Birmingham Mesothelioma Attorney
Asbestos has been a health issue in America since the 1800s. While certain governmental agencies knew of the risk, some asbestos-containing materials (ACM) remained unfettered by regulation and found their way into many consumer products. Fake snow, ironing board covers, popcorn ceilings, and wall insulation are just a few of the many consumer items that contain ACM. Employees at certain manufacturing plants, moreover, could also be easily exposed to ACM.NPR and ProPublica Story
National Public Radio (NPR) and ProPublica recently released a blockbuster story entitled “Toxic Burden: How American Chemical Regulations Failed the Public.” The feature explains that workers in certain plants did not initially realize that asbestos was even present. Ms. LaTunja Caster, a worker at the Olin Corporation in Alabama, never worried about asbestos until she began to see the substance at the plant.Undisturbed
If asbestos fibers are undisturbed, like those encased in pipe insulation, for example, they are not dangerous if they continue to remain dormant. When asbestos fibers are released into the air, however, they can be lethal.
If a worker needs to cut the insulation off of an air vent, and that vent is covered with insulation laden with ACM, big trouble can result as fibers can easily be released. Those fibers can be inhaled and ingested and the following diseases can result:
- Lung Cancer
- Lung Scarring
Olin knew that it had an asbestos issue and therefore issued protective clothing and gear to certain selected employees that were deemed at risk of ACM exposure. Other exposed employees like maintenance staff, electricians, and others received no such gear and no special ACM training.Pregnant and Exposed
A pregnant janitor under contract routinely scraped asbestos off certain floors and had to dispose of asbestos-caked protective suits worn by protected workers. Other workers claimed that asbestos fibers were commonly flying through the plant.Self Regulation Not Happening
Asbestos exposure can be lethal. Worse, exposure to the substance has a latency period that can last for 50 years. In other words, workers exposed in the 1970s could just today be seeing serious lung damage symptoms.
And here is the kicker from the ProPublica and NPR article:
The United States doesn’t allow asbestos mining, but it has no prohibition on importing asbestos. Olin and OxyChem are among the few companies that buy it from other countries and use it in domestic plants.
According to the article’s authors, Olin, the company that uses asbestos to make chlorine, has plants that manufacture chlorine without asbestos. Olin, however, refuses to update all of its facilities and still puts workers at risk of ACM exposure. The article concludes with the statement that “The scourge of asbestos death and disease will be with us for decades to come unless Congress acts now to ban this chemical once and for all.”Birmingham Area Asbestos Exposure Site Short List
- Altec Manufacturing Co.
- American Cast Iron Pipe Co.
- American Restoration
- Avondale Distributors
- Benton Contracting Co
- Birmingham Budweiser Distributing
- Birmingham Fabricating
- Birmingham Foundry
- Birmingham Paper Co
- Blackburn MFG
If you are worried about asbestos in or near your home or workplace, you need to contact a qualified Birmingham Mesothelioma Attorney like the Throneberry Law Group. The Throneberry Law Group provides aggressive and compassionate support and representation for asbestos cancer victims. Call an experienced Throneberry Law Group attorney today at (888) 506-1131, or visit them online for 24/7 assistance.