Tennessee Mesothelioma Resources and Asbestos Information

Known as the Volunteer State, Tennessee is also famous for the Tennessee Valley Authority, created during the Great Depression as a means to create jobs. The Authority also formed an immense public utility sector that still thrives today. Approximately 8.5 million households in the state and neighboring ones benefit from the energy infrastructure created there. Energy is produced in hydroelectric dams, coal plants, natural gas and renewable energy sources.

Throughout the last century, Tennessee thrived as an economically vibrant region. However, many citizens that worked hard making the state successful were unfortunately exposed to asbestos in the process. As a material that is heat and chemical resistant, asbestos was widely used in a variety of applications. One of the most ironic uses was in protective clothing worn to protect individuals from high heat and caustic substances. Wearing asbestos-laden material usually led to the wearers inhaling dust and particles.

Mesothelioma and asbestosis are two rare diseases that develop after inhalation of large quantities of the dangerous mineral. Once the asbestos particles enter the body, there is no method for the body to remove them. Immediate health risks are minimal, but after years of being in the body, cell damage can occur. Most people who have previously been exposed won’t develop any complications, a small percentage will. Most common are respiratory complications, though cancer in the form of mesothelioma does happen.

Most cases of asbestos related disease in Tennessee have been documented in the four main urban areas: Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville. Between 1980 and 2000 there were about 676 documented deaths from mesothelioma and asbestosis. It is believed that many more citizens have actually been victims, but current methods for detection and statistic gathering are flawed. All the victims are known to have previously been exposed to the toxic, carcinogenic material.

Though the many workers in the energy industries are known to be afflicted, other citizens and workers are at risk as well. Beyond protective clothing, asbestos was commonly used in commercial and residential buildings, along with many different heaters and equipment. Prolonged exposure to dust caused by handling asbestos is thought to be the main culprit, while second hand exposure is a known cause as well. Early detection is the best method for receiving life saving treatment.