South Carolina Mesothelioma Resources and Asbestos Information
South Carolina has two significant sources of asbestos-related exposure: ship building and repair operations and power generation plants. These two industries yield the greatest amount of asbestos-linked medical cases.
South Carolina is also home to natural deposits of serpentine, which contains the chrysotile variety of asbestos. At one time serpentine was mined heavily in the state before the asbestos risks were known. Most such deposits are found in the northwest part of the state and along the foothills between North Carolina and Georgia. Other deposits of serpentine can be found in the eastern portion of Piedmont and the Appalachian Mountain Range, as well as throughout sparsely populated areas along Route 97.
Along with mining, asbestos installation aboard ships is a potential source of asbestos contamination. The S.S. Morro Castle caught fire off the coast of New Jersey in 1934. This alerted officials to the need for fireproofing materials in ships, but sadly, the material chosen was usually asbestos. For a fifty year period, ranging from the 1930s through early 1980s, asbestos installation was commonly used in a number of sea-faring vessels. During the installation process, the asbestos was usually sprayed on to form a firm shell upon drying.
Unfortunately, during the application process there was a good chance asbestos fibers would be inhaled. Another problem is that as vessels age this asbestos deteriorates. This puts shipyard workers in danger of inhaling these asbestos fibers and makes them susceptible to asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma. There have also been instances of lung cancer from such exposure.
Power plants are another source of potential asbestos exposure. This is because some of the equipment used may be insulated with asbestos. Certain types of asbestos known as crocidolite may be released in the event of a fire at a power plant. Asbestos may also be present in the plumbing at some power plants. Renovation of older buildings is another potential source of asbestos fibers.
Between 1980 and 2000 there were 634 confirmed deaths as a result of asbestos-related exposure and illness in South Carolina. Those seeking financial awards through litigation should remember that South Carolina is one of several states that has a statute of limitations regarding personal injury claims. This is why it is vital to have documentation when a diagnosis is first made and to contact a mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible to get legal advice on how to proceed with a claim.