Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma in North Carolina
If you live in the state of North Carolina and have worked there for significant amount of time, there is a chance that you were exposed to asbestos in the workplace. Prolonged exposure to asbestos can lead to serious health problems including mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer and other non-malignant lung impairments.
To assist people who live in North Carolina, we have provided statistics about asbestos and mesothelioma in North Carolina. We have also included descriptions of the industries and lists of cities, towns and specific job sites in North Carolina where asbestos exposure is likely to have occurred. Treatment options and recent news about asbestos and mesothelioma in North Carolina are also provided.
Mesothelioma and Asbestos Statistics in North Carolina
From 1999-2015, 696 North Carolina residents died from mesothelioma
- North Carolina has a mesothelioma death rate of about 6 people per million annually (Source: CDC)
- North Carolina has an abundant amount of asbestos, found at 49 sites throughout the state (Source: USGS)
- The majority of the natural asbestos deposits can be found in the western region of the state, primarily around the Appalachian Mountains (Source: USGS)
Asbestos Exposure in North Carolina Workplaces
Workers in many industries throughout North Carolina faced asbestos hazards on the job, putting them at risk for mesothelioma and other diseases.
Workers in steel mills all face the risk of asbestos exposure. Occupations ranging from welders and millwrights to furnace operators can all come into contact with asbestos materials in these operations. Steel mills relied on a variety of asbestos products for their processes and the building’s structure itself. Nucor Corporation in Charlotte and J & H Power Group, Inc., for example, used asbestos in their facilities.
Shipyards are considered one of the most dangerous job sites when it comes to asbestos exposure. Asbestos was a common material for ships through the 1970s, and workers that helped build the vessels, or maintain and repair them all risked coming into contact with asbestos. North Carolina was home to three shipyards, like North Carolina Shipbuilding Company, which all were known to use asbestos.
Manufacturers largely fuel the economy for many cities throughout the state. Regardless of the products being made, many manufacturers have used asbestos in their construction or the machinery used in their production lines. Beacon Manufacturing in Asheville, Frito Lay Inc. in Charlotte and Gaylord Container Corporation in Raleigh were all known to use asbestos in their facilities, though they all manufactured very different products.
Fort Bragg, one of the largest military bases in the country, was constructed in Fayetteville. Today, the U.S. Army base is one of the largest in the world, with over 50,000 active duty personnel, making it an important area of development for the city. The base first began construction back in 1918, and continued to expand over the years. Bases like this built prior before the 1970s are likely to contain asbestos, which has resulted in veterans making up about 30% of all mesothelioma diagnoses.
Asbestos Shipyards and Superfund Sites in North Carolina
North Carolina has 46 active Superfund Sites currently, though none have been identified as having a risk of asbestos. However, the state had several operating shipyards that likely contained asbestos.
North Carolina Shipbuilding Company
The Wilmington-based shipyard was active in the start of World War II. During this time, the active shipyard built over 200 ships, including 54 vessels for the U.S. Navy. At its peak employment during the war, the company employed over 20,000 professional shipbuilders as well as untrained citizens who wanted to contribute to the war effort. Throughout the World Wars, asbestos was being heavily used in navy vessels as well as other ships, putting these employees and veterans at a high risk of exposure. The shipyard remained in operation until a few years after the war, and today is the site of a state port.
North Carolina Cities with Asbestos Problems
Read more about large jobsites where asbestos exposure occurred in the major cities of North Carolina. If you or a loved one worked at any of these sites in North Carolina, you may be at risk to develop malignant mesothelioma. Click on any link below to view a complete list of work sites in that city where employees were exposed to asbestos.
Asbestos Risks at Smaller North Carolina Job Sites
Beyond the major cities and towns in North Carolina, 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.
Asbestos-Related News in North Carolina
Eleven Statesville condemned homes were hoped to be burned and used for fire training, but asbestos has stopped the plan. Statesville Fire Department Chief Spencer Lee said, “Most of the buildings are too structurally damaged to qualify for live burning training.”
Over the weekend, a local ABC affiliate in Raleigh, North Carolina, reported that its investigative team had discovered asbestos in a brand of makeup sold at Justice Stores, a popular clothing chain for girls and tweens.
Author: Linda Molinari
Editor in Chief, Mesothelioma Cancer AllianceRead about Linda
Reviewer: Jennifer R. Lucarelli
Lawyer for Mesothelioma Victims and Their FamiliesRead about Jennifer
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. “Who Is At Risk of Exposure to Asbestos?” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/asbestos/risk2.html (accessed 23 August 2010).
Cabrera-Santiago, Manuel et al. “Prevalence of Asbestos-Related Disease Among Electrical Power Generation Workers in Puerto Rico.” Presentation at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, 2007.
Evans, David and Greg Johnstone. “Asbestos Use Companies and Locations in North Carolina.” All About Malignant Mesothelioma (September 2005.)
Geological Research, Analyses and Services Programs. “Naturally Occurring Asbestos Locations in the Contiguous U.S. and Alaska.” Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 25 May 2007.
http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/noa/usamap.pdf (accessed 23 August 2010).
Krstev, S. et al. “Mortality Among Shipyard Coast Guard Workers: A Retrospective Cohort Study.” Occupational and Environmental Medicine 64 (October 2007): 651-8.