Asbestos was widely used as an ingredient in construction materials from the early 20th Century until approximately 1980 – a period of time when Dallas, Texas experienced rapid growth. Construction workers in Dallas during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s often worked in environments where Dallas asbestos exposure was common, including in commercial and residential construction. Drywall joint compounds, as well as ceiling and texture materials, were commonly asbestos containing up to 1978. Similarly, vinyl asbestos floor-tile was almost ever-present in commercial buildings until the 1980s.
In addition to commercial and residential construction, Dallas was home to numerous light industrial facilities, power plants and hospitals. Both types of facilities commonly used steam systems for power which, in turn, used asbestos thermal insulation materials for their insulating properties. Insulators, pipefitters, boilermakers and other trades in Dallas which worked on the steam systems and steam system equipment, likely had exposure to asbestos from that work prior to the 1980s.
Railyards, as well as a vermiculite expansion plant, were also present in Dallas for decades and were a source of asbestos exposure for workers.
“Dallas is not probably the first city you think of when discussing asbestos,” says Dallas mesothelioma attorney, Ben DuBose, “but the mineral was so widely used in the United States that the potential for asbestos exposure exists in nearly every city and town in America. Dallas is no exception. We’ve represented numerous mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis clients through the years that live and worked in the Dallas area.”
Inhalation of friable asbestos is hazardous to humans and can result in a number of asbestos-related conditions including asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma – a cancer of the lining of the lung (pleural mesothelioma) or the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneal mesothelioma). Asbestos is generally accepted as the only known cause of malignant mesothelioma. There is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos. While asbestos containing products have been heavily regulated since the early 1970s in the United States, no outright ban of the material has been enacted.