01. Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos Exposure in Charlotte, North Carolina
In the mid-1900s, Charlotte was an industrial leader of the southeast. As industries grew, many facilities began using asbestos-containing machinery. Companies commonly used asbestos for fireproofing during the 1930s and 1980s. Charlotte was also home to companies producing asbestos-containing goods during these years. These facilities operated in the Greenville neighborhood of the city and Davidson, a suburb of Charlotte.
The history of asbestos use in the city continues to impact area residents. Current residents risk exposure from asbestos companies’ improper disposal of materials and contaminated waste.
Additionally, Charlotte residents may be exposed to asbestos through building materials within their homes. Local asbestos abatement companies report removing dangerous asbestos-containing:
- Pipe insulation (TSI)
- Ceiling and floor tiles
Chrysotile asbestos was most commonly used in the area and is still found in Charlotte. North Carolina residents exposed to asbestos fibers may develop related diseases, such as mesothelioma or asbestosis.
Carolina Asbestos Corporation and Asbestos
Carolina Asbestos Corp. produced asbestos materials from the 1930s to the 1960s. The company was located in Davidson, North Carolina. The suburb is 23 miles outside of the city of Charlotte.
While operational, the company dumped asbestos waste on the property. This improper disposal of asbestos has led to continued exposure for the community. In 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigated the warehouse and surrounding area.
Impacts of Past Asbestos Use on the Davidson Community
Although the Carolina Asbestos Corp. stopped operations in the 1960s, the Davidson community continues to risk asbestos exposure. The company didn’t dispose of asbestos materials properly. As a result, there was asbestos-contaminated waste runoff into the surrounding residential area.
After the EPA’s investigation, the agency led cleanup efforts. The EPA believes the disturbed asbestos-contaminated area is a result of erosion and burrowing animals. In 2016, soil testing done on the Carolina Asbestos Corp. property found material was up to 70% asbestos.
The asbestos levels within the soil in the area were so high, homeowners were instructed not to dig in their yards for fear of exposure.
Before the cleanup, the EPA sampled 77 properties near the factory to test for asbestos. More than 30 of the properties had asbestos-contaminated soil removed.
To protect citizens from further exposure, the EPA cleanup included installing a plastic liner, clean earth and a fiber mat. The state and property manager will continue to monitor the area and make repairs as needed.
The area, now operational as the Metrolina Warehouse, has not been redeveloped. The asbestos removal expenses have made the location undesirable. The city has reported it may be labeled for “brownfield development.” This would clear the property for commercial purposes but not for residential use. These rulings are to protect the safety of North Carolina citizens.
Davidson Park and Playground Tests Positive for Asbestos
In addition to homeowners, children and others visiting the Charlotte suburb may have come in contact with asbestos as a result of the Carolina Asbestos Corp.’s asbestos use. In January 2020, asbestos was found during an environmental assessment at Roosevelt Wilson Park in Davidson.
The town stated it is following the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ recommendations to restrict access to the areas that tested positive. However, all other areas remain open to the public, including the play structures and restrooms within the park.
Any Davidson resident exposed to asbestos-contaminated materials or soil may be at risk of developing asbestos-related diseases.
Greenville Community and Asbestos
Greenville was a predominantly African American neighborhood in Charlotte. The area was home to the Southern Asbestos Company Mills. The facility was built in 1904 as a cotton mill but began making asbestos fabric in 1920.
Thereasea Delerine Clark Elder grew up on Hamilton Street, where the Southern Asbestos Company Mills facility was located. She recalls having to clean the screens and doors twice a day during the summer because of white asbestos dust. She also played in a mill asbestos waste dump as a child.
Thereasea became a nurse after seeing the impacts of asbestos exposure on the community. Two of her siblings passed away before the age of three and Thereasea also has lung scarring related to her past asbestos exposure.
The neighborhood was demolished and rebuilt as part of an urban renewal project. Thereasea believes this was done to spread out those harmed by living near the asbestos site.
Other Charlotte, North Carolina Asbestos Exposure Sites
Employees at the above sites, workers in various industries and homeowners in the Charlotte area may all have experienced exposure to asbestos. Below is a list of asbestos exposure locations in Charlotte.
Asbestos Risks at Charlotte, North Carolina Work Sites
- A. Lynn Thomas Company, Inc.
- Acousti Engineering Company
- American Commercial Bank Building
- American Cyanamid
- Anchor Mills Company
- Applied Insulation Company
- Arlington Cotton Mills
- Arrowood Industrial Park
- Barnhardt Manufacturing Company
- Biltmore Dairy Farms
- Buensod Division Aironca, Inc.
- C&C Boiler
- Carolina Paper Board Corporation
- Celanese Corporation
- Celanese Fiber Industries, Inc.
- Central Piedmont Community College
- Chadbourn Hosiery Mills, Inc.
- Channel 3 TV
- Channel 9 TV
- Charlotte Aircraft Corporation
- Charlotte Ardanse Missile Plant
- Charlotte Cotton Mills
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport
- Charlotte Linen Supply Company
- Charlotte Memorial Hospital
- Charlotte Observer Building
- Charlotte Pipe Shop
- Charlotte Town Mall
- Charlotte Water Works
- Clariant Corporation
- Coulwood Junior High School
- Cutter Building
- D. & B. Insulation Company, Inc.
- Davidson College
- Duke Power Company
- Eckerd Drugs, Inc.
- Eighteen Twenty, Inc.
- Embree and Reed, Inc.
- Engineering, Inc.
- Federal Reserve Bank
- Fibre Industries, Inc.
- Frito Lay, Inc.
- Gas Heat Engineering Corporation
- General Tire and Rubber Company
- Guy M. Beaty & Company
- H. K. Porter
- Hawthorne Medical Center
- Highland Mills
- Highland Park Manufacturing Company
- Iredell County Schools
- J. A. Jones Construction Company
- Johnson C. Smith University
- Johnston Manufacturing Company
- Johnston Mills Company
- Knit Mates, Inc.
- Lance, Inc.
- Linde Air Products Company
- Masonite Plant
- McGuire Nuclear Power Plant
- McLaren Rubber Company
- Mercy Hospital
- Merita Bread
- Methodist Home
- Missile Plant
- Moores Super Stores, Inc.
- National Gypsum
- National Linen Service Corporation
- North Carolina National Bank
- Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation
- Park Ave Team Track
- Pat Hall Enterprises, Inc.
- Piedmont Products Company
- Piedmont Realty Company
- Pipe & Boiler Insulation Company
- Porter-Hayden Company
- Presbyterian Hospital
- Queens College
- R. H. Bouligny, Inc.
- Radisson Hotel
- Robinson Electric Company
- Ross & Whitmer
- S. H. Duncan & Company
- Salvation Army Chapel
- Salvation Army Housing Building
- Sanitary Laundry, Inc.
- Savona Manufacturing Company
- Scandinavia Belting Company
- Scandura, Inc.
- Sherwin Williams
- Siemens Corporation
- Siemens Westinghouse Power Corporation
- Southeastern Magnesia & Asbestos Company, Inc.
- Southern Asbestos Company
- Southern Bell Telephone Company
- Southern Railroad – Arrowwood Industrial Park – Building 260
- Southern Textile
- Starr Davis Company, Inc.
- Superior Piping, Inc.
- Swift and Company
- Swift Edible Oil Company
- Thomas, A. Lynn Company, Inc
- University of North Carolina
- Wachovia Bank
- Webel Knitting Company
- Western Carolina University
- Western North Carolina Vocational School
- Westinghouse Electric Corporation
- Westinghouse Plant
02. Mesothelioma Risk
Mesothelioma Risk in Charlotte, North Carolina
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gathers county-based statistics for mesothelioma deaths. While each experience is different, statistics can provide at-risk individuals and doctors with an idea of the potential for disease.
Statistics about Charlotte are included within data for Mecklenburg County. Charlotte is the county seat.
|Mecklenburg County Mesothelioma Deaths by Gender 1999 – 2018|
|Gender||Number of Deaths||Population|
Between 2012 and 2016, there were 20 new diagnoses of mesothelioma in Mecklenburg County. During that same time period, 17 people from the county died from the asbestos cancer.
The only counties in the state to report more mesothelioma diagnoses during this timeframe were Guilford County and Wake County. These counties are northeast of Mecklenburg County.
03. Mesothelioma Treatment
Mesothelioma Treatment in Charlotte, North Carolina
Patients in Charlotte, North Carolina may travel to specialized mesothelioma treatment centers outside of the city. However, once a personalized treatment plan is created, patients may be able to receive chemotherapy or other mesothelioma treatments at local Charlotte-area hospitals.
Wake Forest Baptist Health
By seeking treatment at specialized cancer centers, patients can receive treatment from mesothelioma doctors experienced in treating the rare asbestos cancer. Mesothelioma patients from Charlotte who receive treatment at cancer centers with experienced specialists may be able to increase their life expectancies and improve overall quality of life.
Jill Ohar, M.D.
Edward A. Levine, M.D.
04. Asbestos Laws
Asbestos Laws in Charlotte, North Carolina
Asbestos laws are implemented on the federal, state, county and city levels to keep individuals safe. Residents and business owners of Charlotte, North Carolina must comply with the Mecklenburg County Air Quality (MCAQ) laws. This agency administers and locally enforces the asbestos NESHAP (National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants). This federal air quality regulation protects human health and the environment.
Other Regulatory Agencies Overseeing Charlotte:
- Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement
- NC Health Hazards Control Unit
- NC Occupational Safety and Health Division (OSH)
State and Local Regulations That May Apply:
- The NC Asbestos Hazard Management Program and Lead-Based Paint Program
- The NC Occupational Safety and Health Asbestos Standard
The Charlotte, North Carolina area takes asbestos regulations and exposure limitations seriously. In 2014, the city of Charlotte did not obtain proper permits to complete renovations to a building that would house its arson department. Reports noted the building likely contained asbestos materials. The city paid a $2,500 fine to Mecklenburg County for operating without a permit.
05. Asbestos Lawsuits
Asbestos and Mesothelioma Lawsuits in Charlotte, North Carolina
There have been many asbestos lawsuits filed in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. A number of these have stemmed from exposure related to the asbestos product manufacturers in the area.
Employees of these companies and their families have filed lawsuits against the companies in order to gain compensation for lost wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering. One worker for the Carolina Asbestos Co. developed asbestosis from exposure while on the jobsite. This individual filed a workers’ compensation claim. The company was also named in a lawsuit filed by a worker’s widow after his death due to an asbestos-related cancer.
Those who wish to pursue an asbestos-related lawsuit have certain timeframes in which to file a case. This period of time is called a statute of limitations. Timeframes vary based on if the case is for personal injury or wrongful death. Working with a Charlotte mesothelioma law firm ensures patients and their families have the best chance of receiving compensation.
Statute of Limitations for North Carolina
Claims must be filed within 3 years after an asbestos-related diagnosis.
Claims must be filed within 2 years after an asbestos-related death.
North Carolina residents who have experienced asbestos exposure and developed a related illness may be eligible to file a lawsuit with a Charlotte mesothelioma attorney.