New Hampshire and Asbestos Exposure

Many of the New England states are plagued with naturally-occurring asbestos. Fortunately, New Hampshire is not one of these states. However, there are numerous job sites and other locations where workers can be exposed to different types of asbestos. These locations include paper and pulp mills, power plants, oil refineries, chemical companies, as well as a number of military bases, and other industrial locations. The presence of asbestos in these settings can be attributed to use of common building products manufactured before 1980, which contained high levels of asbestos-containing materials.

There was significant increase in population in the state of New Hampshire between 1980 and 200. During this time the population grew by over 33%, going from 920,000 to over 1.2 million. Also during this time of rapid growth, 234 deaths were attributed to asbestos, or approximately 1 in every 7,000 individuals. Of those who were victims to asbestos, malignant mesothelioma was the more prevalent disease, especially in the Hillsborough and Rockingham counties.

It is no coincidence that these counties are close to the coast.  Beginning in the 1930s, asbestos was used extensively in the shipbuilding industry to counter the threat of fires at sea.  The need for ships in World War II meant that not only the shipbuilders and breakers, but also the men and women who served on Navy ships were exposed to the dangerous mineral.  Asbestos was used in power plants and natural gas facilities for the same reasons, exposing those workers as well.

Exposure to asbestos within the state of New Hampshire is unavoidable for some based on the type of work they are or were involved in. Although exposure to asbestos does not necessarily mean the individual will suffer from some type of cancer, there is an increased likelihood the individual may contract a life-threatening disease that could have been avoided. Mesothelioma is extremely deadly, and often goes undiagnosed until the cancer has metastasized.  It is important for anyone who believes he or she may have been exposed to asbestos to seek medical treatment immediately at the first sign of respiratory problems.