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 Nebraska 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 Nebraska.
From 1999-2015, 260 Nebraska residents died from mesothelioma
Nebraska has a lower than average mesothelioma death rate of about 9 deaths per million annually (Source: CDC)
Since the state is on the rather geologically inactive Great Plains, there are no known natural deposits of asbestos (Source: USGS)
Douglas, Lancaster and Sarpy counties have had the highest incidence of asbestos-related disease in the state (Source: CDC)
02. Asbestos in Workplaces
Asbestos Use Across Nebraska Industries
Despite the lack of natural asbestos, Nebraskan workers have still suffered from asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma because of its heavy use in several industries.
Across the country, power plants heavily used asbestos in their machinery and facilities because of its heat resistance. Since processes in power plants have the chance to produce fire or even internally combust, asbestos seemed like a good solution to help avoid these problems. Plants like the Hallam Nuclear Power Facility were known to use asbestos. A 2007 study examining 1,100 power plant workers found 13% to have evidence of asbestos diseases.
Veterans in every branch of the military face a high risk of asbestos exposure. The mineral was used frequently in bases, and especially in navy vessels and shipyards. Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha and the Lincoln Air Force Base are two sites of many around the country where asbestos exposure was a serious risk.
Regardless of the products being made, countless manufacturers used asbestos and other hazardous materials in building their facilities and equipment. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and Weaver Potato Chips, both based in Lincoln, produce vastly different goods but both have documented instances of asbestos exposure.
Though there is no need to worry about asbestos in the beer itself, many brewing companies in the nation unfortunately contain asbestos in their walls and equipment. Since many were founded years ago during the height of asbestos use in America, the toxin could be found in many materials. Fremont, Fred Krug and Storz brewing companies in Nebraska are a few instances where exposure has occurred.
Asbestos Superfund Sites and Shipyards in Nebraska
Fortunately, Nebraska does not have any prior or current sites included on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund list for asbestos contamination. But even though sites weren’t included on the list specifically, there have been 28 sites investigated by the EPA and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) because of asbestos concerns.
Western Minerals Products
In Omaha, the Western Minerals Products was one prominent site selected for evaluation by the ATSDR’s National Asbestos Exposure Review in 2004. The process entails investigations of over 200 sites around the country that have been affected by vermiculite ore that was mined from Libby, Montana. The Western Minerals Products worksite was an exfoliation facility and began processing Libby vermiculite in the 1940s. In 1967, W.R. Grace and Company purchased the facility and operated there until 1989. Throughout that time, the facility was one of the highest volume processors for the company. In 2000, the EPA took samples of the surrounding soil and found trace levels of asbestos. Further investigation also found signs of asbestos on the rail spurs around the site and in some adjacent buildings. ATSDR, however, doesn’t see a large risk for employees at the site past the 1989 sale from W.R. Grace, since the site was cleaned and tested for asbestos fibers before transfer of ownership.
Provided below is a list of cities in the state of Nebraska 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.
05. Other Work Sites
Asbestos Exposure at Other Nebraska Job Sites
Beyond the major cities and towns in Nebraska, asbestos exposure has also occurred at a number of other job sites. Select a town to see the list of its work sites where asbestos exposure occurred. Asbestos exposure at any one of the sites revealed could put a worker at risk to develop pleural mesothelioma.
Nebraska Directory of Asbestos Work Sites
Select a city to see a list of work sites where asbestos exposure occurred.