Years ago, numerous industries used asbestos containing products for their insulating and fire resistant properties. At that time, the dangers of asbestos exposure were not known as they are today. Exposure to asbestos can cause workers to suffer from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and even lung cancer- serious, and sometimes fatal conditions. Since the state of Illinois has such a wide range of these industries, like markets in manufacturing, petroleum, agriculture, coal and power generation, it has been ranked 7th in the nation for asbestos related diseases that result in fatalities with an estimated 1933 deaths.
Additionally, Illinois is home to approximately 30 facilities that unfortunately received shipments of more than 372,000 tons of asbestos contaminated vermiculite from Montana. Locations with these facilities include Chicago, Peoria, Quincy, Girard, Buda and Calumet City. Alarmingly, old school buildings are also often contaminated with asbestos. Madison County, Illinois, host to an estimated 75 percent of all Illinois cases, has become an unfortunate national hotspot for asbestos suits.
Although workers in a wide variety of industries have been exposed to the toxic material, those who work or previously worked in oil refineries and power plants in the state are said to be at the highest risk for developing asbestos related illnesses. Other types of facilities, including older bank buildings, schools, churches and even hospitals are also said to be contaminated. Disturbingly, even certain water supplies may have been tainted with asbestos due to the material being used to create cement water pipes between the 1930s and the 1970s.
Many buildings throughout Illinois were constructed with asbestos, and dependent upon when the risk for exposure was discovered and how each situation was handled, workers, students and others may be at risk for developing asbestos related disease. As these buildings age, the risk for exposure increases as old asbestos-containing materials may release hazardous fibers into the air.
While individuals who have developed illnesses that are related to on the job exposure to asbestos can, in many cases, file a personal injury suit with the manufacturers of the products that contained the contaminant, many are not aware that they may also be able to file a claim against their employer. Compensation for damages can often be received by the victim himself, or by families of victims who have passed away. Monetary compensation can often be obtained for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of companionship, pain and suffering and more.