New Mexico has several naturally-occurring deposits of asbestos. Many of these are located in the southwestern region of New Mexico. Chrysotile has been identified near small cities such as Ruidoso. Erionite is also located throughout parts of New Mexico. Interacting with natural deposits of asbestos can increase the likelihood that a person may develop mesothelioma or another asbestos-related condition. At least 16 different mining districts in New Mexico have reported the presence of asbestos. Miners are typically at one of the highest probabilities of being exposed to asbestos because they confront it in its natural state and asbestos fibers can easily become dislodged during the mining process. However, the end consumer who uses the product that included asbestos can also be exposed to asbestos in this manner.
Outside the mining industry, there are many other types of job types that could have exposed workers to asbestos in New Mexico. The state economy relies heavily on energy production and manufacturing. Asbestos was commonly used in power plants due to its insulating properties and resistant to heat, chemicals and electricity. Asbestos was often used as a protective layer on machinery, piping and wiring. Workers who are at risk for occupational exposure to asbestos in the state include electrical power linemen, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, industrial engineers and pipefitters.
Asbestos was also commonly used in military operations for some of the same properties, including in air force bases. Aircraft mechanics could have been exposed to asbestos because it is commonly included in brakes, as well as in other materials, such as sealants, piping and paint. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or related cancer, its imperative you speak with an attorney to learn about your legal rights to file a claim or lawsuit against negligent parties responsible.