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15 states with the most asbestos-related deaths

According to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, more than 107,000 people around the world die each year from diseases linked to asbestos exposure. Louisville residents should know that while this mineral has long been banned by most developed countries, the U.S. has not taken such a step.

The following 15 states combined have seen over 100,000 asbestos-related deaths between 1999 and 2013. Kentucky residents can be happy that the Bluegrass State did not make the list. Starting at the bottom, Minnesota saw nearly 5,000 deaths with a high concentration in the Minneapolis area. North Carolina comes next; many mining and manufacturing workers have been exposed over the years. Then come Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Virginia. Shipbuilders in the last two states freely use asbestos.

Washington, tenth on the list, is known for paper production -- another industry known for asbestos use. This is followed by Michigan and New Jersey. The former is the center for the production of car brake linings and clutches that contain asbestos while the latter has the majority of its population living close to factories.

Illinois and Ohio are also hotspots for asbestos. Texas, a hub for oil refining and shipping, comes in fifth. New York and Pennsylvania, with their industrial centers, are fourth and third, respectively. The list ends with Florida and California. California even has an asbestos dumping site and two mines. These last five states reported more than 10,000 deaths each.

Someone who has been exposed to asbestos on the job may be able to file a personal injury claim against the applicable employer. They may want a lawyer, though, to build up their case, argue it with the other side and protect their rights all the way. The lawyer could hire investigators to gather proof of negligence, and medical experts could help in determining what would be a reasonable amount in damages. A successful claim could cover past and future medical expenses, lost income and more.

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