Asbestos-Related Deaths in Pennsylvania

The number of asbestos-related deaths in Pennsylvania is one of the highest in the country. In fact, the state is home to one of the first asbestos waste sites in America, specifically, the Ambler Asbestos Pile. As you may know, asbestos is a hazardous substance and is one of the most common causes of a rare form of asbestos-related lung cancer and mesothelioma.

How Many Asbestos-Related Deaths Have Occurred in Pennsylvania?

According to the website, there have been 17,717 asbestos-related deaths in Pennsylvania between 1999 and 2017 diagnosed as:

  • Asbestosis: 1,505
  • Non-mesothelioma lung cancer: 13,028 (estimated)
  • Mesothelioma: 3,257

Some counties in Pennsylvania have much higher numbers than others. The top ten counties with the highest numbers of asbestos-related deaths from 1999 to 2017 include:

  1. Allegheny County: 1,969 (103 per year)
  2. Montgomery County: 1,599 (84 per year)
  3. Philadelphia County: 1,576 (82 per year)
  4. Delaware County: 1,299 (68 per year)
  5. Bucks County: 912 (48 per year)
  6. Lancaster County: 745 (39 per year)
  7. Chester County: 533 (28 per year)
  8. Berks County: 509 (26 per year)
  9. Luzerne County: 500 (26 per year)
  10. Northampton County: 500 (26 per year)

Ambler Asbestos Pile Superfund Site

The Environmental Protection Agency added the Ambler Asbestos Pile Superfund Site to the National Priorities List decades ago, in 1986. Many experts agree that the Ambler Site is one of the biggest contributors to the high number of asbestos-related deaths in Pennsylvania.

The Ambler Site consists of three waste piles containing asbestos as well as several lagoons. The EPA estimates that the total amount of asbestos-contaminated waste at the Ambler Site exceeds one and a half million cubic yards. In the 1930s, Keasbey & Mattison, a Philadelphia pharmaceutical company manufacturing headache medicine, began dumping hazardous waste at Ambler, including solid waste and liquid slurries contaminated by asbestos. This dangerous practice continued unhampered until 1974.

How the Ambler Asbestos Site Affects Pennsylvania Residents

In 2011, the Pennsylvania Department of Health conducted a study that confirmed that Ambler residents have a higher rate of asbestos-related cancers. After that study, the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences awarded a grant in 2021 to researchers from the University of Pennsylvania. The grant is to study the effect of asbestos exposure in and around Ambler that may have increased the rate of mesothelioma cases for residents.

Upon examining confirmed cancer cases occurring between 1992 and 2008, researchers found that the number of residents in Ambler with mesothelioma is three times higher than the average for Pennsylvania.

BoRit Asbestos Superfund Site

The BoRit Site is another location close to Ambler where factories dumped asbestos waste for decades, from the 1900s to the 1960s. Sadly, this location was actually home to a children’s playground and park area, which the state eventually closed in the mid-1980s.

The BoRit site is about six acres, with two and a half acres consisting of an asbestos waste pile. While the EPA eventually spent a lot of time and money cleaning up the BoRit site, there’s no telling the damage and suffering it has caused nearby residents and workers.

Call The Halpern Law Firm Today

Pennsylvania’s history of manufacturing and unregulated waste disposal has contributed to the state’s abnormally high number of asbestos-related cancers and deaths. However, certain regions are worse than others. The highest number of cases occurs in Allegheny County, followed by Montgomery County and Philadelphia County.

One of the most common diseases that asbestos can cause is mesothelioma, which contributes to the high number of asbestos-related deaths in Pennsylvania.

If you believe you have cancer from asbestos exposure, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your illness. It takes an experienced legal team to navigate the process.

At The Halpern Law Firm, that’s what we do: our team has over 30 years of experience handling mesothelioma and asbestos-related claims. We take pride in being fierce legal advocates for our clients, both in and out of court.

Call us at The Halpern Law Firm today at 1(800) 505-6000 to schedule your free consultation.

Get In Touch. No Commitment. With Our Pennsylvania Mesothelioma Law Firm