Asbestos forms when the mineral peridotite reacts with extremely hot water. Since peridotite composes the majority of Earth’s upper crust layer, reactions transforming it into asbestos commonly occur. For this reason, miners find asbestos not just in designated asbestos mines, but also potentially anywhere on Earth. Vermiculite miners, talc miners, coal miners, diamond miners and more all face the deadly consequences of mining companies and asbestos exposure.
A highly productive vermiculite mine in Libby, Montana, provides a notable example. Vermiculite ore excavated from the Libby mine contained 4-6% asbestos. Asbestos fibers, disturbed during processing and shipping, saturated 40% of the airborne mill dust.
Miners may also risk asbestos exposure from equipment and cabling insulation they use. Industries like West Virginia coal mining require regular testing and control of asbestos exposure levels by law.
Mining Companies and Asbestos-Related Cancer Risk
Heightened exposure levels to asbestos fibers lead to an increased risk of developing cancers such as lung cancer or mesothelioma.
For instance, researchers found that Libby miners were 22 times more likely to die from mesothelioma compared to the normal population. They also exhibited a 70% increase in lung cancer deaths.
Similar cancer risks have been measured for miners in other industries. Miners of diamond, talc, coal, limestone and many other professions all face a heightened risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma and lung scarring.
Many of these miners’ symptoms of mesothelioma or lung cancer did not appear for many decades as a result of the long latency period for asbestos-related cancers. Therefore, anyone who worked in mining for any duration and has a cancer condition now could potentially attribute their cancer to asbestos exposure.
If you or a loved one once worked in mining and have since been diagnosed with an asbestos-related cancer condition, contact Mesowatch today. You will receive immediate attention, as well as a free, confidential case evaluation. Connect with our nationwide legal team of asbestos litigation experts to quickly identify all liable parties and pursue rightful compensation.