The risk of asbestos exposure for Arkansas residents extends across the state. Arkansas has several areas that are at an increased risk of exposure, particularly where the mineral was imported, where improper demolitions took place and where mining occurred. Since Arkansas is not typically known for exposure to asbestos, it ranks 35th in terms of the number of deaths from related diseases. According to statistics, 246 people died from an asbestos-related disease between 1999 and 2010 –166 from mesothelioma and 80 from asbestosis.
Asbestosis vs. Mesothelioma
Although both conditions may cause symptoms such as dry cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath or chest pain, there are several differences in asbestosis vs. mesothelioma. First, asbestosis is a chronic lung disease specifically caused by exposure to the mineral whereas mesothelioma is a form of cancer and can occur not only in the lungs but also the heart and testicles as well.
In mesothelioma cancer, the asbestos fibers settle into the linings of the organ, such as the lungs, and may cause problems breathing in many patients. On the other hand, while asbestosis is not a form of cancer, studies have shown that it does increase the chance that the patient will develop cancer at some point. According to statistics, 80 percent of patients are diagnosed with mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos for several years, causing many to consider seeking compensation for their condition.
Occupational hazards in Arkansas exist in multiple fields, workplaces and sectors, and much of the danger is dependent on the daily functions of the employee. Certain job fields provide more extreme hazards, and the following list includes occupations that are at an increased risk of exposure in the state:
- Construction workers
- Navy personnel
- Demolition workers
- Park staff
- Chemical plant workers
- Power plant workers
Arkansas was one of the many states that received tainted vermiculite from Montana, the amount of which was estimated to be 70,048 tons over 826 individual shipments. The majority of the vermiculite went to North Little Rock with the remaining shipments going to other cities in Arkansas like Pine Bluff, Hope and Nashville.
Asbestosis vs. Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Like most other states with known cases of asbestos exposure and the development of asbestosis vs. mesothelioma symptoms, Arkansas is home to several lawsuits that date back decades to target employers, manufacturers and other negligent parties. According to court documents, these lawsuit claims caused many companies to file for bankruptcy and settle the allegations through trusts.
Additionally, more than 40 asbestos lawsuits were filed in the state since the 1990s, some of which are class action lawsuits. Across the U.S., many plaintiffs have received awards of hundreds of millions of dollars while others received modest amounts through jury verdicts and settlements. Specific amounts of Arkansas lawsuits are often held private and are not publicized. However, due to the state’s more recent incidences of exposure through water contamination and imported asbestos, many experts feel that additional lawsuits will follow.
Do You Need Legal Representation? We Can Help
If you or someone you love have questions about asbestosis vs. mesothelioma lawsuits or if you believe you developed one of these diseases as a result of asbestos exposure, contact Attorney Group for Arkansas for a free consultation. We can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can work to help you seek the compensation to which you may be entitled.