Top U.S. States for Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals. When asbestos is disturbed or damaged, the tiny fibers can be released into the air, where they can be inhaled or ingested. These fibers can become stuck in the mesothelium, resulting in inflammation and scarring. The inflammation can result in genetic changes where cell DNA changes into a mesothelioma cancer cell. The leading cause of mesothelioma is occupational asbestos exposure, which occurs when workers are exposed to asbestos while on the job. Mesothelioma can also be caused by second-hand asbestos exposure, which happens when a worker carries asbestos fibers home to their loved ones without knowing. While asbestos is no longer widely used, it still exists in some capacity all across the United States of America. However, some states are considered hotspots for asbestos exposure. Below are five of the U.S. states with the highest rates of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma.

  1. California

There are several reasons why California is the leading state for asbestos exposure and mesothelioma. First, California has many asbestos-containing mines. These mines are in many counties across the state. Second, the heavy industrial activity in California, including oil and gas, mining, and shipyards, creates an increased risk of asbestos exposure. Third, California has the highest population, leading to increased cases.

  1. Pennsylvania

Second on this list is the state of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has a high rate of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma because of the widespread asbestos mining and processing that occurred in the 20th century. Amber, a mining town in Philadelphia, even got nicknamed the “asbestos capital of the world.”

  1. Florida

The third hotspot for asbestos exposure and mesothelioma in the U.S. is Florida. Oil mining, shipyards, power plants, and construction are the top industries in the Sunshine State responsible for occupational asbestos exposure. However, asbestos does not occur naturally in Florida. Instead, asbestos was shipped to various cities across Florida from Pennsylvania for processing in the 20th century. Asbestos also got into the Sunshine State in the form of asbestos-contaminated goods.

  1. New York

New York is a bustling center of construction and industrial activity. New York was among the first states to start using asbestos products in major construction projects. New York was also one of the first states to bring asbestos to the U.S. from overseas. There are also some large manufacturing and shipyard facilities in New York. Worksites, schools, hospitals, and more are considered asbestos locations in NY.

  1. Texas

Texas was home to eight asbestos mining sites. For most of the 20th century, many industries in the state, including manufacturing, military, oil and gas, and shipyards, relied on asbestos. This put both workers and residents at risk of asbestos exposure.

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