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Kansas City Asbestos Exposure Sites and Mesothelioma Hotspots

If you have worked and lived in Missouri for a significant amount of time, there is a chance that you were exposed to asbestos at home or in the workplace. Prolonged exposure to asbestos can lead to serious health problems, including pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma and asbestos-exposure-related lung disease. Many asbestos providers recklessly polluted the environment and put profits before people.

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that is hard to diagnose and treat. Tumors form in the mesothelium (membrane that surrounds the lungs and abdomen). These tumors are difficult to spot, and since most mesothelioma victims do not have physical symptoms until Stage III or Stage IV, doctors do not perform extensive diagnostic tests. Any late-stage cancer that has spread to other parts of the body is almost impossible to treat.

A mesothelioma lawyer in Kansas City obtains the compensation these victims need to deal with their illnesses and also holds polluters responsible for their actions. Compensation in a civil claim usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. The punitive damages available in these cases force companies to change the way they do business and truly put safety first.

Asbestos Mining

Until the government banned the practice in 2002, large asbestos mines were located in St. Francois County and adjacent Iron County. Several former mines in this area contain documented asbestos occurrences. Mining activity disrupts the deposits and releases dangerous fibers into the air.

These fibers endanger miners and the people who live near mines. Most asbestos mining companies did not require workers to wear adequate PPE (personal protective equipment). Instead, they lied about the risk. Furthermore, since asbestos fibers are only slightly heavier than air, they usually float for at least seventy-two hours.

Furthermore, an unnamed prospect in the Mark Twain National Forest, a manganese mine in Winona, and a copper mine in Astoria had documented natural asbestos. Mining activities at these locations could have potentially disturbed the existing deposits and made the dangerous fibers become airborne.

Asbestos Use Across Missouri Industries

In addition to the natural asbestos deposits in St. Francois and Iron counties, industries throughout the state put workers at risk with their use of asbestos-containing materials and products.

Manufacturing

GAF Corporation, later known as Ruberoid, operated a plant near Kansas City that produced asbestos roofing materials. These products put workers in the plant, as well as construction workers and consumers, at risk of exposure. Another large asbestos product manufacturer, CertainTeed, had a plant-based near GAF and produced asbestos-laced cement pipe. Furthermore, when these facilities closed in the late 1970s, they improperly disposed of their hazardous asbestos waste along the Maline Creek shoreline. Despite some local government cleanup efforts, much asbestos waste remains there today.

Automotive

Before 1980, almost all domestically produced auto parts contained asbestos. Many imported automotive parts, like brake linings, still use some amount of asbestos today, putting mechanics and workers in vehicle assembly plants at an increased risk of exposure to the toxin. Workers at the Mack Truck assembly plant in Joplin used several asbestos-containing parts that they often handled, including gaskets and brake linings.

Asbestos Superfund Sites in Missouri

Two sites in Missouri are on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund List because of asbestos waste and other environmental concerns. The Maline Creek area was also considered for the list after many investigations over the years. Various cleanup efforts by local agencies took place over the years, finally concluding in 2001.

Lake City Army Ammunition Plant

The Lake City Army Ammunition Plant occupies nearly 4,000 acres of land in Independence. The site has been used for various industrial operations, including manufacturing and testing ammunition, since 1941. Over decades of use, hazardous wastes have built up on the site and contaminated the soil and groundwater. In their initial investigation, the EPA noted asbestos siding, construction debris, metals, PCBs, and other toxic waste around the property. The site was added to the Superfund List in 1989 and underwent extensive long-term cleaning efforts. As of 2009, the site was declared to need no further action, though monitoring is ongoing.

Weldon Spring Chemical Plant and Quarry

The Weldon Spring site includes the Weldon Spring Chemical Plant and the Weldon Spring Quarry. The site is located in St. Charles County, and the two operations are approximately four miles apart. The site was used to convert uranium and process other concentrates, like thorium. These materials and their decay products contaminated the building, equipment, sewer system, and surrounding area. The EPA found a variety of other hazards, including asbestos debris, lead, and various metals. For cleanup, a large disposal cell was constructed for the waste products in 2001, and the agency is dedicated to long-term monitoring and continued cleanup of surrounding soils and groundwater.

Exposure in Cities

Steelworkers and many builders in Kansas City, Missouri, used asbestos-containing products until the 1980s. Workers and family members exposed to asbestos may be at risk of developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

Asbestos in places like Kansas City is not yesterday’s problem. In 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor found a Leawood, Missouri, contractor had exposed its workers to workplace hazards. The Department of Labor recommended more than $200,000 in penalties for the company in addition to previous unpaid penalties.

The exposures likely happened when work was done on several buildings in Kansas City. Workers were exposed to asbestos and other hazardous materials. It is not uncommon for contractors to violate safety rules to save money and complete projects within certain timelines.

Other asbestos hotspots in the Kansas City area include Cape Girardeau, Lake City, Fulton, Saint Joseph, Kirksville, Ladue, Marshall, Labadie, Hannibal, Jefferson City, Independence, North Kansas City, New Madrid, Centralia, and Chamois.

Connect With a Hard-Working Asbestos Exposure Lawyer

Mesothelioma victims need and deserve significant compensation. For a confidential consultation with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer in Kansas City, contact the Throneberry Law Group. You have a limited amount of time to act.

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We are so appreciative of the results Michael Throneberry got for us! Michael Throneberry and the attorneys we worked with were focused on our peace of mind and seemed to care for my family and me as if we were family. They truly get it. We were thrilled with the result and would recommend this firm to anyone. M.S.
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During one of my family's darkest and trying times, Michael Throneberry was there to provide help. His personal experience with mesothelioma made certain that he advised us like family. Thank you, you are wonderful. Do yourself a favor and let him help you during this trying time. He is a true 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. T.S.
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Michael Throneberry gave me a whole new outlook on attorneys'! A very caring person who was more concerned with my health than a case. Truly unexpected! He explained possible conditions in english and even found the right doctors in my area. Prepared me for the right questions to ask the doctors so that I can understand my illness better. A great person and a great human being! Thank you. Greg