Alabama Mesothelioma Resources and Asbestos Information Alabama is home to many industries where exposure to asbestos was common. This state contains six steel and iron mills, eight power plants, two marine repair and construction sites and four oil refineries. In former years, asbestos was often mixed in with cement, as it turned the cement into a substance that immediately became flexible, durable, and resistant to cold and heat. Because of this, these cement pipes were used in many of the state’s community water systems. Today, there remain hundreds of miles of these asbestos pipes delivering water to more than eighty communities, including schools and homes within those regions. Although testing on these pipes for asbestos leaching has not been done since 1994, those who oversee the water systems believe there have never been any asbestos fibers contaminating the public drinking water supply. There is, however, no proof to ensure this because of the long period that has passed since last testing, which was very limited at that time. To make matters even worse, people who reside in the city where these pipes were made have used them for constructing fences around their properties. Thousands of individuals who had no warning to the dangers the substance imposed have been exposed to asbestos in the last century. Due to the recent increase in asbestos-related cancer, the diagnosing and treating of these forms of cancer and other related diseases is slowly becoming a specialty field of medicine. Most physicians who treat asbestos-related disease specialize in oncology, respiratory, thoracic or occupational medicine. Today there are numerous new hospitals and clinics that specialize in oncology due to the increase in the number of individuals diagnosed with cancer. It is estimated that 25 to 30 percent of Americans will develop some type of cancer in their lifetimes. Although there are numerous factors, including current lifestyle and environmental toxins, which can contribute to this, a prime example of an environmental factor is asbestos exposure. Because the state of Alabama has numerous factories, shipyards and construction sites, people who reside here do have reason for concern in regards to the rare form of asbestos-related cancer known as mesothelioma, a disease that occurs from exposure to asbestos fibers. Normally signs and symptoms of the disease do not appear until many years after the exposure has occurred.