Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure In Colorado

Nearly 600 Colorado residents have passed away from an asbestos-related condition. Asbestos occurs naturally in the environment, where it was significantly mined and manufactured into insulation or components of other products. Once inhaled, the fibers cannot be removed.

Decades of trapped asbestos fibers can cause healthy cells inside the mesothelium to mutate into malignant or cancerous cells. As a result, the person exposed can develop mesothelioma. Most asbestos-related deaths in Colorado consist of mesothelioma patients.

Until the 1980s, companies in Colorado used carcinogens in their products or throughout their property to protect against overheated machinery or fires. While the toxin had plenty of benefits when it comes to manufacturing certain products, exposure can be deadly if disturbed.

Occupational Exposure In Colorado

Occupational exposure to asbestos in Colorado, from Colorado Springs to Steamboat Springs, was not limited to deposits and mining activities alone; it posed a significant health risk to thousands of workers across various industries. Occupations susceptible to asbestos exposure encompassed a diverse range, putting workers in fields such as construction, shipbuilding, manufacturing, and automotive repair at heightened risk of asbestos-related diseases.

  • Manufacturing
  • Military
  • Mining
  • Oil refining
  • Power plants
  • Railroad

Employers known for exposure to the carcinogen include:

  • Anheuser-Busch Company
  • Conoco Oil Refinery
  • Gary Williams Energy
  • Hudson Energy Company
  • Lowry Air Force Base
  • Oxnard Construction Company
  • Pawnee Power Plant
  • Peata Verde Silver Mining Company
  • Ray D. Nixon Power Plant
This is an image of a plant and factory.

Western Minerals Company Plant

Western Minerals Company Plant in Denver, Colorado processed over 80,000 tons of vermiculite ore between 1867 and 1990. The ore was shipped by W.R. Grace from Libby, Montana, and contained the toxin. The company exposed workers and nearby residents to significant amounts of the carcinogen.

Recent soil samples from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) showed small amounts of the toxin still remain in some areas of the site. While the site is now free of air contamination, past employees and nearby residents were likely exposed to airborne fibers.

This is an image of a power plant.

Estes Power Plant – Asbestos Exposure in Colorado

Estes Power Plant, established in Larimer County in 1950 as a power production facility, incorporated asbestos into its structure during construction to withstand the intense heat requirements. Over the course of several decades, the dedicated employees of Estes Power Plant faced continuous exposure to asbestos fibers.

Recognizing the dangers posed by asbestos, the U.S. Department of the Interior took action in January 2011, urging the removal of asbestos-containing materials from the buildings on site. While contaminated plaster and HVAC duct wrap were successfully removed to mitigate further harm, numerous employees had already been exposed to the toxin prior to these measures.

Asbestos and Mesothelioma Cases In The Rocky Mountains

A United States Geological Survey report cited six natural asbestos deposits in Colorado, all occurring in the Rocky Mountains. The sites contain asbestos, and its associated minerals, including aegirine, tremolite, quartz, vermiculite, chlorite, clay, and more.

The natural deposits are located at several historic mining sites, including:

  • Camp Albion Mining District
  • Gem Park Complex
  • Pinon Peak
  • Salt Creek Vermiculite
  • Sedalia Mine
  • Sloan Pipe

Mining operations in the state of Colorado include gold, silver, uranium, and coal. Disturbing natural rock and mineral deposits where the toxin has been found may lead to inhalation of airborne fibers. While there are no active asbestos mines in Colorado, dozens of other active mining operations risk disturbing small deposits of the carcinogen. Some Colorado mines include:

  • Dolores Co. Falcon Mine
  • The Calumet Mine
  • Hecla No. 2 Mine
  • CF&I Company Mine
  • Iron King Mine
  • Peata Verde Silver Mining Company

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Asbestos Shipments To Colorado

The multi-industry company W.R. Grace was founded by William Russell Grace in 1854. The company first specialized in fertilizer and machinery but quickly got involved with shipping, banking, oil, healthcare, and mining. Mining operations included silver, clay, phosphate, tin, and ore.

The company shipped several million tons of ore across the United States from its mines in Montana. Shipments of the ore contained trace amounts of asbestos. Colorado received over 80,000 tons of the toxic ore in nearly 1000 shipments from 1948 to 1933. Cities in Colorado that received shipments from Libby include:

  • Denver
  • Florence
  • Lamar
  • Greeley

Air Force Academy Asbestos Exposure

The United States military significantly used the toxin on military property, including the Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs. The carcinogen was used inside many structures throughout the academy. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Air Pollution Control Division is monitoring recent demolitions of contaminated buildings. Two on-base housing locations, Pine Valley and Douglass Valley, were built between 1958 and 1978 during the peak of asbestos use in the United States. In recent years, the Air Force took active steps in eliminating on-base property that contained the toxic fibers.

Finding a Colorado Mesothelioma Law Firm – Legal Help

When seeking a mesothelioma law firm to provide legal assistance, it is crucial to understand the statute of limitations in Colorado. Mesothelioma victims in the state have a two-year timeframe from the date of diagnosis to file a claim. You may be entitled to compensation for your condition if you have received a mesothelioma diagnosis. To obtain guidance and support in filing a claim, simply fill out a free case evaluation form.

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