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Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure in South Dakota

South Dakota

If you live in the state of South Dakota and have worked there for significant amount of time, there is a chance that you were exposed to asbestos in the workplace. Prolonged exposure to asbestos can lead to serious health problems including mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer and other non-malignant lung diseases.

To assist people who live in South Dakota, we have provided statistics about asbestos and mesothelioma in the state. We have also included descriptions of the industries and lists of cities, towns and specific job sites in South Dakota where asbestos exposure is likely to have occurred. Treatment options and recent news about asbestos and mesothelioma in South Dakota are also provided.

South Dakota Mesothelioma and Asbestos Statistics

From 1999-2015, 104 South Dakota residents died from mesothelioma

  • South Dakota has a mesothelioma mortality rate slightly below the national average of about 8 people per million each year (Source: CDC)
  • There are 6 reported asbestos sites in South Dakota, including one former prospect and three natural deposits (Source: USGS)
  • Two natural amphibole deposits can be found near the western border and a third amphibole site is located near the Jewel Cave National Monument (Source USGS)

Asbestos Use Across South Dakota Industries

Though South Dakota has a lower mesothelioma mortality rate, many residents are still at risk of workplace exposure in a variety of industries.


Much of South Dakota’s economy is fueled by agriculture, the number one industry of the state. The state boasts over 19 million acres of land for crops and an additional 23 million acres of pasture, at least. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture estimated that agriculture accounts for over $25 billion each year. Even though the industry might not seem exceptionally dangerous, some equipment and machinery has been known to contain some asbestos and some of these farms also use agricultural fillers that may contain asbestos.

Power Plants:

Pathfinder Power Plant and Angus Anson Power Plant in Sioux Falls, as well as Black Hills Generation in Rapid City are some of the power generation facilities in the state that contain asbestos in their walls. Though a number of the facilities are actually hydroelectric, which are considered cleaner than others that rely on burning fossil fuels, asbestos may still be a hazard. Many of these plants contain asbestos in their construction, like the insulation, or in the machinery itself, like turbines or generators. Asbestos was ideal for resisting high heat and preventing possible fires, but ultimately put workers in power plants at risk.


Veterans in every branch of the military are at a higher risk for mesothelioma than the general population. Asbestos use was wide and varied, ranging from the buildings on base to automotive and aircraft parts and many areas of navy vessels. Rapid City Air Force Base and Ellsworth Air Force Base near Box Elder were two active bases in South Dakota that were known to have caused asbestos exposure.


Many schools across the country were constructed during the decades that asbestos was a popular material for everything from tiles to roof shingles. This means staff and even students who attend schools that occupy older buildings are at risk of exposure. Areas of schools that show their age or potential renovation projects may mean disturbing existing asbestos. South Dakota State University has asbestos in buildings throughout its campus. By federal law, schools must take extra precaution with frequent inspections for existing asbestos and have a plan in place to eliminate asbestos if deemed necessary.

Asbestos Exposure at Smaller South Dakota Sites

Beyond the major cities and towns in South Dakota, asbestos exposure has also occurred at a number of other job sites. Select a town to see the list of its work sites where asbestos exposure occurred. Asbestos exposure at any one of the sites revealed could put a worker at risk to develop pleural mesothelioma.

Locate Mesothelioma Doctors in South Dakota

If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma and live in the state of South Dakota, the following doctors who have expertise in mesothelioma treatment and who practice in South Dakota are available to assist you. Click on a specific doctor to obtain more information about his/her background, areas of expertise, professional affiliations, and office locations.

Dr. Ashraf A. Elshami
Sanford Health/Sanford Pulmonary Medicine Clinic
Sioux Falls, SD 57105

Dr. Michael Keppen
Sanford Cancer Center
Sioux Falls, SD 57104

Filing a Mesothelioma Claim in South Dakota

If you were exposed to asbestos at a commercial, residential or military site in South Dakota and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation. Don’t lose your right to file a lawsuit to hold those responsible accountable. You must act quickly and file your claim within the appropriate statute of limitations for the state of South Dakota.

Resources for Mesothelioma Patients in South Dakota

Find Mesothelioma Doctors, Lawyers and Asbestos Exposure Sites Near You


Cabrera-Santiago, Manuel et al. “Prevalence of Asbestos-Related Disease Among Electrical Power Generation Workers in Puerto Rico.” Presentation at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, 2007.

Geological Research, Analyses and Services Programs. “Naturally Occurring Asbestos Locations in the Contiguous U.S. and Alaska.” Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 25 May 2007. (accessed 23 August 2010).

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