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Asbestos Exposure In Florida

miami_skyline2.jpgFlorida ranks 2nd in the U.S. for deaths from malignant mesothelioma, a rare, deadly form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. For reference: Malignant Mesothelioma: number of deaths by state U.S. residents 15 years and over 1999-2005

Although there are several ways one may be exposed to asbestos, Occupational exposure is the most common. Because of the flame retardant nature of the fiber and cost effectiveness with which it could be obtained, this fibrous mineral has been widely used in a multitude of industries. Moreover, Florida’s sunshine and economic strength have made this state a haven for retirees from all over the United States – who also have been exposed to asbestosis.

A young man, we will call him Don, fought for his country in the US Army and then moved to Florida where he raised his children and pursued a career as a pipefitter. An intricate part of what seemed to be endless construction and employment opportunity; he worked building Hospitals such as Doctors Hospital, Mercy Hospital and St. Francis Hospital. He lent his expertise to utility companies such as Florida Power and Light at the Turkey Point Nuclear Plant and Kendall Lakes Water Plant. He did his job and did it well. Don, was diagnosed with Malignant Mesothelioma at the age of 58… and died seven (7) short months later. He left behind two young sons with a collection of photographs and a tattered local 725 Pipefitter’s union card. Too few memories of a life cut short by a fatal disease; two young sons robbed of their father.

Florida has many Economic Strengths:

  • International Trade (40% of all U.S. exports to Latin and South America pass through Florida)
  • Tourism – with 76.8 million visitors in 2004 (a record number), Florida is the top travel destination in the world. The tourism industry has an economic impact of $57 billion on Florida’s economy.
  • Space Industry – The space industry represents $4.5 billion of the state’s economy. The number employed at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) alone is 15,000 and Florida ranks 4th among the states in overall aerospace employment with 23,000 jobs.
  • Military and Shipyards – Surrounded by Ocean, Florida offers many benefits to commercial shipyards and is home to 11 Naval bases/shipyards, 5 Air force Bases, 3 Coast Guard Stations as well as one Army and one Marine Base
  • Agriculture – Florida leads the southeast in farm income.
  • Florida produces about 75% of the U.S. oranges and accounts for about 40% of the world’s orange juice supply.
  • Construction – This industry’s strength results from the steady stream of new residents and visitors who are welcomed to Florida each year.

With the economic advances and prime location offered by Florida, the following industries developed and flourished: Construction, Shipyard, Mining and Manufacturing, Steel and Iron, Automotive and Mechanic, Railroad, Aerospace, Utilities, Petrochemical and More. Within these industries, a number of jobsites in Florida, as listed below, have been identified as harboring asbestos containing materials.

FPL Powerhouses:
Including but not limited to Cutler Ridge Power Plant, Turkey Point Powerhouse, Dania Powerhouse

Other utility oriented companies:
Cutler Plant, Miami Dade Water & Sewer, Miami Electric Light and Power Company, Coconut Grove Incinerator, Miami Steam Electric Station, Fitzgerald Energy of Florida

Ship Builders and Drydocks:
Merrill Stevens Drydock, Miami Dade Drydock, Miami Docks Pier #2, American Boatbuilding, Jones Boat Yard Ones Boat Yard, Southern Utilities Company

Aerospace, Aviation and automotive companies:
Aerodex, Kennedy Space Center, Eastern Airlines, Electric Motors, United States Army 36Th Street Airport

Chemical and Petrochemical:
Belcher Oil Company, Monsanto Chemical, Chemstrand, IMC Chemicals

Iron & Steel:
Tampa Steel, Russell Aluminum

Manufacturers:
Atlanta Linen Supply Company, Okeelanta Growers & Proc. Corporation, International Paper, Pennsylvania Sugar Company, St. Regis Papermill, Hudson Pulp & Paper, Buckeye Cellulose

Commercial Construction Sites & Construction Companies:
Banana Supply Company, Biscayne Annex Post Office, Bodin Apparel, City of Miami, Dadeland Shopping Center, Delido Hotel, Diplomat Hotel, Doral Country Club, Doral Hotel, Eden Roc Hotel, Fountainbleau Hotel, Four, Ambassadors, Holiday Inn, Hollywood Beach Hotel, Dow Building, Dupont Plaza, E.A.L. Building, Florida Insulation & Fireproof, Florida International Engineering Services, Geiger Babcox Homes, Gulfstream Racetrack, Harbor House North, International Airport, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Jordan Marsh Addition, Lebanon Hospital, Lincoln Tower, Linde Air Products Company, Little River Pub Sid, Mcintosh & Company, Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Herald, Miami High School, Miami Intl Airport, National Airlines, Palmetto Junior High School, Pan American Airways, Technical High School, U.S. Federal Building, Va Hospital, St. Francis Hospital, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Mercy Hospital, Doctors Hospital, Porfiri Brothers Construction Company, Powers Brothers Construction, Atlas Flooring, General Development Corporation, Reco Insulation, Industrial Insulators, Inc., Rinker Portland Cement Corp, Lehigh Portland Cement Company, Ross Roofing & Heating, United States Army Engineers

Railroad & Transportation:
Florida East Coast Railway, Overseas Transportation Company
As early as the 1920’s up until the mid 1970’s, companies chose to use asbestos without displaying warnings of the potential hazards. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos related condition protect your legal rights. Our mesothelioma dedicated attorneys at Reyes, O’Shea and Coloca fight for the rights of these individuals who were unknowingly exposed and put at risk. Each case is handled individually and given the attention and priority it deserves by our carefully trained legal team.

References:
Florida Quick Facts