In the fight for banning asbestos manufacturing and distributing asbestos products in the U.S., Georgia senator Johnny Isakson took a stand with Washington State senator Patty Murray and Environment and Public Works Committee chair Barbara Boxer. As a result asbestos products will no longer be manufactured or distributed starting this year, 2010, according to the American Act.
Asbestos has been in use throughout Georgia and can be found in many public buildings, older homes and numerous industrial settings throughout the state. Georgia is also home to The United States Army in Fort Benning and the Atlanta Journal building as well as power plants in Cartersville, Rome, Macon and Waynesboro. These locations are at high risk for asbestos exposure in Georgia. Also, if you live within a close proximity to the natural asbestiform mineral deposits, you are at risk for asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma is still a relatively rare cancer with a very low survival rate. However, cases of mesothelioma in Georgia have continued to be reported with increasing numbers each year. This deadly disease can appear in men or women at any age but studies have shown mesothelioma occurs more often in men than in women and risk also increases with age and smoking.
Since 1979, there have been 549 asbestos-related fatalities in Georgia. Mesothelioma is reported as the cause of 319 of these deaths. Fulton County has 38 deaths from mesothelioma and six from asbestosis. Chatham County experienced 26 deaths from asbestosis and 16 from mesothelioma and DeKalb County reported 15 asbestosis deaths and 18 mesothelioma deaths. Overall deaths were evenly divided between asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma in these areas.
Since 1979, over 3,053 Georgians have filed court cases for asbestos exposure, asbestos-related deaths and asbestos-related injuries and illnesses. However, in Georgia, being exposed to asbestos alone is simply not enough grounds for filing a lawsuit against the companies responsible for putting you at risk. In 2005, legislation was passed that limited mesothelioma lawsuits only to victims suffering from illnesses due to asbestos exposure. Victims must show physical signs and symptoms of illnesses from asbestos exposure in order to begin filing a lawsuit against the company responsible for exposing them to this deadly disease.