Idaho Mesothelioma Resources and Asbestos Information

Idaho is a sparsely populated state, but according to census numbers, the population is expanding quickly. In Idaho, there are chemical plants, paper product production and mining companies. Asbestos was used in all of these industries, which put all former employees at risk. At the Idaho National Laboratory, nuclear reactor testing also used asbestos. Between 1979 and 1999, 180 deaths were blamed on Idaho asbestos exposure.

Asbestos is used effectively as a fire retardant in many products. The biggest concern for Idaho is the construction industry, where many of the materials used, such as wallboard and adhesives, contain asbestos. This raises concerns, because inhaling asbestos fibers can cause such asbestos-related diseases as mesothelioma and asbestosis. The northern part of the state also put many Idaho residents at risk, as this was home to numerous asbestos mines. While mining for asbestos, the material can become thickly suspended in the poorly-ventilated mining work areas, increasing worker risks of inhaling the material.

Most of the asbestos-related deaths were concentrated around the Bosie area. Ada County accounted for 27 deaths, and Kootenai County, in the panhandle, had 25. There were more mesothelioma deaths in the state than asbestosis deaths. This is explained by the fact that mesothelioma is a malignant disease, and once diagnosed the majority of victims generally do not live past 18 months. Asbestosis, on the other hand, is not malignant, and the progress of the disease will usually come to a stop when exposure to asbestos ends. Following national trends, asbestos-related deaths in metropolitan areas were from mesothelioma, but in rural areas they sprang from asbestosis.