Florida Mesothelioma Resources and Asbestos Information

Florida has more than forty locations identified as presenting asbestos exposure danger. From aerospace manufacturing to sugar cane refineries to power stations, asbestos has been used for years in Florida to insulate and construct a variety of buildings. Because asbestos is a harmful substance and exposure is linked to development of mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer, understanding the dangers of asbestos in Florida as well as the events surrounding asbestos litigation reform is paramount to health and safety. While asbestos-related death and injury do not typically affect the majority of people, some sub-populations working in specific industries can have greater incidences of asbestos-related disease. In Florida, Broward County led the state with more than 300 asbestos-related deaths between 1979 and 1999. Brevard County, home of Cape Canaveral, NASA, and a place where a tremendous amount of asbestos was used in construction, reported 87 asbestos-related deaths during the same time period. Approximately two-thirds of those deaths were from mesothelioma. Other key sites and industries in Florida that used more asbestos than others include power stations, where the material was used commonly as insulation, and ship-building and maritime repair facilities, which used it extensively in the construction of ships. NASA, too, used a substantial amount of asbestos as a flame-retardant insulation component of space shuttle and engine design. Chemical companies and other public buildings are also known to have been constructed with asbestos in Florida. In one of the most notable actions taken in Florida, a large sugar factory was actually shut down as a result of the presence of asbestos fibers and the potential harm to workers. Because of the presence of asbestos in Florida, as well as the rate of asbestos-related deaths across the state, there has been a fair amount of asbestos litigation as some citizens have sued on the basis of exposure to asbestos. Consequently, the Florida government passed asbestos litigation reform in the 1990s in an effort to restrict litigation only to those individuals actually suffering from symptoms of an asbestos-related disease. However, the reform law is in the process of being appealed, led by a number of Florida businesses. They claim that the current reform law does not sufficiently restrict Florida citizens who are not actively exhibiting symptoms of asbestos-related disease and still subjects businesses and the government to unnecessary lawsuits. The decision is pending.