If you have worked and lived in Colorado for a significant amount of time, there is a chance that you were exposed to asbestos at home or in the workplace. Prolonged exposure to asbestos can lead to serious health problems including pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer. As a service to people who live in Colorado, we have compiled the following information about asbestos and mesothelioma in Colorado.
Colorado has numerous natural asbestos deposits throughout the state, making exposure and mesothelioma a big threat for residents.
From 1999-2015, 484 Colorado residents died from mesothelioma
Colorado has a mesothelioma mortality rate of about 6 people per million (Source: CDC)
Asbestos is found abundantly in Colorado, largely from soil contamination from various industries located in cities like Denver, as well as naturally in the Rocky Mountains, San Juan Mountains, and at least 4 other deposits in the western region of the state (Source: USGS)
The areas with the most mesothelioma cases are concentrated in the central region of the state, largely around Denver and Colorado Springs (Source: CDC)
02. Asbestos in Workplaces
Asbestos Use in Colorado Work Environments
Asbestos has been directly used in various industries throughout Colorado, as well as many industries coming into contact with naturally occurring asbestos.
Power plant equipment was largely made with asbestos materials for its heat resistance. Companies like the Pawnee Power Plant in Brush and the Ray D. Nixon Power Plant in Colorado Springs put their employees at risk of exposure.
Though there were no active asbestos mines in Colorado, miners of other minerals faced the possibility of exposure from natural asbestos in and around their jobsites. Workers for mining companies like the Peata Verde Silver Mining Company are at risk of developing mesothelioma.
Various manufacturers made use of asbestos in their equipment and processes. Manufacturers such as the Anheuser-Busch Company relied on asbestos in their facilities, putting their employees at risk.
The oil refinery trade used asbestos frequently because of its resistance to most chemical processes. Conoco Oil Refinery and Gary Williams Energy are some of the oil refineries in Colorado where known exposure has occurred.
Asbestos was used often in the construction of military bases. The Lowry Air Force Base in Colorado is one site where veterans could have been exposed to asbestos. Veterans are at high risk of developing mesothelioma because of the mineral’s widespread use.
Colorado has sites around the state that were added to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund list because of various environmental concerns, including several asbestos Superfund sites.
Lowry Landfill was added to the list in 1984 after finding contamination in groundwater, surface water, soils and sediments from a variety of chemicals, including asbestos. The property consists of over 500 acres where an estimated 138 gallons of industrial liquid waste was disposed of in addition to various solid waste in unlined pits. The EPA and local agencies continue to monitor the remedial response to these improper waste practices.
Rocky Mountain Arsenal
The Rocky Mountain Arsenal spans over nearly 27 square miles and is located near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The site was originally owned by the U.S. Army where they manufactured chemical weapons. The site was later leased by various manufacturers who produced pesticides. The arsenal was placed on the Superfund list in 1987 after recognizing significant soil and water contamination from the variety of chemicals used and manufactured on the grounds since WWII. Monitoring and treatment efforts are still ongoing on an annual basis.
04. Exposure in Cities
Colorado Cities Where Asbestos Exposure Occurred
Provided below is a list of cities in the state of Colorado 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.
Workplace asbestos exposure is also a concern if one looks beyond the major cities and towns in Colorado. Select a town below to see the list of its job sites known to have exposed workers to asbestos. Asbestos exposure at any one of the job sites revealed could have placed a worker at risk to develop mesothelioma cancer and other asbestos-related diseases.
Colorado Directory of Asbestos Work Sites
Select a city to see a list of work sites where asbestos exposure occurred.