. Over the years, many of these landmarks have presented asbestos concerns. Airports, office buildings, air force bases and many more landmarks may contain asbestos.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
The Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is the largest airport in Arizona. It is also one of the largest airports in the United States.
In 2006, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a Proposed Airport Development Program. This program presented options for renovations, demolitions and other modifications to the airport.
Within this report, officials noted the presence of asbestos in Terminal 2. Officials suspected asbestos was present in insulation, floor tiles and other construction materials. The report addressed the need for asbestos abatement prior to any renovation or demolition.
Officials established the Terminal 2 Asbestos Abatement Plan. The plan included necessary state and federal asbestos regulations that would apply to asbestos handling in the terminal. Despite plans for abatement, many subcontractors claim they were exposed to asbestos dust during work on the terminal. Workers in other fields suspect exposure in other areas of the airport, as well.
Mountain Bell Building
The Mountain Bell Building was a well-known Phoenix landmark built in the early 1970s. The structure was an architectural marvel and one of Arizona’s first all-glass structures. At the time of its construction, asbestos materials were common. As a result, asbestos was incorporated throughout the building.
At the start of the 21st century, the Mountain Bell Building began to fall apart. Despite several repair projects, the city decided to destroy the building. Asbestos removal was necessary to prevent the release of asbestos during the implosion. After a large asbestos abatement project, demolition crews imploded the building in 2009.
Luke Air Force Base
Many buildings at the Luke Air Force Base (Luke AFB) were constructed during the height of asbestos use. For example, the Ajo Radar Station was built in the late 1950s, and the air traffic control tower was built in 1964. Both of these structures contained the mineral.
Over the past few decades, Luke AFB has sought funding to remove asbestos. Inspections and project plans detail the need to remove contaminated materials from the radar station and the air control tower prior to demolition.
Air Force veterans could have potentially been exposed to asbestos at Luke AFB. Examples include:
- Exposure during repairs, renovations and demolitions of asbestos-containing structures
- Exposure from contact with disturbed or damaged asbestos-containing materials
If members of the Air Force experience asbestos exposure, they could develop mesothelioma cancer. Veterans make up a large portion of individuals facing asbestos-related diagnoses. As a result, there are options available for veteran compensation and treatment.
Phoenix, Arizona Schools and Asbestos
Many public schools and colleges in Phoenix have asbestos exposure concerns. Examples include contaminated insulation, floor tiles, ceiling tiles and pipe coverings. Damaged or aging asbestos materials put teachers, students and other faculty members at risk.
Two examples of schools with asbestos concerns include:
- Arizona State University (ASU): Although located in Tempe, Arizona, ASU also has buildings in downtown Phoenix. College officials assert campus buildings built prior to 1985 likely contain asbestos. ASU maintains a “Management-in-place” policy. This means asbestos abatement is performed as needed, such as before demolition or renovation.
- Phoenix Union High School: Some of Phoenix Union High School’s historic buildings contain asbestos. Union Hall is a prominent example. The district has performed asbestos remediation in preparation for renovations and demolitions.
Advocates for school safety recognize the dangers of asbestos, lead, mold and other potential carcinogens. They seek asbestos abatement and stricter regulations to protect teachers, students and other faculty members from exposure.
Phoenix, Arizona Homes and Asbestos
Asbestos was also prominent in Phoenix homes, particularly those built before 1978. Reports indicate asbestos is largely a concern in low-income neighborhoods.
Older homes often require professional evaluations to identify and handle asbestos risks. Because asbestos is common in Phoenix homes, the city has a large number of asbestos abatement companies. Phoenix abatement professionals note asbestos is commonly found in the following areas:
- Construction adhesives
- Caulk and glazes
- HVAC ductwork
- Ceiling tiles and popcorn ceilings
- Roofing tiles and shingles
- Vermiculite insulation
Asbestos removal may not be necessary if the materials are properly encapsulated within homes. However, renovations, wear and tear or damage to contaminated materials can expose asbestos fibers. If disturbed, the fibers could be released and become a danger to individuals within the home.
Other Phoenix, Arizona Asbestos Exposure Sites
Phoenix began as an agricultural city. Over time, manufacturing became a large focus, leading to a boom in industrial occupations.
Industrial settings frequently use asbestos in building materials, equipment and machinery. The mineral offers strength, fireproofing, heat resistance and chemical resistance. Individuals working with or around asbestos products may have been exposed.
W.R. Grace is a large company in Phoenix that made products using asbestos-contaminated vermiculite from the mines in Libby, Montana. Many workers were exposed to asbestos fibers and now face related illnesses. W.R. Grace was recognized by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) as an asbestos contamination work site.
Phoenix has various other areas listed as asbestos exposure sites. Individuals who have worked at, lived near or visited any of these areas are at risk of exposure and associated illnesses.
Asbestos Risks at Phoenix, Arizona Work Sites
- Adams Hotel
- Administrative Building – Papago Park
- Agua Fria Generating Station
- AiResearch Manufacturing Company
- Allison Steel
- Aluminum Processors, Inc.
- American Cement – Phoenix Cement Division
- Arizona Bank Building
- Arizona Brewing Company
- Arizona Edison Company
- Arizona Engine & Pump
- Arizona Light and Power Company
- Arizona Liquor Distribution
- Arizona Packing Company
- Arizona Public Service Company
- Arizona State Hospital
- Arizona State University – Campus Tunnel
- Arizona State University – Library
- Arizona Table Pads
- Asbestos Engineering & Supply Company
- Bartlett-Heard Land and Cattle Company
- Boy Scouts of America Headquarters
- Central Arizona Light & Power Company
- Central Arizona Street Electric Station
- Central Plaza Building
- Century Brick Company
- Civic Center
- Combustion Equipment Company
- Constable Ice and Fuel Company
- Crystal Ice and Cold Storage Company
- Cudahy Packing Company
- Desert Samaritan Hospital
- Devry Institute of Technology
- Fiberglas Engineering & Supply Company
- Fort Huachuca
- General Aluminum & Chemical Corporation
- General Electric
- Good Samaritan Hospital
- Greenwood Memorial Park
- Honeywell, Inc.
- Indian River School
- John C. Lincoln Hospital
- Kyrene Steam Plant
- Le Fleur Corporation
- Luke Air Force Base
- M.H. Sherman
- Marsh Company Murray
- Memorial Hospital
- MeraBank Building (3003 North Central Avenue)
- Merritt Air Conditioning
- Motorola Plant
- Mountain Bell Telephone Company
- Murray Marsh
- National Brewing Company
- Normande Iron & Metal
- Ott Hardware
- Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation
- Pacific Gas and Electric Company
- Palo Verde Power Station
- Phoenix Charging Plant
- Phoenix Civic Plaza (Symphony Hall)
- Phoenix Gas Works
- Phoenix Indian School
- Phoenix Light and Fuel Company
- Phoenix Newspaper Building
- Phoenix Railway Company
- Phoenix Steel
- Phoenix Utility Company
- Reynolds Aluminum Plant
- Reynolds Metals Company
- Salt River Power District
- Salt River Project
- Salt River Pump & Supply Company
- Santa Fe Peoria Team Track
- Southwest Forest Industries
- St. Joseph’s Hospital
- State Hospital
- Sunnyside High School
- Sunnyslope Hospital (John C. Lincoln Hospital)
- Tovrea Packing Company
- Tucson Gas and Electric Company
- Uneeda Laundry Supply
- Union Carbide Corporation
- United Wholesale – South Pacific Team Track
- VA Hospital
- Valley National Bank
- West Phoenix Power Plant
- Western Electric Company – Cable Plant
02. Mesothelioma Risk
Mesothelioma Risk in Phoenix, Arizona
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gathers statistics for each county. These detail mesothelioma deaths and diagnoses across different demographics.
Phoenix is the county seat of Maricopa County. From 2012 to 2016, Maricopa County experienced the second-highest incidence of mesothelioma in comparison to all other Arizona counties.
|Maricopa County Mesothelioma Diagnoses and Deaths by Gender 2012 – 2016|
|Gender||Number of Diagnoses||Number of Deaths|
Men make up the majority of mesothelioma deaths and diagnoses in Phoenix. Mesothelioma researchers often attribute this trend to occupational exposure. Men traditionally held high-risk occupations during the height of asbestos use.
03. Mesothelioma Treatment
Mesothelioma Treatment in Phoenix, Arizona
As a heavily populated city in the United States, Phoenix has extensive cancer treatment options. The Cancer Treatment Centers for America (CTCA) in Phoenix is one cancer center that offers specialized treatment for mesothelioma patients.
Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix
Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center
Mayo Clinic Hospital
Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Phoenix
Mesothelioma patients should seek care from a specialized doctor. Mesothelioma doctors have experience with the latest diagnostic tools and treatment options. Dr. Wasif and Dr. Ross are two recognized doctors in the Phoenix area.
Dr. Wasif offers expertise with peritoneal mesothelioma treatment, particularly heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). Dr. Ross offers expertise with pleural mesothelioma treatment. Her research has focused on chemotherapy.
Nabil Wasif, M.D.
Helen J. Ross, M.D.
04. Asbestos Laws
Asbestos Laws in Phoenix, Arizona
Asbestos regulations in Phoenix are upheld by the Maricopa County Air Quality Department. These regulations apply to renovations and demolitions within the county. Requirements are in-line with the federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) and National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air (NESHAP).
Benefits offered through the Maricopa County Air Quality Department include:
- The ability to file a complaint against an entity disobeying asbestos safety rules
- The ability to request a courtesy visit from the department for guidance on an asbestos-related project
- Access to an asbestos hotline
- Access to an asbestos NESHAP coordinator and asbestos notification permit technician
Other organizations managing asbestos safety in Phoenix include:
- Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH)
- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ)
Phoenix is also subject to federal regulations from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
05. Asbestos Lawsuits
Asbestos and Mesothelioma Lawsuits in Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and W.R. Grace Co. have been named in asbestos lawsuits.
Victims of asbestos exposure in Phoenix may be eligible for financial compensation if they were diagnosed with a related illness. Financial compensation may involve a mesothelioma settlement, lawsuit or payment through an asbestos trust fund.
Mesothelioma patients and their loved ones may be able to file a lawsuit after an asbestos-related death or diagnosis from wrongful exposure. Each state has claim-filing deadlines, referred to as the statute of limitations. Phoenix mesothelioma lawyers can provide more information on Arizona deadlines.
Statute of Limitations for Arizona
Claims must be filed within 2 years after an asbestos-related diagnosis.
Claims must be filed within 2 years after an asbestos-related death.
Many successful asbestos lawsuits have emerged from Phoenix. Mesothelioma patients should seek assistance from an asbestos law firm. Phoenix mesothelioma attorneys can present all options for financial compensation.