Asbestos Exposure in Nebraska

Each state has its own varying levels of asbestos risk. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that can be found deep underground. It was once used heavily in many capacities due to its resistance to fire, electricity, and chemical corrosion. Once scientists and researchers found the link between asbestos and cancer development necessitating serious medical treatment, it was too late. The product was already being used heavily by many different companies and businesses. Subsequently, mesothelioma is the most common cancer associated with prolonged asbestos exposure. It can affect the lining of the lungs (pleura), the heart (pericardium), or the abdomen (peritoneum).

High-Risk Areas

Some areas in Nebraska have a higher risk of asbestos exposure and the development of mesothelioma than others. The mineral tends to be found mostly in industrial areas, environmentally in rock and soil deposits, and in certain construction products.

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Vermiculite Mining

In Libby, Montana, a series of mines contained tons of vermiculite ore. Like asbestos, vermiculite also naturally occurs and is used in several commercial and consumer applications. Raw vermiculite can be used in cinder blocks, gypsum wallboards, and many other products. Unfortunately, vermiculite ore in the Libby mine was contaminated with mesothelioma-causing asbestos and shipped to dozens of processing plants in the United States.

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Since asbestos was used heavily in many industries, several jobs could’ve potentially put their employees at risk for asbestos exposure. Jobs that have a higher risk of asbestos exposure include:

  • Construction workers
  • Demolition teams
  • Electricians
  • Military
  • Miners
  • Oil Refinery employees
  • Power plant workers
  • Railroad crews
  • Shipyard workers
  • Steel crew

If you’ve worked at similar job sites in Nebraska, you may have been exposed to asbestos or a toxic substance. As this information is public knowledge, you could ask your employer for more details.

Some companies in Nebraska that have had a history with asbestos include (but are not limited to):

  • Gerald Gentleman Station
  • Nebraska State Capitol
  • Omaha Powerhouse
  • Sheldon Station

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Superfund Sites

There are thousands of toxic sites around the U.S. Typically, these sites exist because companies dump, abandon, or otherwise improperly handle the poisonous waste. After a few significant events that ended with people in the hospital undergoing life-saving treatment, Congress passed the CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act) in 1980. This is also known as the Superfund, and it’s a financial outlet for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Ultimately, the EPA uses this to fund the cleanup of known toxic sites when the owner or operator doesn’t come forward and take responsibility for it.

A major superfund site in Nebraska is:

Western Mineral Products

A mineral processing conglomerate, W.R. Grace, has many sites all around the United States. Western Mineral Products is located in Omaha, Nebraska, and they’re a former exfoliation facility. They received tons of shipments of asbestos-contaminated vermiculite to that facility and are currently under watch by the EPA as a superfund site.

This is an image representing schools filled with asbestos.

Schools and Other Aged Structures

Structures made before the 1970s are at a higher risk for containing asbestos. The mineral was used in a multitude of items, including:

  • Air duct coverings
  • Door gaskets
  • Floor and walls
  • Gutters
  • Heat-resistant fabrics
  • Insulation
  • Outdoor window panels
  • Pipes
  • Popcorn ceilings
  • Roofing and siding shingles
  • Vinyl floor tiles, flooring or adhesive
  • Water tanks

If you own or operate a building built before the 1970s, it could be beneficial for you to have a certified asbestos inspector come by and see if any traces of the carcinogen can be found.

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Freemont City Auditorium

A $2.7 million renovation project is happening at the Fremont City Auditorium in Freemont, Nebraska. After renovations were scheduled to be completed in June of 2019, asbestos was discovered inside. Removal and demolition of the asbestos are currently underway and slated for completion in September of 2020.

This is an image representing a school.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Recently, the Union building in the university had to undergo emergency renovations when asbestos was found in the walls. Also, the Chick-fil-A and Steak’ n’ Shake establishments located within the Nebraska Union had to be closed down until renovations were complete and the asbestos adequately removed.

Regulations Against Asbestos

Since asbestos is classified as a carcinogen, government organizations like the EPA have worked towards protecting the public from asbestos exposure. Several laws have been passed to hold the owners, managers, and companies responsible for properly assessing and removing asbestos from their structures. Therefore, if you’ve been exposed to asbestos while on the job, at home, or in other old structures, the individual or organization in charge can be liable for any illness you develop. In addition to taking responsibility, organizations may be responsible for the costs of your treatment.

Mesothelioma makes many people too sick to work. Call us for help finding other compensation options.

National Regulations

The most recent national regulations against asbestos are the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). Hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) are toxins known or suspected to encourage the development of cancer or other significant health effects. The NESHAP focuses on monitoring compliance to regulations, including proper asbestos removal and notification to the appropriate parties if any demolition, construction, or renovation occurs in an asbestos structure.

Nebraska State Laws

In the United States, each state has specific laws on HAPs to prevent the risk of mesothelioma. In Nebraska, adequate licensure is required for any assessment, planning, or work involved with asbestos. Additionally, facilities must be inspected for asbestos-containing materials (ACM), with any suspected ACMs sent into a lab to be analyzed and handled correctly. More state regulations include the mandatory notification, regardless of any ACM being present, of any demolition, construction, or renovation projects. For demolition projects, it must be at least a 10-day notice. Still, for emergency renovation, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) must be alerted as soon as possible.

Legal Recourse for Nebraska Residents

Since there are laws put in place to protect people from exposure to harmful substances, there are consequences if the laws are broken. Those who are exposed to toxins at the workplace, at their home, or other place and develop illnesses can be eligible for compensation for treatment costs and more from the company or individuals responsible. If you have developed mesothelioma or other related condition due to exposure to a toxic substance, talk to an experienced attorney. They can navigate the complexities of your case and get you the compensation you deserve.

Asbestos Removal in Nebraska

If you are the owner or manager of an asbestos structure, it’s legally your responsibility to quickly and adequately remove it before anyone else frequents the building. Some inspectors can come by, check your property, and see how it can be removed efficiently. Certified companies will also come to your building and remove the toxic mineral for you. Some asbestos removal companies with 5 stars on Google (in alphabetical order) in Nebraska include:

Treatment Centers Near Nebraska

If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related conditions, it can be a scary and intimidating time. Finding the right cancer treatment center can offer experienced doctors and other helpful medical professionals and resources that can help alleviate some stress. Mesothelioma is easy to misdiagnose, and an experienced doctor who has handled similar cases can be highly beneficial, especially if you’re seeking a second opinion.

Nebraska Cancer Treatment Center

Here are some cancer treatment centers around Nebraska.






Next Steps

There may be other worksites or older structures that contain asbestos not mentioned. If you have reason to believe you’ve been exposed to the harmful mineral at work, home, or elsewhere, talk to a doctor immediately. They can administer some tests and have the potential to catch illness early.

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