Texas Mesothelioma and Asbestos Laws
What is Mesothelioma in Texas
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos and affects the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen.
People in Texas are at risk of contracting mesothelioma if exposed to asbestos at work or home. The disease can take many years to develop, so it is often difficult to determine when and where someone was exposed.
Medics classify mesothelioma according to the area of the mesothelium that is affected. The most prevalent type of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma which affects the lungs and chest wall lining. On the other hand, the rarer mesothelioma is peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the abdomen, heart, and around the testicles.
There is no cure for mesothelioma, but treatment options are available. Several treatment options are available for mesothelioma patients, including surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The best treatment type for each patient depends on several factors, including the stage of the disease and the patient's overall health.
Texan Mesothelioma patients may be entitled to a legal claim or financial settlement depending on the nature of the disease and their asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma claims are filed and heard by the state courts, and records of court settlements and related Texas court records are maintained in the court where the hearing took place.
History of Mesothelioma in Texas
Mesothelioma was first identified in 1972 by Dr. Irving J. Selikoff and Dr. Arthur L. Frank. At the time, the two doctors were working at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. They published a paper discussing their findings, which quickly drew attention to the dangers of asbestos exposure.
In Texas, mesothelioma was not recognized as a problem until the early 1980s. In 1981, the Texas legislature enacted the first law related to asbestos and mesothelioma. That law, known as the Asbestos Control Act, established guidelines for handling and disposing of asbestos waste. It also created a registry of people who had been exposed to asbestos.
Over the years, other laws have been passed in Texas to address mesothelioma. In 2003, the state legislature passed the Asbestos Claims Priorities Act. This law set up a process for determining which asbestos-related lawsuits would be given priority in court. In 2009, the legislature passed the Texas Mesothelioma Victims Relief Fund Act. This Act established a fund to provide financial assistance to mesothelioma patients and their families.
Texas has also taken steps to address the problem of asbestos exposure in the workplace. In 2011, the Texas Department of State Health Services issued new rules for handling asbestos in the workplace. These rules require employers to take certain precautions when working with asbestos, such as providing training on safely handling the material and wearing personal protective equipment.
Despite these efforts, mesothelioma remains a severe problem in Texas. Each year, approximately 300 people in the state are diagnosed with the disease.
Mesothelioma Survival Rate in Texas
There is no definitive answer for the mesothelioma survival rate in Texas. However, according to recent studies, the average life expectancy for someone diagnosed with mesothelioma in Texas is about 18 months. However, this can vary depending on the stage of the disease at diagnosis, the age and health of the individual, and how quickly they seek treatment. Unfortunately, the death rate for mesothelioma patients in Texas is relatively high – upwards of 50%.
In Texas, Mesothelioma patients have the same rights to file an asbestos trust fund claim as patients from other states. The survival rate of Mesothelioma patients in Texas is lower than in other states because of the lack of early diagnosis. Most people diagnosed with mesothelioma in Texas are usually in the later stages of the disease.
Where is Asbestos Found in Texas?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral. It was once used in various construction materials due to its durability and fire-resistant properties. However, asbestos fibers can cause serious health problems, including lung cancer and mesothelioma.
There are several Texas asbestos exposure sites within the state's judicial limits. They include industries pertaining to:
- Oil and gas production
- Power generation
- Chemical manufacturing
- Paper mills
- Cement plants
Asbestos may also be present in older buildings and homes, particularly insulation, flooring tiles, and shingles. Persons who suspect that asbestos is present in their workplace or home must have the area tested by a qualified professional.
Buildings in Texas that reportedly had varying levels of asbestos exposure include:
- The Alamo
- The Astrodome
- Texas A&M University
- The University of Texas at Austin
- Houston City Hall
- Downtown El Paso buildings
Counties reported to have naturally occurring asbestos in Texas include:
- Grayson County
- Fannin County
- Kimble County
- McCulloch County
- Mitchell County
- Coke County
- Crane County
When Was Asbestos Banned in Texas?
Asbestos was banned in Texas in 2001. The state's legislature passed a law that made it illegal to use asbestos in new construction projects. This ban was put into place to protect workers and the public from the harmful effects of asbestos exposure. While asbestos is no longer used in new construction projects, it can still be found in older buildings and homes.
The Texas department that oversees asbestos exposure includes the Asbestos Health Protection Branch (AHBP). The AHBP was created in 2001 to protect the public from asbestos exposure. The branch is responsible for investigating complaints, conducting inspections, and issuing fines. They also work with property owners to ensure that asbestos is removed correctly. Further questions regarded asbestos exposure may be made to the AHBP at 1-(800) 527-2372.
Texas Laws & Regulations on Mesothelioma
Texas has several laws and statutes in place regarding asbestos and mesothelioma. These laws are designed to protect workers and citizens from asbestos exposure and provide compensation for those victims of asbestos exposure, mesothelioma, or other asbestos-related diseases.
Texas asbestos laws are outlined in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 25, Chapter 295. These laws cover everything from asbestos removal and disposal to worker training and safety requirements.
According to the Texas administrative code title 25, chapter 295, a licensed asbestos abatement contractor must conduct asbestos removal and disposal. The code also requires that all workers performing asbestos removal or abatement work be properly trained and certified.
The Texas Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for regulating asbestos in the state. All asbestos-containing materials must be labeled appropriately, and any remodeling or demolition work that could release asbestos fibers into the air must be adequately controlled and monitored.
The Texas Workers' Compensation system benefits workers diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases.
Several private lawsuits have been filed against companies that exposed workers to asbestos. These lawsuits typically seek damages for pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses.
The Texas Department of State Health Services also has several resources available for citizens who have been exposed to asbestos. The department provides information on health effects, testing and treatment options, and financial assistance programs.
Departments Overseeing Mesothelioma Laws in Texas
The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is responsible for overseeing Mesothelioma laws in Texas. DSHS ensures that all public and private healthcare facilities comply with these laws, and they also work to educate the public about the dangers of asbestos exposure. Persons who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, may be eligible for financial compensation and other benefits. The DSHS can help them navigate the legal process and get the most out of their claim.
Other departments that cater to asbestos laws in Texas include The Environmental Protection Agency and The Department of Labor. These two organizations make sure that mesothelioma patients receive the treatment they need while also working to prevent future asbestos exposure.
In Texas, the Environmental protection agency ensures that all public and private healthcare facilities comply with the asbestos laws. The Department of Labor also works to ensure that patients with mesothelioma receive the treatment they need while also preventing any future exposure to asbestos.
Occupational Regulations for Asbestos-Related Jobs in Texas
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has specific regulations for workers who may be exposed to asbestos fibers. Workers who are exposed to asbestos fibers on a regular basis are at risk for developing severe health problems, including cancer.
Asbestos exposure is most commonly associated with construction and demolition activities and the repair and maintenance of buildings that contain asbestos-containing materials.
The DSHS has established a permissible exposure limit (PEL) for airborne asbestos fibers of 0.1 fibers per cubic centimeter of air (f/cc). The PEL is the concentration of a substance in the air that is considered safe for long-term exposure.
All workers who may be exposed to asbestos fibers on the job must be trained to work with or around asbestos-containing materials safely. Workers must also be provided with the proper personal protective equipment, such as respirators, to prevent exposure to asbestos fibers.
The DSHS also requires that employers notify workers of asbestos-containing materials in the workplace and provide them with information on the potential health risks associated with asbestos exposure. Employers must also ensure that workers have access to medical examinations and lung function tests, as required by the DSHS.
Mesothelioma Infection Rate in Texas
The Mesothelioma Infection rate in Texan is reportedly 1/5 of the national average.
While the overall incidence of mesothelioma is relatively low, it is still a significant public health concern in Texas. Texas has one of the highest rates of asbestos exposure, and asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma.
Those exposed to asbestos may not develop mesothelioma for many years or decades. This long latency period makes it difficult to diagnose the cancer in its early stages. The cancer is often advanced and difficult to treat when symptoms appear.
Mesothelioma Treatment in Texas
There is no cure for mesothelioma. However, several treatment options are available to help improve quality of life and extend life expectancy. Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Clinical trials are also an option for some patients.
Mesothelioma treatment in Texas is available at several comprehensive cancer centers. Treatment centers in Texas offer a full range of services, including surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Clinical trials are also available at some treatment centers. Treatment centers in Texas offer both inpatient and outpatient care.
Inpatient care is typically required for patients who require intensive treatment, such as undergoing surgery or radiation therapy. Outpatient care is often sufficient for patients receiving less intensive treatments, such as chemotherapy.
For further information about mesothelioma treatment in Texas, interested persons may contact one of the comprehensive cancer centers listed below:
- M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
- The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
- Baylor College of Medicine
- The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Texas Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Texas asbestos lawsuits can be filed in mesothelioma cases: personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death lawsuits.
Personal injury lawsuits are filed by people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases. These lawsuits seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Wrongful death lawsuits are filed by the families of people who have died from mesothelioma. These lawsuits seek compensation for funeral expenses, lost wages, and the pain and suffering of the deceased person's loved ones.
To file a Mesothelioma lawsuit in Texas, eligible complainants must:
- Choose the right court: The first step in filing a lawsuit is to choose the correct court.
- Draft a complaint: After determining which court will hear the case, the plaintiff must draft a complaint. The complaint must set forth the facts of the case and states the relief being sought.
- File the complaint: Once the complaint is drafted, the complainant must file it in person or by mail with the court. They may also need to pay a filing fee, which is typically around $350.
- Serve the defendant: After the complaint has been filed, the plaintiff must "serve" the defendant a copy of the lawsuit. This can be done by having a sheriff's deputy hand-deliver the paperwork or sending it via certified mail.
- Respond to the complaint. Once the defendant receives the complaint, they have 20 days to file a response. The response will either admit or deny the allegations made in the complaint.
- Discovery process: Once the defendant has filed their response, the "discovery" process begins. This is when both sides exchange information and documents relevant to the case.
- Trial: If the case does not settle during the discovery process, it will go to trial. At trial, each side will present their evidence and argument to a judge or jury, who will then decide the case's outcome.
Mesothelioma Claims & Settlements in Texas
There are a few different ways to pursue compensation for Texas Mesothelioma claims or settlements.
One option is to file a mesothelioma lawsuit against the companies that manufactured or sold the asbestos-containing products. To obtain a Texas mesothelioma settlement, the claimant may opt to settle out of court following negotiations between their legal representative and that of the company.
Another option is to file an asbestos trust fund claim. There are several asbestos trust funds set up by companies that have declared bankruptcy due to the large number of asbestos-related lawsuits they were facing.
Lastly, complainants may be eligible for benefits from the federal government's mesothelioma compensation program. This program provides financial assistance to people exposed to asbestos while serving in the military or working in certain government jobs.
Texas Asbestos Certification
Asbestos certification in Texas is overseen by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). The DSHS Asbestos Control Program (ACP) is responsible for ensuring that all asbestos removal projects in the state are completed safely and per state and federal regulations.
All contractors who wish to perform asbestos removal work in Texas must first obtain a valid certification from the DSHS ACP. Certification is only granted to contractors who have demonstrated their knowledge of asbestos removal procedures and safety protocols and have completed an approved training course.
Once certified, contractors must follow all applicable state and federal regulations when performing asbestos removal work. This includes ensuring that all workers involved in the project are adequately trained and equipped with the proper safety gear. Contractors must also submit detailed project plans to the DSHS ACP for approval before beginning work.
Texas Asbestos License Lookup
Interested members of the public may look up Texas asbestos licenses by visiting the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) website. From there, click on the "Asbestos" link located under the "Licensing and Certification" section.
Once on the Asbestos page, users will see a search tool that can be used to lookup licenses by name, number, or city. Simply enter the appropriate information into the search fields and hit "Search."
When looking for a specific license, users can also click on the "View All License Holders" link to see a complete list of all licensed asbestos professionals in Texas. This list can be sorted by name, city, or license number.
Further questions about the asbestos licensing process in Texas may be directed to the DSHS Asbestos Program at (512) 834-6688.
Texas Asbestos Disclosure
The Texas Asbestos Disclosure Act requires a property owner or operator to disclose the presence of asbestos-containing materials (ACM) on the property before the sale, lease, sublease, or exchange of the property. The Act also requires a lessee, sublessee, or tenant of commercial real property to disclose the presence of ACM to the lessee's, sublessee's, or tenant's employees.
The purpose of the Act is to protect public health and safety by preventing exposure to asbestos fibers, leading to serious health problems, including cancer. Asbestos exposure can occur during renovations or demolition activities that disturb ACM. The Texas Disclosure Act requires property owners and operators to disclose the presence of ACM so that potential buyers, lessees, sublessees, and tenants can make informed decisions about whether to purchase, lease, or occupy the property.
The Act applies to all properties in Texas, regardless of when the ACM was installed. Property owners and operators must disclose the presence of ACM before entering into a binding contract for the sale, lease, sublease, or exchange of the property.
The disclosure must be made in writing and must include:
- A description of the location of the ACM on the property;
- The type of ACM;
- The date the ACM was installed; and
- The name and contact information of the person who performed the asbestos inspection.
The disclosure must be made to the lessee, sublessee, or tenant before the lease is executed if the property is leased. If the property is already leased, the disclosure must be made to the lessee, sublessee, or tenant within 30 days after the property owner or operator learns of the presence of ACM.
The Act does not require property owners and operators to remove ACM from the property. However, if ACM will be disturbed during renovations or demolition activities, the property owner or operator must notify the TDSH at least ten days before the work begins.
The Act does not apply to owner-occupied residential property and contains four or fewer dwelling units. It also does not preempt any local ordinances or regulations that are more stringent than the Act and authorizes the Texas Department of State Health Services to adopt rules to implement the Act. The department must consult with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas Department of Insurance in adopting the rules.
The Act also authorizes the department to inspect the property for compliance with the Act. The department may enter any public or private property during regular business hours to determine compliance with the Act. The property owner or operator must allow the department to have reasonable access to the property for the inspection.
The department may issue an order requiring a property owner or operator to comply with the Act if the department finds that the property owner or operator has violated the Act. The order must describe the violation and require the property owner or operator to remedy the violation within a specified time period.
If the property owner or operator does not comply with the order, the department may file a civil action to enforce the order. The court may grant injunctive relief and assess a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for each violation.
The Act authorizes an administrative penalty of up to $5,000 for each violation of the Act. The department must give written notice of the proposed penalty to the property owner or operator and offer the option of a hearing before imposing a penalty.
In addition, the Act prohibits a person from knowingly making a false or misleading disclosure under the Act. Those who violate this provision are guilty of a Class B misdemeanor. The Act does not create a private right of action.
Texas Asbestos Regulating Agencies
There are a variety of asbestos regulating agencies in Texas that oversee the use and disposal of asbestos. The most notable of these is the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). DSHS is responsible for ensuring that asbestos is used safely and disposed of properly. Other agencies that regulate asbestos in Texas include the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The DSHS is the primary agency responsible for regulating asbestos in Texas. DSHS sets standards for the use of asbestos and oversees its disposal. DSHS also conducts inspections of facilities that use or dispose of asbestos.
The EPA is another crucial regulatory agency when it comes to asbestos. The EPA sets national standards for the safe use and disposal of asbestos. The EPA also conducts inspections of facilities that use or dispose of asbestos.
OSHA is another federal agency that regulates asbestos. OSHA sets standards for the safe use of asbestos in the workplace. OSHA also conducts inspections of workplaces to ensure that these standards are met.
Texas Asbestos Lawsuit Statute of Limitations
The Texas asbestos statute of limitations is two years. Essentially, individuals have two years from their mesothelioma diagnosis to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties. This statute of limitations may be extended in certain circumstances, such as if the individual does not make the association between the diagnosis and the liable party on time. The statute of limitations may also be extended in the instance that the claim is being filed by the family or loved ones of a deaceased mesothelioma victim.
How to Choose a Mesothelioma Lawyer in Texas
Persons seeking to file a mesothelioma claim are advised to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. A Texas mesothelioma lawyer can help victims file claims and receive compensation for their medical expenses and lost wages.
There are several ways to find a mesothelioma lawyer in Texas.
One option is to contact a local legal aid office. Legal aid offices provide free or low-cost legal services to those who cannot afford an attorney. They may be able to help victims find a qualified mesothelioma lawyer in their area.
Plaintiffs may also search online for lawyers who specialize in asbestos-related cases. Several websites offer free case evaluations; these sites can match claimants with a qualified mesothelioma lawyer in Texas based on the information they provide.