Asbestos Exposure in Michigan

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Understanding Asbestos Exposure in Michigan

Having an understanding of Michigan’s asbestos history is crucial for raising awareness and advocating for affected individuals and their families. The repercussions of past asbestos use continue to impact Michiganders with asbestos-related diagnoses across the state.

The above map shows a glimpse into the numerous job sites, cities, and counties where known asbestos exposure in Michigan has occurred. While there are hundreds of sites on this list, it is not a full reflection of the places in Michigan you may have been exposed to asbestos.

Do you believe you were exposed to asbestos but do not see your job site or city on the map? We’d be eager to hear from you. Call our office today.

The Rust Belt Legacy

Michigan, nestled in the heart of the Rust Belt, bears a distinct legacy of asbestos exposure, contributing to a heightened risk of mesothelioma and lung cancer among its residents. This increased risk is attributed to the state’s industrial history, characterized by the extensive use of asbestos in various industries. The consequences of this historical exposure are still impacting the state, with individuals throughout the Upper and Lower Peninsula seeing higher than normal national rates of asbestos-related disease diagnoses.

Alarming Statistics

According to the CDC, Michigan exhibits an above-average mesothelioma death rate, standing at approximately 9.3 people per million annually. Michigan is ranked 10th in the United States for mesothelioma and asbestos-related deaths, with over 1,300 mesothelioma deaths and over 200 asbestosis deaths recorded. These numbers are anticipated to rise in the next 20-40 years, the prolonged latency period of these diseases.

Geographic Hotspots

Asbestos exposure in Michigan has been identified in urban and industrial areas. Known cities where asbestos exposure has been discovered include but are not limited to:

  • Detroit
  • Grand Rapids
  • Ann Arbor
  • Midland
  • Dearborn
  • Flint
  • Lansing
  • Saginaw
  • Pontiac
  • Marquette

Work sites containing asbestos are scattered throughout various cities within the state of Michigan with virtually every city in the state being home to buildings, machinery, or parts that contained asbestos.

Industries with the Help of Asbestos Exposure

The industrial landscape has been a breeding ground for asbestos exposure in Michigan. Key industries that have significantly contributed to this exposure include but are not limited to:

1. Automotive Industry

Detroit, the automotive hub, housed major automobile plants like Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Plymouth, Hudson Motor Car Corp, and Continental Motor Company. These plants, integral to the state’s economy, were laden with asbestos.

2. Shipbuilding Industry

With the largest inland coastline, Michigan facilitated shipbuilding, with shipyards like Eldean Shipyard and Defoe Shipyard being potential asbestos-exposure sites.

3. Steel Industry

Supporting the automotive sector, Michigan boasts numerous steel mills, metalworking shops, and foundries, where asbestos was prevalent. Job sites like Michigan Steel Foundry and the Great Lakes Steel Mills are examples.

4. Oil Industry

Despite not being a major player in the oil industry, Michigan housed oil refineries and distribution hubs where asbestos was used to prevent fires. Companies like Consolidated Oil, Citrin Oil, and Marathon Oil were involved.

5. Power Industry

Power plants, a ubiquitous presence in Michigan, contained asbestos. Northern Michigan Electric Cooperative, Detroit Edison, and Central Michigan Light and Power Company are identified sites, along with numerous asbestos-containing nuclear plants.

Beyond Industrial Sites

In addition to major industries, smaller job sites, including hospitals, chemical plants, and schools, played a role in community-wide asbestos exposure in Michigan.

Natural Deposits and Imports

Five areas in Michigan, including Iron Mountain, Negaunee, Marquette, Niagara, and Norway, are naturally occurring asbestos deposits. The importation of vermiculite brought significant asbestos contamination, affecting cities like Dearborn, Grand Rapids, Reed City, Warren, Elsie, Milan, and River Rouge. W.R. Grace Company, a major player in this importation, filed for bankruptcy after facing numerous asbestos lawsuits.

Exposed to Asbestos in Michigan But Now Living Elsewhere?

Serling & Abramson, P.C. are experts in asbestos exposure in Michigan and other states. If you were exposed to asbestos in Michigan and have since relocated to another state to live or retire, we can help you! Call our office today or fill out a free case evaluation.