01. Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos Exposure in East Saint Louis, Illinois
Asbestos was prominently used in construction materials in East St. Louis. The mineral was also incorporated into machinery and various other industrial components for heat resistance, strength and fireproofing.
East St. Louis, Illinois faced an economic decline after the Great Depression and World Wars. However, redevelopment in the 1990s began to improve the city. Redevelopment has led to demolitions, renovations and expansions of existing structures. This activity is likely to disturb asbestos, potentially leading to harmful exposure.
East Saint Louis, Illinois Landmarks and Asbestos
Asbestos was used in East St. Louis landmarks before the danger of exposure became well-known. Many of these landmarks are now aging, causing asbestos exposure concerns.
The Spivey Building
The Spivey Building is one historical landmark in the city known to contain asbestos. The structure is the first and only skyscraper in East St. Louis. Over time, the structure has begun crumbling and falling apart. Residents have vocalized their concerns about falling debris and related risks to passersby.
One developer decided to renovate the building in 2002. Asbestos was removed illegally when contractors gutted the building. The project violated federal asbestos regulations, including the Clean Air Act. Reports indicate the following issues with how workers were directed to handle asbestos:
- Workers were not provided with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Asbestos was not wetted prior to removal.
Both of these issues were in direct violation of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. The developer is one of many defendants that have faced legal repercussions for inadequate asbestos handling and removal.
Reports indicate demolition or renovation of the building would be too costly. The building currently sits vacant and continues to deteriorate.
The Broadview Hotel has long been considered one of the finest hotels in the state. Built in 1927, the hotel made the National Register of Historic Places. Recently, the building served as Southern Illinois University’s East St. Louis Center.
Building materials in the hotel contain asbestos. Those who previously came in contact with asbestos-containing materials are at risk of asbestos illnesses. Asbestos exposure at the hotel is a continuous concern until contaminated materials are completely removed.
City officials have acknowledged the need for asbestos remediation and plan to facilitate a large abatement project.
East Saint Louis, Illinois Industrial Plants and Asbestos
Industrial plants employed many East St. Louis residents. Asbestos was prominent in industrial settings and affected many trades. Contractors, repairmen and other industrial workers may have experienced occupational exposure.
One example of a local plant with asbestos concerns is CertainTeed Corporation. The plant was founded in East St. Louis in the early 1900s. The company expanded soon after with locations in the nearby St. Louis area. CertainTeed produced a variety of products, including asbestos-containing cement pipes and shingles. The main type of asbestos used was crocidolite.
Local residents would collect scraps from CertainTeed for personal use. Asbestos cement pipes would be used for mailboxes and to line driveways. Some of these individuals have sought treatment for asbestos diseases. When seeking treatment, the victims had asbestos scarring in their lungs and the presence of crocidolite fibers in their lung tissue.
East Saint Louis, Illinois Schools and Asbestos
Schools throughout East St. Louis contained asbestos building materials. Examples of asbestos materials in schools include:
- Vermiculite insulation
- Vinyl floor tiles
- Ceiling tiles
- Pipe coverings
Asbestos abatement has been a large component of East St. Louis school renovations. The East St. Louis Public School District hired abatement contractors for safe asbestos removal.
Other East Saint Louis, Illinois Asbestos Exposure Sites
There are numerous other job sites in East St. Louis with potential asbestos concerns. Individuals who have come into contact with asbestos at these locations are at risk of related diseases, including mesothelioma. Areas of particular concern include oil refineries and power plants.
Asbestos Risks at East Saint Louis, Illinois Work Sites
- Alcoa Company
- Allied Chemical & Dye Corporation
- Aluminum Company of America
- Aluminum Ore Company
- American Manufacturing Company
- American Steel Foundry
- American Zinc Company of Illinois
- Anderson Tire Company
- Armour & Company
- C&D Design Engineering Company
- Cahokia Power Station
- Central Catholic High School
- Cerro Corporation
- Charles Pfizer & Company
- City of East Saint Louis
- Creosote Forest Products Company
- E.J. Maag Shop
- East Saint Louis Housing Authority
- East Saint Louis Press
- East St. Louis and Suburban Railway
- Elementis Pigments, Inc.
- General Chemical Company
- George S. Mepham Corporation
- Glass House
- Granby Mining and Smelting Company
- Hunter Packing Company
- Intercoastal Paint
- Kohler Brothers
- Lewin Mathes Company
- Lincoln Walker Painting
- McMahon Transfer & Storage
- Mecca Insulators
- Midwest Rubber Reclaiming Company
- Missouri Pacific Railway
- Mobil Oil Company
- Monsanto Chemical
- Nelson Morris and Company
- Ober-Nester Glass
- Pfizer Chemical
- Pittsburgh Reduction Company
- Presstite Engineering Company
- Publicker Commercial Alcohol Company
- Republic Iron and Steel
- Sea Wall
- Shell Oil Company
- Sinclair Oil Refinery
- Socony-Vacuum Oil Company
- St. Clair County Gas and Electric Company
- Swift & Company
- Union Electric Light and Power Company
- Walworth Company
- Wiggins Ferry Company
02. Mesothelioma Risk
Mesothelioma Risk in East Saint Louis, Illinois
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collects data around mesothelioma deaths. Mesothelioma data is available by county, gender and age group.
East St. Louis is part of St. Clair County. Mortality data includes all residences in St. Clair County. The CDC does not provide information for younger age groups or women, due to suppressed data.
|St. Clair County Male Mesothelioma Mortality 1999 – 2018|
|Age Group||Number of Deaths||Population|
|65 – 74 years old||10||165,081|
|75 – 84 years old||13||93,131|
Mesothelioma data often shows higher mortality rates among older age groups. Researchers attribute this to the long latency period of mesothelioma cancer. In other words, it can take 10 – 50 years for asbestos victims to recognize mesothelioma symptoms.
Resources for Mesothelioma Patients
03. Mesothelioma Treatment
Mesothelioma Treatment in East Saint Louis, Illinois
Mesothelioma patients should seek care from a cancer center that offers specialized treatment. Local cancer centers may not have resources dedicated to treating mesothelioma. However, it is common for patients to travel to larger cities. For example, mesothelioma patients in East St. Louis may travel to nearby St. Louis, Missouri to establish a treatment plan with a specialist. They may be able to undergo certain treatments, such as chemotherapy, at local cancer centers.
Saint Louis University Cancer Center
Missouri Baptist Medical Center Cancer Center
Mesothelioma specialists have a deep understanding of all potential treatment options. They can also help ensure an accurate diagnosis. Doctors from various practice areas, such as surgical and radiation oncology, often work together to create personalized treatment plans.
Dr. Patterson and Dr. Crabtree are both thoracic surgeons, able to perform pleural mesothelioma surgery. Dr. Govindan has an extensive knowledge of chemotherapy, a common treatment option for mesothelioma patients.
Ramaswamy Govindan, M.D.
Alexander Patterson, M.D.
Traves D. Crabtree, M.D.
04. Asbestos Laws
Asbestos Laws in East Saint Louis, Illinois
East St. Louis follows federal and state asbestos guidelines. City officials have been particularly concerned with the Clean Air Act. Local news outlets have drawn scrutiny to the number of contractors in the East St. Louis area failing to comply with the Clean Air Act. Proper asbestos handling is crucial in public and private settings to eliminate the risk of exposure to residents and workers.
The Clean Air Act was established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect public health and welfare. The act establishes standards for the emission of air pollutants, including asbestos.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) helps uphold asbestos regulations in the state. The agency has a designated Asbestos Unit. The unit provides information and resources for asbestos-related projects, while helping enforce asbestos requirements.
05. Asbestos Lawsuits
Asbestos and Mesothelioma Lawsuits in East Saint Louis, Illinois
Individuals may be able to file an asbestos lawsuit if they were wrongfully exposed and later developed an asbestos illness. Some asbestos cases have emerged from workers and residents in East St. Louis. Examples include:
- Claims against public schools for deteriorating conditions, including asbestos hazards
- Claims against asbestos companies for the death of a loved one due to exposure
- Claims against contractors for violations of federal asbestos regulations
To be eligible for financial compensation, individuals must file a claim within a certain amount of time. This timeframe is the statute of limitations and varies by state.
Statute of Limitations for Illinois
Claims must be filed within 2 years after an asbestos-related diagnosis.
Claims must be filed within 2 years after an asbestos-related death.