Quick Facts About Asbestos in Texas
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    Ranking in Deaths:
    4th
  • grey lungs icon
    Mesothelioma Deaths:
    2,462
  • silhouette of a head with three dots
    Asbestosis Deaths:
    656
  • grey triangle warning sign icon next to graph
    Total Deaths:
    3,118

About Texas

While the majority of those who died or have been diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases in Texas worked in occupations where they inhaled the asbestos fibers regularly, others were exposed from simply living near hazardous jobsites, such as the W.R. Grace & Company/Texas Vermiculite site in Dallas, which imported shipments of asbestos-tainted vermiculite from Libby, Montana until 1992.

In May 2021, about 115 firefighters responded to a fire at a warehouse in Austin, Texas, that was contaminated with asbestos-containing materials. The firefighters later received X-rays as a precautionary measure to document their lung health in case they develop asbestos-related diseases later in life.

Occupations at Risk in Texas

Most Texans who suffer from asbestos related diseases like mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos on the job, where they worked in oil refineries, steel mills and foundries, chemical plants, automobile factories and petro-chemical industries.

Jobsites with Known Exposure:

  • Texaco Oil
  • Lone Star Industries
  • Texas Chemical
  • Lyondell Chemical
  • Chevron Phillips Chemical
  • Gulf Oil
  • Bethlehem Shipping Company
  • Gulfport Shipping Company
  • Todd Shipping Company
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Treatment Centers near Texas

Lung Institute at Baylor College of Medicine
6620 Main St Suite 1325 Houston, TX 77030
  • Year Built: 1969
  • Number of Physicians: 7
Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas
3500 Gaston Ave. Dallas, TX 75246
  • Year Built: 1903 as Texas Baptist Memorial Sanitarium
  • Number of Beds: 300,000
  • Number of Physicians: 0
MD Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030
  • Year Built: 1941
  • Number of Beds: 546 beds; 105,000 patient visits in 2010
  • Number of Physicians: 8
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
5323 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, TX 75390
  • Year Built: 1943
  • Number of Physicians: 2
Houston Methodist Cancer Center
6565 Fannin St., Houston, TX 77030
  • Year Built: 1919
  • Number of Physicians: 1
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
5323 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, TX 75390
  • Year Built: 1943
  • Number of Physicians: 2
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Doctors in Texas

Dr. Stephen Swisher
Pleural Specialist
  • Speciality: Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
  • Expertise: Research Genetic Studies
  • Location: 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030
Dr. Frank Mott
Pleural Specialist
  • Speciality: Thoracic Oncology
  • Expertise: Head & Neck Cancers Palliative Care
  • Location: 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030
Dr. Scott Celinski
Peritoneal Specialist
  • Speciality: Surgical Oncology
  • Expertise: Cytoreductive Surgery HIPEC
  • Location: 3410 Worth St, Suite 235 Dallas, TX 75246
Dr. Bryan Burt
Pleural Specialist
  • Speciality: Thoracic Surgery
  • Expertise: Video-Assisted Surgery Immunotherapy
  • Location: 6620 Main St Suite 1325 Houston, TX 77030
Dr. Pavan Mukesh Jhaveri
Pleural Specialist
  • Speciality: Radiation Oncology
  • Expertise: Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy
  • Location: 6620 Main St Suite 1325 Houston, TX 77030
Dr. Ritsuko U. Komaki
Pleural Specialist
  • Speciality: Radiation Oncology
  • Expertise: Proton Therapy Research
  • Location: 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030
Dr. Anita Lyn Sabichi
Pleural Specialist
  • Speciality: Medical Oncology
  • Expertise: Research
  • Location: 6620 Main St Suite 1325 Houston, TX 77030
Dr. Anne Tsao
Pleural Specialist
  • Speciality: Medical Oncology
  • Expertise: Immunotherapy Clinical Research
  • Location: 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030
Dr. David C. Rice
Pleural Specialist
  • Speciality: Thoracic Surgery
  • Expertise: Minimally Invasive Surgery Robotics
  • Location: 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030
Dr. David P. Mason
Pleural Specialist
  • Speciality: Thoracic Surgery
  • Expertise: Minimally Invasive Surgery Tracheal Resection Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation
  • Location: 1222 N. Bishop Ave., Dallas, TX 75208
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Oil Refineries & Corporations

Oil and chemical refineries provide jobs to thousands of people in Texas, but these occupations are dangerous as they require constant exposure to high-intensity heat. Because of its heat resistant qualities, asbestos was used as an insulating material as well as a fire retardant to protect workers and keep them safe while working in these conditions. As a result of this practice, workers in these fields have died from asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma and asbestosis.

Shipyards

Shipyard workers and crews are occupations that have been known to have high risks for asbestos exposure because the material was widely used until the 1980s. Not only was asbestos used as a fire retardant in these ships and shipyards, it was often used to coat pipes and boilers located in engine rooms because of its insulation properties.

Schools

Asbestos-containing materials were widely used in schools across the U.S. Public schools are required to assess asbestos-containing materials and maintain an updated report on the potential for those materials to result in exposure. Many schools in Texas contain asbestos that must be contained or removed.

For example, in January 2019, construction on two schools in Tyler, Texas, was stalled to abate asbestos. The schools, John Tyler and Robert E. Lee, featured old buildings that contained asbestos-contaminated floor tiles. A professional asbestos abatement company was hired to safely remove the contaminated tiles before construction continued.

Asbestos Litigation in Texas

Texas has long been a popular venue for asbestos claims, although the number of cases filed in the state has dropped in recent years.

From 1988 to 2000, Texas ranked among the top five states with the most asbestos filings in state and federal courts. In the mid-1990s, three counties in Texas (Harris, Galveston and Jefferson) accounted for 42 percent of all new filings.

In 2005, Texas adopted SB 15, a state law that created specific medical criteria for asbestos claims. By requiring plaintiffs to demonstrate an actual asbestos-related disability prior to filing a claim, SB 15 cleared unimpaired asbestos victims from Texas courts and moved them to an inactive docket. As a result, claimants with asbestos-related cancer and serious impairments began seeing their cases resolved sooner. If claimants in the inactive docket provide proof of an asbestos-related impairment or cancer diagnosis, they can be transferred back to the active docket.

Despite tighter restrictions on filing claims, many people in Texas have won compensation from the companies responsible for their asbestos exposure:

  • In August 2001, an El Paso jury awarded $55.5 million to a mesothelioma patient and his family. The award included $15 million in punitive damages to Kelly-Moore Paint Company, the claimant’s former employer. At the time, the verdict was described as the largest asbestos verdict.
  • In September 2001, a jury in Orange, Texas, awarded $130 million to five men who developed lung cancer, colon cancer and asbestosis after working at the U.S. Pipe plant in Birmingham, Alabama. The award included $60 million in punitive damages.
  • In July 2012, the family of a Dallas painter was awarded $11 million from several companies that exposed him to asbestos throughout his career. He regularly worked with asbestos-containing products like textured paint and drywall compounds. Most of the blame was attributed to the Dow Chemical subsidiary Union Carbide, with the rest going to Bondex, Georgia Pacific and Kelly-Moore.
  • In 2014, the family of a Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. employee who died of mesothelioma won an $18.6 million verdict against the company in a Texas state court. The plaintiff, who worked as a tire builder at Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. in Tyler, Texas, for 30 years, was exposed to asbestos constantly while working with Goodyear tire machines.
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