Texas is the most oil rich state in the U.S. It is the largest oil and natural gas producing state in the nation. Based on data from the Energy Information Agency (EIA), Texas produces 26 percent of total United States crude oil production. In 2012 September, the state was extracting above 2 million bbl of crude oil per day. 26 active oil refineries, operated by various oil corporations, distill crude into gasoline, diesel fuel, aviation gas and kerosene. Most of these refineries were constructed with products containing asbestos fibers. As a result, many refinery workers have already developed and many are still being diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma. With the help of an efficient Texas mesothelioma lawyer, asbestos exposure victims can obtain the financial compensation they deserve.
If you or any of your loved ones is suffering from mesothelioma, asbestosis, or asbestos-induced lung cancer, we can help you consult with the best mesothelioma lawyer in your city. Right now, there is more than $30 billion in asbestos trust funds. This is the best time to take the initial step to find out whether you are eligible for compensation. We help victims of asbestos exposure throughout the Texas City.
Texas Oil Production Plants and Asbestos
Petroleum is one of the most risky industries in terms of occupational asbestos exposure and Texas is the foremost domestic producer of petroleum products. Texas produced 1.2 billion bbl of oil in 2014 which was one-third of all crude oil production in the U.S. that year. Many oil production plants in Texas used massive amounts of asbestos materials because of the mineral’s excellent resistance to heat and fire, the two major hazards in the petroleum industry. Asbestos-containing insulation was used for lining conduits and pipes, gaskets, work surfaces and distillation columns in order to protect refineries and oil wells from fire and potential explosions. The hazardous mineral was also used in the gear of firefighters.
When ages, asbestos-containing insulation becomes brittle and flakes easily. Loose asbestos fibers can be released into the air at the time of activities like sawing and hammering near asbestos dust deposits. Airborne asbestos particles are easily inhalable. Inhaled asbestos fibers gradually build up inside the tissues of the lung and chest cavity. This accumulation could result in catastrophic medical conditions such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Texas’ average mortality rate associated with mesothelioma is 17.5 per million.
The main operators of refineries, oil wells, and other petroleum-related facilities in Texas include:
BP (British Petroleum);
Even though the use of asbestos has been restricted and regulated since the 1980s, most of the older oil refineries and rigs still contain large amounts of asbestos in pipes, drywall, ceiling material, gaskets, and conduits. Contractors and employees in these facilities suffered asbestos exposure during the routine maintenance works. Now the state has rules governing asbestos handling and the application of safety devices. However, many workers who suffered heavy asbestos exposure prior to the 1980s are currently developing asbestos-related ailments such as mesothelioma.
Other Asbestos Sources in Texas
Many energy producers, manufacturers, and shipbuilders operate plants, power generation facilities, and shipyards in Texas. Some of them were constructed after asbestos became a restricted and highly regulated material because of its known hazards. However, many older facilities have been active in the state since the 1930s and still contain asbestos. Power generation plants are especially dangerous as asbestos is present in them in almost all major components due to its excellent resistance to electricity.
Ships constructed in Texas between the 1900s and 1980s abundantly used asbestos chiefly for insulation purpose. Though this helped control or prevent on-board fires, it caused shipyard engineers, sailors, dockyard workers, and pipe-fitters to be exposed to hazardous asbestos fibers. Many of these employees have already developed asbestos-related diseases including mesothelioma and others are now at the risk of developing such catastrophic medical conditions.
Additionally, numerous steel mills, aircraft factories, automobile plants, government buildings, military bases, and schools and apartments constructed prior to the 1980s have been identified as sites with a potential for heavy asbestos exposure.
Furthermore, naturally occurring asbestos or NOAs also exist in different parts of Texas. For example, deposits of serpentine minerals have been found near the Government Canyon Natural Area northwest of San Antonio. NOAs have also been located in the Panhandle region of Texas. Though no asbestos mines are there in Texas, human activity and wind in regions with NOAs could cause many people in those areas to be exposed to the cancer-causing mineral.
Asbestos Laws in Texas
In Texas, asbestos handling is being regulated by the Texas Department of State Health Services. This is the only agency in Texas which regulates the procedures and policies regarding the elimination of asbestos materials present in public properties.
The state requires owners of the property to notify the state prior to beginning the asbestos removal process. Additionally, property and building owners are required to have a certified inspector conduct a site survey for assessing any potential hazards.
Training as well as certification for individuals involved in the asbestos abatement process should be done through the state. Additionally, the individuals must have a statement from a physician approving them for works involving asbestos. They also require paying for an annual license fees, in addition to a $1 million insurance policy for asbestos clean-up and removal. Exemptions are allowed for asbestos removal on private homes and dwellings with less than five units.
State-authorized contractors have to keep a log on asbestos-related works on any public property. Texas keeps records of all these logs for 30 years for ensuring compliance with the state, OSHA, and EPA regulations.
Under the Texas Statute of Limitations on asbestos litigation, wrongful death suits should be filed within 2 years following the death of the victim.
Get Legal Assistance in Texas
If you or a family member is suffering from mesothelioma, asbestosis, or asbestos-related lung cancer, you may be qualified for significant financial compensation. We can help you locate the best mesothelioma attorney in your city. For further assistance, please call at 1-800-706-5606 or fill out and submit our online contact form.