Vermont does have naturally occurring asbestos within its borders. In fact, the state is well known for being among the very first to actually mine asbestos. In 1899 the New England Asbestos Mining and Milling Company began mining asbestos on Belvedere Mountain, near Eden, VT. After three years of successfully mining asbestos, the operation was shut down.
In the 1920's the mine was re-opened and continued to be successful. It was boasted that this one site produced the vast majority of asbestos in the entire United States. The Vermont Product Corporation purchased the mine in 1939 and controlled it for many years.
By the mid seventies, asbestos was being questioned as a potentially hazardous material. The Environmental Protection Agency wanted to shut the mining operation down completely. It took until 1993 for the mine to finally be closed permanently. By then asbestos was proven to be very dangerous and regulations were put in place regarding the use of any asbestos related materials.
Asbestos Exposure in Vermont
Many work sites in Vermont have been cited for having asbestos products on the premises. In particular, asbestos was discovered at manufacturing facilities, paper companies and power plants. Many of these industries clothed their employees in uniforms that included asbestos materials. Asbestos was also found in high schools, hospitals, hotels and many other buildings throughout the state.
Asbestos was a common material used to make insulation. Having operational asbestos mines within the state helped guarantee that many buildings and homes would have insulation and other products that were made with asbestos.
The problem begins when the asbestos cracks or is broken up. Asbestos is made up of tiny fibers which can float in the atmosphere and be inhaled with ease. The fibers can also become attached to most anything, and therefore unwittingly transported to other locations. This brought about the risk of exposure for people who might never have even entered a building which had any asbestos products on site.
No one other than a certified professional, such as E-tech Consulting Services in Hyde Park, VT, should ever touch, remove or attempt to dispose of asbestos. It is very hazardous, and inhaling it can lead to diseases such as mesothelioma (a form of lung cancer). Always hire the services of a professional company that is qualified to properly remove asbestos in a safe and secure manner.
Asbestos related deaths in Vermont
Mesothelioma can be a fatal disease. During the years of 1979 and 1999, there were 75 deaths from diseases related to asbestos exposure. This data was put together by The EWG Action Fund. The study also showed that Bennington County, Windham County and Rutland County had the highest number of deaths following exposure.
Asbestos lawsuits in Vermont
In 2006 Vermont's Supreme Court issues a decision which stated that if a plaintiff dies from a wrongful death case (such as from asbestos exposure) and does not have a spouse, the brother or sister of the victim may file a lawsuit citing a loss of companionship. While there are currently no pending asbestos cases, the long history of mining the toxic material offers the possibility of future lawsuits.
What to do if you have been exposed to asbestos
Seek medical consultation immediately from a physician familiar with asbestos-related health complications or thoracic disease.
If you have developed a disease following exposure to asbestos, you may want to file a lawsuit. You must file before the statue of limitations runs out or your case will not be accepted. The statute of limitations for negligence/personal injury is three years, and for wrongful death is two years.
If you have been exposed to asbestos, you are at risk and you must know what to do next. If you or a loved one have inhaled or been exposed to asbestos, contact us and we will send you a complimentary information packet which lists the steps you should take if you were the victim of an asbestos exposure.
Last modified: December 28, 2010.